It is maple sugaring season. If you who live in a part of the country where sap is collected from sugar maple trees to be made into precious, delicious maple syrup, you know what I am talking about. Last year I spent the month of March making green drinks. That was good and fun, and I do have some festive drinks planned for later this week in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. However, this year, I want to focus on maple syrup.
The good news is that there is no shortage of cocktail recipes using maple syrup, at all. At first I was going to limit my experiments to one weekend…but realized all too quickly that it could not be done. I am going a little out of order from what I posted on the Facebook page – but some of my other experiments will require a little adjusting before I write about them.
I was quite eager to try this drink, the Vermont 75. Over the summer, I had a good experience with the French 75 – this is a variation of that. The original recipe for the Vermont 75 can be found here. I decided to modify it ever so slightly.
Ingredients: ½ oz. maple syrup, ½ oz. lemon juice, 1 oz. gin, 3 oz. hard apple cider
Directions: Put maple syrup, lemon juice, and gin into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into your cocktail glass of choice (I used a martini glass). Top with hard apple cider.
For comparison’s sake, I will tell you that the French 75 is a mixture of lemon juice, simple syrup, gin, and champagne. The original recipe for the Vermont 75 cocktail uses honey syrup, which I decided to swap out for maple syrup.
This is a neat drink. There is a subtle sweetness from the cider and syrup that is nicely balanced by the gin and lemon juice. With only a half of an ounce of syrup, you won’t get much maple flavor. But, I would argue that real maple syrup doesn’t have that heavy maple flavor that the mass produced syrups have. For some of you, that may be a surprise and/or disappointment.
I found the alcohol content pretty light, so I eagerly enjoyed more than one of these drinks. Do be aware that the alcohol content of cider varies between brands and varieties…so yours may pack more of a punch. Hopefully the modest ingredient list will motivate you to try this one right away – cheers!