Add this underrated fall flavor into your cocktail repertoire
During fall, menus boast pumpkin spice and apple flavoring galore. Those are the popular, staple ingredients of autumn. But when the weather turns colder, maple is another warm, comforting and familiar taste that we tend to overlook. Maple syrups pair excellently with bourbons and rums or other cinnamon-based alcohols. Replacing any simple syrup with maple syrup will result in a richer, earthier flavor. Using pure, natural maple syrup will give a more intense flavor than processed, manufactured brands. Below are seven maple-based cocktails to try this weekend.
Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour
1 ½ oz. bourbon
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 to 4 teaspoons maple syrup, to taste
Pinch of ground cinnamon, optional
Fill a cocktail shaker about two-thirds of the way with ice. Pour in bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Shake well. Pour fresh ice into your cocktail glass and strain the cold whiskey sour mixture into the glass.
Cranberry Maple Bourbon Cocktail
4 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. maple syrup
2 oz. bourbon
1/2 to 3/4 oz. orange liqueur
Orange slices for garnish
12 oz. sugared cranberries for garnish
With the perfect balance of sweet and tart, you’ll be serving this cocktail all holiday season. To make this drink, first make the sugared cranberries ahead of time by combining ½ cup of water and ½ cup of sugar in a saucepan. Heat for three to four minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Stir in cranberries until they are well-coated in syrup. Let them soak for 30 minutes and then dry them for an hour. Roll the cranberries in remaining sugar until they are well-coated and let dry again.
For the cocktail, add ice, cranberry juice, maple syrup, bourbon and orange liqueur to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange slice and a skewer of sugared cranberries before serving.
Spiced Maple Manhattan
2 oz. rye whiskey
1/2 oz. sweet red vermouth
1/4 oz. maple syrup infused with vanilla, cinnamon and anise
2 dashes orange bitters
Maraschino cherries, for ganish
The traditional mulling spices in this cocktail lend to a classic autumn vibe. This is also a very quick and easy recipe. In a mixing glass, stir the bourbon, vermouth, maple syrup and bitters with ice. Strain into a lowball glass and garnish with a cherry.
Maple Honeycrisp Margaritas
1 1/2 oz. gold tequila
1 oz. orange liqueur
2 oz. honeycrisp syrup
1 oz. apple cider
1 oz. maple simple syrup
1 honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
You can’t celebrate the season more than with maple apple margaritas. This one requires a bit of preparation with homemade simple syrups, but the flavor payoff makes it all worth it. Make the syrups ahead of time to make prep a little easier. For the maple simple syrup, combine ¾ cup of syrup and ⅔ cup of water in a saucepan over medium low heat and bring to a simmer, whisking to combine. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool completely. Store in the fridge in a sealed container.
For the honeycrisp apple syrup, place two honeycrisp apples, peeled and sliced, and ¼ cup water in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook until mixture is simmering and the apple is tender and begins to break down. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth and blended. Strain into a measuring cup. The amount of apple juice you have is how much sugar you need. If you have 1/2 cup, use 1/2 cup sugar; they should be equal parts. Place both the apple juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is simmering. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.
Coat the rim of each glass in maple syrup. On a plate, stir together sugar, cardamom and cinnamon. Dip each glass in sugar to coat. Fill a cocktail shaker with the tequila, orange liqueur, apple cider, simple syrup and ice and shake until combined. Fill a glass with crushed ice and honeycrisp slices and pour the margarita over top.
Fig Maple Bourbon
1 fresh fig, halved
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
Fresh lemon juice
Few dashes of vanilla coconut maple bitters, or angostura bitters
1 1/2 oz. fig-infused bourbon
First, prepare the fig-infused bourbon by letting sliced fresh figs soak in bourbon, covered, for five to seven days. Stir once a day, uncover, strain and store in a cool, dry place. For the rest of the cocktail, add halved figs into an old fashioned glass. Add maple syrup, small squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a couple dashes of bitters. Muddle ingredients until well incorporated. Fill glass with ice, pour in fig-infused bourbon and then top with ginger beer. Give a quick stir and enjoy!
Cold Brew Bourbon Cocktail
1 oz. heavy cream
1 1/4 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. triple sec
2 1/2 oz. strong cold brew coffee
1/2 oz. maple syrup
Orange peel for garnish
This is the perfect drink for any coffee lover with a sweet tooth. It’s also incredibly easy to put together. Just combine coffee, bourbon, triple sec and maple syrup with ice in a shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass over ice. Top with cream and add an orange peel for garnish. This drink has a rich, creamy flavor and can even be made warm for an extra layer of coziness.
Pear and Bourbon Smash
1 very ripe pear
3 oz. bourbon
1 oz. maple syrup
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Slice the pear in half, removing the seeds and stem. In a medium bowl, mash pear into small pieces with a fork. Strain pear juice into a separate bowl. Once you have the pear juice, add the rest of the ingredients into a glass over ice and stir vigorously to mix. Fill two glasses with more ice and divide the drink between them. Garnish with cinnamon and a slice of pear.
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