As someone who grew up in New England, it’s still a little hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that some of you people willingly put Aunt Jemima or Log Cabin on your pancakes, instead of the real deal. Real maple syrup and not maple-flavored syrup, is one of the most delicious condiments on the planet. Plus, it makes a darn good cocktail mixer.
Here are some of my favorite ways to use maple syrup in a drink.
1. Substitute simple syrup with maple syrup
One cocktail that this works great in is the Toronto Cocktail, which consists of Canadian whiskey, Fernet Branca, and simple syrup over crushed ice. Maple syrup can be a little overpowering, so you might want to use a little less than the amount of simple syrup called for in the recipe.
2. Swap white sugar for maple sugar
Any cocktail that calls for white sugar (a Mojito or an Old Fashioned, for example) can be made with maple sugar instead.
3. Make maple rock candy swizzle sticks
Any gift shop in New Hampshire or Vermont will have some maple rock candy on a stick by the cash registers. These candy sticks make a cute garnish, while adding a hint of sweetness.
4. Make maple candy tuiles
These are super simple to make. Just follow the recipe for maple lollipops, but instead of pouring the mixture onto sticks, create a swirly, lace pattern. Once the mixture sets, you can place these tuiles on the edge of a cocktail glass.
5. Get boozy with sno-cones
Every New Englander loves a good “sugar on snow” party. We take warm maple syrup and pour it over fresh snow, like a sno-cone. You can blend maple syrup with bourbon or rye, then pour it over shaved ice or snow.
A note on picking syrup…
You might assume that Grade A maple syrup is the best, but many people actually prefer the more intense flavor of Grade B. The grading system is less a measure of quality, and more a way of marking intensity of flavor. If you can’t get out to a sugaring house to get a small batch of syrup, retail brands I like include Brown Family Farm, Highland Sugarworks, and Maple Grove Farms.
If you’d like to learn more about how maple syrup is made (it’s really quite interesting!) then watch this How It’s Made video on YouTube.
What’s your favorite maple syrup and how do you use it?
Featured photo sourced from simplyscratch.com