20 best Maple Syrup cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

Photography by Dan Malpass

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There's something comforting about flavoursome maple syrup and maple syrup tends to be paired with whiskey and often rum in Old Fashioned and Sour style cocktails. However, as the gin-based Old Vermont (below) proves, maple syrup's delicious richness can also work well combined with white spirits.

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Apple Jack Rabbit (Savoy)
With: Calvados, orange juice, lemon juice and maple syrup.
We say: Apple, orange and tart lemon enriched with maple syrup. Strike the perfect balance and this is a delicious combination.

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Benton's Old Fashioned
With: Bacon fat-washed bourbon, maple syrup, and aromatic bitters.
We say: Not particularly vegan-friendly but tasty, nonetheless.

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Brown Derby
With: Bourbon whiskey, pink grapefruit juice and maple syrup
We say: When made with honey this is a De Rigueur Cocktail, but maple syrup's 'tang' sits better with the bourbon and grapefruit combo.

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Cowboy Derby
With: Horse with no name whiskey, pink grapefruit juice and maple syrup
We say: Habanero-infused whiskey adds a touch of cowboy spirit to this riff on the classic 1930's Brown Derby, with maple syrup to balance grapefruit tart freshness.

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Dantes in Fernet
With: Glenfiddich 12 year Old Speyside single malt, fernet liqueur, blood orange juice, maple syrup and chocolate bitters
We say: Maple syrup acts as an inspired sweetener and flavour enhancer in this Blood and Sand-like cocktail while fernet has an almost smoky herbal influence.

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Drunken Helmsman
With: Overproof aged rum, amaro, falernum liqueur, lime juice and maple syrup
We say: A tad debauched but very tasty.

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Expense Account
With: Aged rum, black rum, calvados, Bénédictine D.O.M., maple syrup, absinthe, and orange bitters.
We say: Best described as being a suitable expensive Rum Old Fashioned.

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Four W Daiquiri
With: Gold rum, grapefruit juice, maple syrup and aromatic bitters.
We say: The oomph of rum, the sourness of grapefruit and the richness of maple syrup, all aromatised by bitters.

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Japanese Maple
With: Japanese blended whisky, lemon juice, maple syrup and egg white.
We say: This excellent Japanese whisky-based sour is balanced with maple syrup.

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Maple Leaf
With: Bourbon Whiskey, lemon juice and maple syrup.
We say: The trio combines wonderfully, with the maple syrup in a supporting role.

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Maple Old Fashioned
With: Bourbon Whiskey, maple syrup and orange bitters
We say: A spirit-forward sipper that's rich and easy with bourbon mellowed and sweetened by maple syrup.

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Maple Rum Old-Fashioned
With: Aged rum, maple syrup and aromatic bitters.
We say: Well-aged rum mellowed and sweetened by maple syrup. A spirit-forward sipper that's rich and easy.

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Mountain Man Cocktail
With: Bourbon, crème de pêche, lemon juice, maple syrup, ginger syrup, and egg white.
We say: A peachy Whiskey Sour with a mild ginger kick.

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Mule's Hind Leg
With: Gin, calvados, Bénédictine D.O.M, apricot brandy, and maple syrup.
We say: Gin and apple brandy enriched with apricot and liqueurs along with maple syrup.

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Old Vermont
With: Dry gin, orange juice, lemon juice, maple syrup and aromatic bitters.
We say: Unusually, maple syrup sits with gin in this sour from yesteryear. It sits surprisingly well.

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Port Old Fashioned
With: Bourbon, tawny port, maple syrup, and Abbotts bitters
We say: Whiskey and maple syrup somewhat overwhelm the headline port wine but it does add underlying fruitiness.

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Smoky Whisky Sour
With: Islay single malt, blended Scotch, lemon juice, maple syrup, aromatic bitters, and egg white.
We say: Islay single malt and maple syrup add a distinctive smoky character to this otherwise classic Scotch whisky sour.

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Thyme Will Tell Sour
With: Fresh thyme, bourbon, maple syrup and lemon juice.
We say: Thyme and maple syrup add extra interest to a Whiskey Sour.

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Toronto Cocktail
With: Canadian whisky, fernet liqueur, maple syrup, and aromatic bitters.
We say: Originally sweetened with sugar syrup but maple syrup is more flavoursome and appropriate.

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Tootsie Roll
With: Aged rum, maple syrup and chocolate bitters.
We say: A maple rum old fashioned served straight-up with chocolate bitters, and it does indeed taste reminiscent of Tootsie Roll chews.

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