Food & Drink

French Julep

Cognac and fig preserves put a tasty twist on the classic Derby-season cocktail

Photo: Kelly Puleio

“Cognac always reminds me a bit of malt and honey, and figs have a complementary, slightly nutty profile,” writes Maggie Hoffman in her new book, The One Bottle Cocktail. ” David Perez of Nancy in Miami puts them together in this smooth operator, which is shaken with mint leaves so each sip finishes bright and clean. If you don’t have julep cups, no sweat; rocks glasses work fine, too, as long as they are piled high with crushed ice. While bourbon is a little too sweet here, this drink is quite tasty with rye or Scotch instead of the brandy.”


    • 2 ounces Cognac

    • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

    • 1/2 ounce honey syrup

    • 1 teaspoon fig preserves

    • 8 fresh mint leaves

    • Mint sprig, to garnish


  1. Combine Cognac, lemon juice, honey syrup, fig preserves, and mint in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until well chilled, about 20 seconds. Fill a julep cup with crushed ice and double-strain cocktail into it. Garnish with mint sprig and a straw.

  2. Honey Syrup

    Mix two parts (say, 1 ounce) honey with one part (½ ounce) hot water and stir until dissolved.

Reprinted with permission from The One-Bottle Cocktail: More than 80 Recipes with Fresh Ingredients and a Single Spirit by Maggie Hoffman, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.