Fig and Vanilla Infused Bourbon Recipe + Old Fashioned Cocktail

Your favorite bourbon infused with dried figs and vanilla beans. Perfect for an Old Fashioned or sipping on the rocks.

Fig and Vanilla Infused Bourbon Recipe + Old Fashioned Cocktail

One of our favorite restaurants in a neighboring town (Chiara Bistro), makes their own homemade vanilla and fig infused bourbon. I order it whenever we go because there is nothing quite like it. It’s like sipping on an Old Fashioned without actually being an Old Fashioned. Give it an orange peel twist and bitters and you’ve got yourself a fig and vanilla Old Fashioned.

Fig and vanilla infused bourbon is darker and slightly more viscous than ‘naked’ bourbon. Over the two week infusing period, the figs will release natural sugars and render the bourbon a little thicker and sweeter, almost like a dessert bourbon. Spirit infusions are a little bit of work up front, but the options are endless in terms of the unique flavors you can mix up in cocktails.

This recipe is really simple. I used about a cup of dried Mission figs, cut into quarters, and two vanilla beans split down the middle (exposing the seeds and flavor). Take a whiff, it’s Heaven. Let everything steep in a sealed glass container with a fifth of your favorite bourbon for about two weeks for best results.

I tasted every few days to gauge where it was at. Strain using a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter into a new glass container. The bourbon should last several months if stored at room temp in a dark location.

The added fig and vanilla flavor is noticeable but certainly not overpowering. You can experiment by adding additional figs or an extra vanilla bean for bolder flavors.

One final tip, there is no need to use top-shelf bourbon for infusions, in fact I would stress against it. There are several solid brands that are perfect without breaking the bank. Elijah Craig, Makers, Bulleit, and Knob Creek to name a few.

Fig and Vanilla Infused Bourbon Recipe + Old Fashioned Cocktail

Fig and Vanilla Infused Bourbon Recipe

  • Author: Shawn
  • Total Time: 14 days
  • Yield: 750 ml 1x



Fig and vanilla infused bourbon

  • 1 cup dried mission figs, halved
  • 2 vanilla beans, split down middle
  • 750 ml (fifth) of bourbon

Fig and vanilla Old Fashioned

  • 2 ounces fig and vanilla infused bourbon
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup or 1 sugar cube with a splash of water (muddled)
  • 2 dashes black walnut bitters (Angostura bitters will do)
  • 1 orange peel
  • sliced dried fig garnish (optional)


Fig and vanilla infused bourbon

  1. Combine vanilla beans, figs, and bourbon in a glass jar or container with a tight lid.
  2. Let sit for 10-14 days for in a cool dark place.
  3. Strain with a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter into a clean glass container with lid. Enjoy.

Fig and vanilla Old Fashioned

  1. In a mixing glass, combine simple syrup, bitters, and infused bourbon. Fill mixing glass halfway with ice, then stir vigorously about a dozen times.
  2. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over a giant ice cube. Squeeze orange peel over glass to extract oils, wipe the rim of the glass with the peel and add to the glass.
  3. Garnish with a sliced dried fig.


Taste the infused bourbon at 10 days and see how you like the flavor, if you think it needs more time/flavor, steep for the full 14 days.

A coffee filter is best for straining otherwise you may end up with sediment or fine vanilla beans in the bottom of the bourbon.