Wednesday, December 20, 2023

How about a Maple Old Fashioned Cocktail?

Maple Old Fashioned Cocktail, it's a pretty drink but it's simple to make.

I want to start with an apology to all of my faithful followers.  I have been truly lacking in posting new recipes over the past few months.  My only excuse is that "sometimes life just catches up with you" and you have other things that have to be done, leaving little time for the things that I enjoy. 

My favorite way to make a maple old-fashioned cocktail--good quality bourbon and bitters, a hint of maple syrup, a generous twist of orange peel, and a couple of Luxardo cherries.

I learned years ago that using a teaspoon of sugar to make an old-fashioned cocktail is a real pain.  It doesn't mix well, and you always have to keep a supply of sugar on, under, or in your bar.  If you're like me that could be problematic as my bar tends to move around depending on the season.  It could be in my "bar".  It could be at the bar in my sunroom.  It could be on my patio.  Who knows, it's a very real possibility that I will take the ingredients with me to a friend's house. With that being said, I went to 1/4 ounce of simple syrup in place of the sugar, but for this recipe it is 1/4 ounce of maple syrup.  I use a bourbon barrel aged natural maple syrup. 

 I purchase my maple syrup out in Amish Country at Walnut Creek Cheese here in Ohio. The syrup is Lincoln County Reserve 100% pure artisan Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup, U.S. Grade A, Amber rich syrup.

You do not have to use bourbon barrel aged syrup in this cocktail.  You can use standard maple syrup, or if you choose, go for the Log Cabin at the grocery store...but I wouldn't recommend that choice.  When it comes to this classic cocktail, I would choose natural maple syrup all the time.  Since this old-fashioned cocktail is made with bourbon it is naturally sweet already.  It doesn't need to be loaded up with extra sugar.  I add just a hint of maple syrup to the cocktail.  The flavor of the maple syrup is much more interesting than plain old sugar.



 Whiskey: Bourbon or Rye are typically used for this type of cocktail.  I usually use Buffalo Trace but if you would prefer to use something "local", I recommend the bourbon from Gervasi Vineyards in Canton, Ohio.  Any good quality whiskey or bourbon will work with this cocktail, even a "less expensive" bourbon if you so choose.  I just prefer a better-quality bourbon.  If you want to use a Rye whisky, Angel's Envy has a very good Rye.

 Bitters-For my bitters, I typically use Peychaud's or Angostura bitters, for a little difference in flavor try using cherry or citrus bitters.  Again, I recommend that you purchase good quality bitters.  You can truly tell the difference between cheap and good quality bitters in your cocktails.

 Garnish--Always use a thick-skinned fresh orange when making your Old-Fashioned.  The more aromatic the orange is, the more flavor that will be imparted to the cocktail.  I usually purchase a nice navel orange that is on the "ripe" side as they typically have more "oil" in the rind.

The "cherry" for your old fashioned should always be a good quality cherry.  Take my word for it, once you use Luxardo cherries for your cocktails, you will never go back to the waxy maraschino cherries that you used to get on top of your ice cream sundaes.  These cherries are the best.  You may find that you need to hide them when you are planning on having guests over.  At over $12 per 14-ounce jar, you only want to share these with your really good friends. 

 How to make this maple-sweetened cocktail:

  1. Prep your orange peel.  Use a vegetable peeler  or knife to carefully cut a 2-3 inch-long piece of orange peel.  Run the pulp side of the peel around the rim of the cocktail glass.
  2. Add Bourbon, maple syrup and bitters.  Add two ounces of bourbon, 1/4 ounce of maple syrup, and a couple of dashes of bitters to a mixing glass.  Use a bar spoon to stir and combine.
  3. Ice.  Add some ice to the mixing glass and stir with the spoon again to mix and chill the drink.
  4. Cocktail Glass.  Add a large chunk of ice to the cocktail glass.  I typically use a single large cube of ice that is about 1.5"*1.5".  Pour cocktail from mixing glass to cocktail glass with a strainer.
  5. Garnish.  Give the orange peel a good twist over your cocktail to release its oils, then tuck into the drink.  Add a Luxardo cherry on top and serve immediately.




I hope that you enjoy this cocktail.  Please feel free to comment your thoughts when you make one for yourself.  I really don't think that you will be disappointed at all.  This cocktail warms you up on a cold winter evening.

Cheers to all of you.  Wishing Happy Holidays to all! 

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