Maple Old Fashioned

It’s arguable that the Old Fashioned is the most classic of classic cocktails, and I like that argument. In its purest form, it’s made with a sugar cube, bitters and whiskey, a twist of orange peel over the top; somewhere in the depths of Prohibition, actual fruit got added to the mix, most likely to disguise bad booze. But I grew up eating the orange wheel and neon red cherries out of country club whiskey drinks, and sometimes, nostalgia is a more powerful player than elegance.

In this seasonally inspired version, maple syrup takes the place of the sugar that’s usually muddled with orange peel. Grade B syrup has a fuller, less refined maple flavor that really comes through here, and a heavy hand with the bitters adds spice and balance. Make the kids happy and get a big jar of cherries, with stems. That’s a whole conversation in itself.

January 30, 2018

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce pure maple syrup
  • 3-5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 orange wedges
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Sparkling water
  • Big ice cubes
  • Maraschino cherries

Preparation

Pour syrup into old-fashioned glass. Add bitters and juice from one orange wedge. Add remaining wedge and muddle well. (The citrusy oils from the orange peel make the drink.) Add bourbon and stir well. Add ice, top with a splash of sparkling water and stir again. Garnish with a cherry. Or two.

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce pure maple syrup
  • 3-5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 orange wedges
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Sparkling water
  • Big ice cubes
  • Maraschino cherries
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