This maple old fashioned is a classic cocktail with a light maple twist. This recipe comes from the historic Fedora in Manhattan.
Why it works
This takes the classic cocktail and gives it a little twist. The maple enhances the sweet complexity of the bourbon.
The combination of maple and bourbon creates a nutty and lightly caramel flavor to the drink that leaves you feeling deliciously warm.
The added cherry and orange add a light fruitiness that brightens the flavor profile.
What makes this particular old fashioned unique is the addition of pecan bitter which enhances the nuttiness from the maple and bourbon.
Pecan bitters can be difficult to source, so the recipe notes you can also use Angostura bitters as a substitute. I personally enjoy using cherry bitters to add to the fruitiness.
This recipe comes from The United States of Cocktails by Brian Bartels. It's from the now closed Fedora bar in Manhattan.
There are only a few ingredients needed to make a maple old fashioned.
- Bourbon - I recommend using a nice quality bourbon, but you don't have to spring for the top shelf stuff - in my opinion. The brands recommended are Four Roses, Makers Mark , Jim Beam, and Buffalo Trace.
- Cherry liqueur - They recommend Cherry Heering for this cocktail, but also note any cherry liqueur will work.
- Maple syrup - Make sure you are using real maple syrup, not the thick, super sweet stuff you put on your pancakes. I prefer amber maple syrup for a lightly complex taste.
- Bitters - The original recipe calls for Miracle Mile Toasted Pecan bitters, but you can substitute with Angostura. I found a wonderful cherry bitters so I used that instead and it is absolutely delightful! I think you could also use orange bitters with great success.
- Garnish - Traditionally, you should use cherry and/or orange to garnish your cocktail. I used both.
I used Luxardo cherries to garnish. They're on the pricier side, but are so much better than using maraschino cherries. If you are only using them for cocktails, they should last you for a bit (unless you're making cocktails for a crowd).
You can also use real, fresh cherries if they're in season. Frozen cherries may also work.
You can get fancy with your orange peel. I've seen some intricate twists and arrangements that are so much fun.
If you want to go an extra step, you can heat the orange peel to make a burnt orange garnish which adds more depth to the flavor profile of your maple old fashioned.
Maple Old Fashioned
- 2 ounces bourbon
- ¼ ounce cherry liqueur
- ¼ ounce maple syrup
- 3 dashes toasted pecan bitters
- Stir together the bourbon, cherry liqueur, and maple syrup with ice an a cocktail shaker until chilled.
- Strain into a chilled rocks glass with fresh ice.
- Top with the bitters.
- Add the cherries, and squeeze the orange peel to release its oils into the cocktail before placing it into the glass.
- Enjoy immediately.