As a bartender, I‘m constantly on the lookout for interesting ingredients that can elevate a cocktail, and maple syrup is one that always delivers. Syrups are a bartender’s best friend, and they can often become more of a star than the spirits themselves.
I recently stumbled upon a great product from Nova Scotia called PURE Infused Maple Syrup. When I’m behind the bar, it’s easy for me to create my own infusions to add depth and flavour to my cocktails. But for hobby bartenders who may not have the time or resources, I strongly suggest using a pre-infused syrup like this one. Be sure to add an element of citrus, and bitters, to help balance the sweetness.
Here are a few of my favourite maple syrup-infused concoctions for you to whip up this long weekend.
1. Maple Sour
This is a variation on the classic Whiskey Sour. I prefer using rye because bourbon tends to be too sweet and can detract from the maple flavour. I also use pasteurized egg whites (which you can find from your local grocer) that are cage-free and safe to consume raw.
- 2 oz. Bulleit Rye
- 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 0.75 oz. PURE Infused Cinnamon, Clove & Nutmeg Maple Syrup
- 0.75 oz. Pasteurized Egg Whites
- 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
- Double strain with a hawthorne strainer, then a mesh strainer, to a pre-chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a pinch of ground cinnamon.
2. Canadian Collins
Another variation on a classic — the Tom Collins — this recipe incorporates local gin from Vancouver’s Long Table Distillery, as well as Pure Maple Syrup infused with chipotle and lemongrass to give it a sweet, spicy and savoury kick. The cocktail is rounded out with lime juice and bitters from Bittered Sling to balance (but not overpower) the flavours.
- 2 oz. Long Table Gin
- 1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
- 0.75 oz. PURE Infused Chipotle Lemongrass Maple Syrup
- 3 dashes Bittered Sling Moondog Bitters
- 2 oz. Soda
- Add all ingredients, except the soda, to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
- Strain over ice using a hawthorne strainer.
- Top with soda and garnish with lime peel.
3. The Chief Skugaid
Currently on my cocktail menu (and quickly becoming a favourite), the Chief Skugaid incorporates a homemade rum tincture using smoked tea. The cocktail takes its name from the infamous rum-running ship that took centre stage when Vancouver served as a rum-running hub during the United States’ prohibition era. Commissioned in 1912 and built in Coal Harbour, the Chief Skugaid is still afloat today and remains moored in Fort Langley, B.C. This cocktail is a toast to the longevity of “The Chief” and is sure to satisfy even the most weathered sailor.
- 2 oz. Diplomatico Reserva Rum
- 1 tsp PURE Infused Lavender & Chai Maple Syrup
- 3 dashes BC Forrestea Rum Tincture*
- Orange Zest
*Tealeaves BC Forestea Rum Tincture
- 4 tbsp Tealeaves BC Forestea Blend
- 8 oz. 151 Proof Rum
Combine all ingredients in a Mason jar. Let soak for 24 hours, strain tea from rum and bottle tincture.
- Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice, and stir for 20 seconds.
- Strain to an Old Fashioned glass over fresh ice.
- Garnish with fried pork rinds.