If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know how much I love a boozy dessert. In fact I have a round up of my very favourites coming up here on the blog next week, so stay tuned. Not only do I love to make desserts that are inspired by cocktails, but I also love when I can make drinks that are inspired by desserts. And sticky date pudding is definitely one of my favourite desserts. One of the best things about winter, in my opinion! I’m actually just surprised I didn’t come up with this cocktail sooner.
Ever since I made the date caramel filling from my Sticky Date Doughnuts, I’ve had dates on the brain and was looking for other interesting ways to use them. I was recently reminded that jam could be a great cocktail ingredient, with a nice concentrated fruit flavour and sweetness. Mostly the recipes I found on Pinterest used fruit jams like blueberry and strawberry – delicious, and perfect with vodka or gin – but I thought that a date jam would be perfect in this bourbon based cocktail. I always add a glug of bourbon to my salted caramel sauce, so I thought it would be the perfect spirit here.
I paired the date jam with other ingredients that reminded me of a Sticky Date Pudding. The combination of caramelly date jam (I have seen some store bought brands, but it’s very easy and quick to make it from scratch), fresh figs, brown sugar and bourbon is definitely delicious, and a little ginger never goes astray either. To me, this feels like one of the most perfect winter drinks. Okay, it’s not served warm like a mulled wine or cider but it has all the flavours of a classic dessert and a healthy swig of bourbon that will warm you up from the inside out.
Smash cocktails are some of my favourites because I don’t have a lot of fancy bar equipment and they’re super easy to make with whatever you have on hand. You basically can’t go wrong with muddling delicious fruit together with booze – like pomegranate, lime and gin or raspberries, peaches and bourbon. You can use whatever is in season with your favourite spirit. If you don’t have a muddler, you can use the end of a wooden spoon. Even if you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can totally make this drink in a large mason jar! Serve it in almost any glassware you like. I like that they’re so versatile.
Related: Apple Pie Pimms
Sticky Date Bourbon Smash
This Sticky Date Bourbon Smash feels like a perfect winter drink. Homemade caramel date jam is paired with fresh figs, brown sugar, bourbon & ginger beer.
- Large dollop date jam or date caramel
- 1 fresh fig or Medjool date, cut into quarters, plus extra for garnishing
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 50 ml your favourite Bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
- Ginger beer, to top up
- 2 sprigs rosemary or thyme, to garnish
Fill 2 glasses with ice. Place a date jam, fresh fig or Medjool date and brown sugar into the glass of a cocktail shaker and muddle.
Add bourbon and ice cubes and shake hard, until the shaker is too cold to touch.
Double strain between 2 glasses, top up with ginger beer and garnish with sliced fig and a rosemary sprig.