Fig and Vanilla Vodka

by Maggie Battista on December 19, 2011

in All Recipes, Drinks, Food Gifts, Fruit

I’m no stranger to infused booze. In fact, during a month when I’ve spent every free moment (quite happily) packing holiday gift boxes and planning our winter tasting programs, you could say that infused booze and I are best friends forever.

My cocktail of choice these days is either straight Champagne or little more than anything strong served ice cold in a neat glass. Fruity mixed drinks that please me all summer are basically no match for the colder months. Give me Washington cherry-infused bourbon, rhubarb flavored vodka or this very simple recipe for organic American vodka colored by fresh figs and vanilla. It’s straight alcohol, all the time.

A couple week’s back, Heidi visited to continue our sparkling cocktail planning adventures. You should really be a fly on the way during those photo shoots, just to mock us for falling in love with our on the spot creations. After five or twenty sips, each recipe is better than the last. This was the last recipe we shot and I almost made it as an afterthought, just to fill up some extra film, but we both kinda love these photos.

I’m giving these jars out to friends this month and getting them involved in the action. All they have to do is strain out the figs and vanilla bean and sit a pretty bottle of flavored happiness on the kitchen shelf. Tied with some twine and a handmade label, celebrating the season was never quiet so simple.

Happy *almost* Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s!

Fig and Vanilla Vodka

Recipe adapted from Sweet Paul’s Holiday Issue


  • 1 liter jar
  • 1 liter good organic vodka
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) of fresh or dried figs
  • 1 vanilla bean


  1. Clean and sterilize a 1 liter glass jar.
  2. Clean and slice figs. If using fresh figs, slice into quarters. If using dried figs, slice in half. Place in the jar.
  3. Sliced a vanilla bean pod in half, exposing all the pretty beans. Place it into the jar with the figs.
  4. Poor vodka over the figs and vanilla bean. Seal and let sit for one week.
  5. Strain and serve chilled just as it is or, ideally, in your own pretty cocktail creation.

All photos styled by Maggie Battista and Heidi Murphy and photographed by Heidi Murphy/White Loft Style.

Eat Boutique is an online magazine + market for food enthusiasts to celebrate the best pure, local + comforting handmade foods. We call it: food that hugs you back. Looking for the perfect gift? Eat Boutique sells gift boxes filled with handmade sweet and savory treats. Send a gift box of handmade food today.

Maggie Battista

Founder at Eat Boutique
Maggie, is the founder of Eat Boutique. She started Eat Boutique as a blog in 2007, and sold out of her first gift box of small batch independent food in 2009. Maggie continues to offer unique and delicious handmade food in tasting subscriptions and seasonal gift boxes for food fans and home cooks. Maggie also hosts Eat Boutique Markets, where she spotlights cookbook authors and food makers. She’s written for Style Me Pretty, Food52, Time Out New York, Spencer Magazine, and writes a cocktail column for the popular wedding blog, Snippet & Ink. Maggie's also created retail experiences for the largest floral and event design company in New England. She regularly travels far distances to find the next great chef, farmer, food maker or host. You can follow her worldwide – and homemade – gastronomic adventures on Twitter at @mizmaggieb or @eatboutique. Maggie's first-ever cookbook Food Gift Love will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2015. You may pre-order now.

  • Jen

    battista- GORGEOUS.

  • Maggie

    aww, Jen. thank you! wish I was at your place, munching on cookies, drinking some of this stuff straight and chilled. oh and with cheese.

  • Christine Davis

    Maggie, I’m such a newbie about jarring and canning. I see you sterilize the jar first… is that essential? Where do you store the jar after opening it and straining out the figs and vanilla bean: in the fridge?

    • Maggie

      Hello Christine!! If you ask a pro, they’ll say sterilizing is important. You can sterilize any jar and its lid by boiling it in a big pot for 10-15 minutes. I am not a pro and I have used just sink clean jars all the time for vodka based infusions and, honestly, I’ve never had an issue in the 5-7 years I’ve been doing it. Vodka is a highly potent and really kills any bacteria that would form. I have vodka infusions I’ve kept around for years with no issue at all. I hope that helps! :) Let me know how it turns out. Mine developed a pretty red hue. Happy holidays!!

  • A Plum By Any Other Name

    Maggie!  Another gorgeous boozy infusion.  Keep ’em comin’.  All winter long. 

    • Maggie

      I can always count on you, Emily, to appreciate the cocktail. Merci!! There’s more to come, promise.

  • Lora

    This sounds positively lush -ous! It makes such a gorgeous gift too.

    • Maggie


  • Meg

    YES PLEASE. Oh my goodness. This is amazing. I love your site. AH!

    • Maggie

      Ahh, thank you, Meg! I love that you’re in Paris… I’ll be back very soon. :)

  • Thetomatosnob

    I’m just obsessed with figs, not to mention vanilla and vodka is my choice booze to boot. Will definitely be trying this! Love your concept BTW. 

    • Maggie

      Aww, thank you! It’s very such a good little gift. I have 2 bottles on my shelf right now and when it’s ice cold, it’s delicious. Thanks for commenting!

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  • imhannahpoppy

    how far in advance should you make this? im thinking about making it for my dad for his birthday… any help?

    • Maggie

      This was actually great within about a week. I also kept a batch much longer and it was more caramel-like. Hope this helps! xox, Maggie

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  • VR

    Thanks for inspiring me to start making my own infused “items”.

    • Maggie

      Thank you for letting us know we helped a little! Have a nice weekend. xox

  • lboyle

    Can you use the figs after removing them? Maybe w/ vanilla ice cream?

    • Maggie

      You can certainly try but I found them to be very alcohol heavy – not sweet at all. All their good flavor was left in the vodka :)

  • Trudy Hill

    After straining out vodka, can figs be eaten?

    • Maggie

      I find them to be very alcohol heavy – not sweet at all. All their good flavor was left in the vodka :)

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