- In a mixing glass, add ice, bourbon, maple syrup, and both bitters.
- Stir rapidly to chill.
- Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice or king cube.
- Garnish with orange peel.
Variations and Substitutions
An old-fashioned isn't a delicate drink, you can play around with ingredients if you don't have some on hand or you don't prefer some flavors.
- Consider using rye whiskey to cut through the sweetness of the maple syrup.
- Maple simple syrup can be easier for mixing.
- A maple bourbon would add an even bigger maple flavor.
- Play around with different bitters flavors, including smoked or black walnut to dress up the drink.
- A splash of spiced bourbon or allspice dram would emphasize the maple flavors.
Fall drinks mean a wide world of fun garnishes. Think over the idea of straying from the traditional garnish in favor of something unique.
- Try out a candied orange peel.
- Change up the look using a piece dehydrated fruit, including oranges, lemons, or limes.
- Charring a cinnamon stick for a flavor boost.
- Drop-in a maple candy.
- Spear one or three Luxardo cherries.
About the Maple Old-Fashioned
The old-fashioned has transformed over the years, from the first recipe used to the modern-day beloved old-fashioned. After first appearing in the 1800s as nothing more than a spirit, sometimes bourbon or occasionally brandy, with bitters, a splash of water, and sugar, either coarse or as a cube, it never left the cocktail scene. Soon after its inception, bars began to change the recipe as they saw fit, some adding orange liqueur, with varying proportions between bartenders. No one recipe was king.
Garnishes began to burst onto the old-fashioned scene in the early 1900s, usually an orange slice and cherry, or both together. But still, each bar made it differently. The same could be said of the maple old-fashioned. There's no one recipe for which to follow. Some may use just maple bourbon with no other changes, others maple syrup instead of simple syrup, while other places use maple bitters to impart that sweet fall flavor.
A Sweet Choice to Fall For
The maple old-fashioned, like the classic old-fashioned, has moxie. Its flexibility in approach means that few cocktails will ever taste the same, but it also imparts an incredible level of control over the flavor, profile, and experience of every maple old-fashioned. Perhaps the most forgiving of them all, it's a great way to enjoy that forgotten fall flavor.