If you’re looking for some fall flavors to work their way into your glass, you need to reach for a secret ingredient: maple syrup.
Yep – it’s not just for your waffles anymore. The vicious liquid can be used as a sweetening agent for your libations, easily replacing similar ingredients like agave nectar or simple syrup. But don’t go pouring the syrup into your margarita – you’ll want to make a drink that really lets the fall flavors shine.
Check out a few suggestions below:
The Bourbon and Maple
A good rule of thumb when making maple syrup cocktails is to color match – the brown ingredient goes best with brown spirits. Keep things simple with a Bourbon and Maple, which is two ounces of your favorite bourbon mixed with one ounce lemon juice and a half ounce of syrup. Mix it all up in a cocktail shaker, pour it into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon wedge. Just note this drink is on the boozy side, so you’ll want to sip slowly.
Maple Old Fashioned
If you like your cocktails on the rocks, you can channel your inner Don Draper and mix up a maple old fashioned. It’s a traditional old fashioned (2-3 ounces of bourbon in a glass with muddled fruit) with a squeeze of syrup for flavor – totally simple and totally tasty. If you want to keep with the fall theme, you can chop up some apples and put them into the muddled mix before adding the bourbon.
A Syrup Spritzer
For something lighter, use Champagne as your base and mix up one of these syrup spritzers. There are few ways to do this. If you want to go really light, just drop a few dabs of syrup into your glass and you’ll have a sweet drink that’s good for brunch (just make sure to stir it up so it doesn’t coagulate at the base of your glass). If you like a little citrus with your bubbles, add the syrup and then throw in a few drops of lemon juice and garnish with a peel. It’s like a syrup-spiked mimosa – is there anything better to pair with a stack of fluffy pancakes? Didn’t think so.
Maple Hot Toddy
When it gets chilly out, there’s nothing like a hot toddy to warm you up. Some recipes call for honey, but maple syrup can easily be used in its place. Here’s a simple recipe for a brandy-based toddy. When it calls for a tablespoon of honey, use the syrup instead for an extra fall kick.
Artisanal Apple Martini
Rule number one when making an apple martini? Do not reach for that electric green bottle with the pre-made mix. It’s way too sweet and have you ever seen an apple let off such an eerie neon glow? Instead, use the real stuff. Mix two ounces of vodka with one ounce of apple brandy and one ounce of your favorite apple cider. The juice will already be a little sweet – so you can add maple syrup to taste – probably a little less than half an ounce will do the trick. Mix it in a shaker, pour into a martini glass and garnish with an apple wedge – it’s the adult version of a trip to the orchard.