The Cocktail Project’s recipe for an OldFashioned is simple—Maker’s Mark® Bourbon mixed with bitters, sugar and a splash of water makes for an equal parts sweet and smoky elixir. While it’s been a staple on bars across the country for hundreds of years, the OldFashioned’s aromatic undertones and citrus notes have earned it a seat at the dinner table. The classic drink pairs well with warming spices, gamey meats and dishes that have jammy fruit elements. Our Seared Duck in Fig Sauce brings all of these notes together, making it the ideal pairing for your next OldFashioned.
While duck is a leaner protein, it has a distinctively meaty flavor and a juicy amount of fat, especially when the skin is scored prior to cooking so it renders into salty, crackling delights. Maker’s Mark® bourbon holds up to the meaty goodness, while the sugar and bitters play well with hints of sweetness from the fig sauce.
If you’re using a citrus garnish, such as an orange peel, swipe the rim of the glass with it so that every sip has a bright, citrusy note that helps cut through the richness of the dish.
The Cocktail Project is a great resource for all of your food pairings, with hundreds of recipes curated by career bartenders.
Old Fashioned Recipe
- 1 1/2 parts Maker's Mark® Bourbon
- Splash Water
- 2 dashes Bitters
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Garnish: Orange Slice, Cherry
Muddled Old Fashioned:
Muddled Old Fashioned: Muddle sugar, bitters, orange, cherry and water in an Old Fashioned glass.
Remove the orange rind and fill glass ¾ full of ice.
Add Maker's Mark® Bourbon and stir.
Classic Old Fashioned:
Dissolve or muddle sugar with a splash of water in an Old Fashioned glass.
Fill glass ¾ full of ice. Add Maker's Mark® Bourbon and bitters and stir.
Garnish with orange slice and cherry.
Seared Duck with Fig Sauce Recipe
- 6 boneless White Pekin duck breast halves, skin scored*
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 scallion, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped oregano
- 1 teaspoon chopped sage
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Ground allspice
- 1 cup Zinfandel
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- One 2-inch strip of lemon zest
- 14 dried Mission figs, quartered
Arrange the duck breasts in a large baking dish, skin side up. In a bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons each of the olive oil and vinegar with the honey, scallion, oregano, sage, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of allspice. Pour the marinade over the duck breasts and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, turning after 2 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the wine, broth and onion with the remaining garlic, the sugar, zest, 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme and a pinch of allspice. Bring to a boil and add the figs. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover and simmer until the figs are just soft, about 25 minutes. Discard the zest.
Puree one-third of the fig mixture in a food processor, then return to the saucepan. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of thyme and 3 tablespoons of vinegar and season with salt; keep warm.
Remove the duck from the marinade; pat dry. Season lightly with salt. In each of 2 medium skillets, heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil. Add the duck to the skillets, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn, reduce the heat to moderate and cook until medium rare, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the duck on the diagonal and serve with the fig sauce
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