Side Dish: Fig-flavored drink something different for the Derby _lowres

Photo by CHERAMIE SONNIER -- The Louisville Fig

Mention the Kentucky Derby and most folks think of mint juleps, traditionally served at the running of the famous horse race, or maybe Champagne for toasting the winner.

But, for the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby Saturday, I might mix up a fig-flavored drink concocted for me about 1½ years ago by a bartender at the Lobby Bar in The Brown Hotel, located in downtown Louisville.

After attending a conference in Memphis, Tennessee, I had traveled on to Kentucky to take in the state’s bourbon trail and the Bluegrass area. While having dinner, I got into a conversation with my server about a fig-flavored mixed drink I had enjoyed at The Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.

She was convinced Forrest Williams, who was working behind The Brown’s bar at the time, could make a fig-flavored mixed drink equally as good. She was right.

His drink, The Louisville Fig, is a delicious option for Derby Day celebrations.

It would be a good choice, too, for toasting Mom Sunday on Mother’s Day.

Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at, and follow her on Twitter, @Cheramie Sonnier.