FIG LEAVES LIQUOR
40 fig leaves
2 litres gin
2 litres water
1.5 kg caster sugar
crushed ice, to serve
Wash the fig leaves well and pat them dry. Put two-thirds of the leaves into a decanter/glass bottle or other large glass vessel. Pour over the gin and shake well to combine. Leave, uncovered, to infuse for 24 hours, then remove and discard the leaves. Strain the liquid through a muslin-lined sieve into a clean container and add half of the water.
Pour the rest of the water into a saucepan and add the sugar. Place over a medium heat and bring to just below the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
Put the remaining fig leaves into a blender with a little of the sugar syrup and blend until the leaves are very fine. Add to the remaining sugar syrup. Leave to infuse for overnight, then strain through a muslin-lined sieve into a clean pan. Once again, bring to just below the boil, then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
Add the fig syrup to the gin mixture and stir well. Pour into a sterilised glass bottle and store in a cool dark place for a week or two before using.
Serve in beautiful, small glasses, with plenty of crushed ice.
Recipe: Annie Goussard Newton