Hot Maple Buttered Rum, which may just be the perfect winter cocktail.
Photo Credit : Katherine Keenan
Maple syrup may be New England’s most beloved condiment. And for good reason: What doesn’t benefit from the addition of this amber nectar?
It’s excellent in salty-sweet popcorn, it adds great flavor to classic baked beans, and, of course, it was practically made to be drizzled onto blueberry pancakes. (Plus, many claim that maple syrup even has health benefits.)
But are you the kind of person whose love for maple syrup is so strong you could almost drink the stuff with a straw? If so, these four maple syrup cocktail recipes will let you satisfy your sweet tooth without going quite that far.
Maple Syrup Cocktail Recipes
These maple cocktail recipes all call for the real deal: New England maple syrup. I opted for the good old-fashioned stuff instead of niche spirits to make the recipes “home bar–friendly” — but if you’d like to amp things up, feel free to substitute maple-flavored liquors as you see fit.
For the person who loves a classic.
Whiskey and maple syrup are a match made in heaven. This classic cocktail gets kicked up a notch by substituting maple syrup for simple syrup.
Maple Old-Fashioned Ingredients
1 orange (to peel for garnish)
2 ounces rye whiskey or bourbon
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
Dash of Angostura bitters
Maple Old-Fashioned Instructions
Using a vegetable peeler or knife, carefully cut a 2- or 3-inch-long strip of peel from the orange. Run the cut side of the peel around the rim of a rocks glass. Set aside.
In another glass or a cocktail shaker, add the whiskey, maple syrup, and bitters. Stir or shake to combine.
Fill the rocks glass with ice (preferably one large cube, to avoid watering down the cocktail). Gently pour the cocktail over the ice. Twist the orange peel lightly to help release the oils, then place it in the glass as a garnish.
Maple White Russian
For the person who puts six packets of sugar in their morning coffee.
Inspired by the classic White Russian (vodka, coffee liqueur, cream), this creamy cocktail is kind of like drinking a vanilla latte while eating pancakes with syrup … if that’s your thing. Serve it for dessert or drink it with brunch; we won’t tell either way.
Maple White Russian Ingredients
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces coffee liqueur (like Kahlua)
2 ounces milk or light cream
1 ounce maple syrup
Grated chocolate or cocoa powder, for garnish
Maple White Russian Instructions
Combine vodka, coffee liqueur, cream, and maple syrup in a cocktail shaker or glass. Stir or shake to combine. Pour over a medium glass filled with ice. Garnish with grated chocolate or a very light dusting of cocoa powder.
Maple Whiskey Sour
For the person who knows a thing or two about mixology.
This particular cocktail came highly recommended by Yankee associate editor Joe Bills as one of his favorites. Still, whiskey sours intimidated me for a long time due to their requisite raw egg whites. Joe makes this cocktail at home sans egg white — and you can, too — but don’t be afraid to try it the traditional way. I’ve since found out that egg whites play a valuable role by aerating the other liquids, lending a delightful creaminess that has even me considering their addition.
Maple Whiskey Sour Ingredients
2 ounces whiskey
1 egg white (optional)
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 ounce maple syrup
2–3 dashes Angostura bitters (optional)
Fresh sage, for garnish (optional)
Fresh lemon peel, for garnish (optional)
Maple Whiskey Sour Instructions
Combine whiskey, egg white, lemon juice, maple syrup, and bitters in a cocktail shaker or glass. Fill with ice and shake or stir vigorously for approximately 20 seconds. Pour through a strainer into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with sage and a bit of fresh lemon peel.
Hot Maple Buttered Rum
For the person whose hands are always a little bit cold.
The serving temperature of this beverage combined with its spices and liquor means that it’s fiery in more ways than one. Using a technique called “fat washing” makes for a buttered rum with all the creaminess but none of the greasiness, and it’s simple enough to do at home. The other fantastic thing about this cocktail is that the spiced mixer can be made ahead of time, yielding an easy yet impressive drink to serve to guests. And have no fear, my fellow rum skeptics: This drink is traditionally made with rum, but bourbon is a delightful substitute.
Hot Maple Buttered Rum Ingredients
1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter
2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
15 whole allspice berries
1 star anise pod
15 whole cloves
½ tsp powdered ginger
3 cups water (for extra flavor, use a brewed spiced tea, like chai or cinnamon)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Rum or bourbon (2 oz. per serving)
Hot Maple Buttered Rum Instructions
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon, allspice, star anise, cloves, and ginger and cook for two minutes. Pour in the water or tea and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
To perform the “fat washing,” refrigerate the saucepan overnight or until the butter solidifies on top. Use a spoon to skim the butter off the top of the liquid. (Pro tip: Don’t throw this butter out — it makes a flavorful topper for pancakes or toast!)
After skimming off the butter, return the saucepan to the stove and heat until the spice mixture is steaming. Pour 2 oz. rum (or bourbon) into a mug. Measure out 1/3 cup of the spice mixture and add it to the mug. Stir to combine.
Do you have a favorite cocktail or drink recipe that involves maple syrup? Tell us about it in the comments below!
This post was first published in 2020 and has been updated.