The dark color of maple syrup goes so well with whiskies as they are darker spirits, and a barrel-aged syrup lends color and notes of the barrel to any cocktail. I love a great Black Manhattan, and in this case, with the maple and Foro amaro, I felt like the licorice taste of Herbsaint added some floral notes to the heavier chocolate and coffee overtones from the amaro. Together, you get a cocktail that sits between a Sazerac (which originated in New Orleans) and a Black Manhattan. So I decided to call it Midnight on the Bayou as a reference to both. What I love about this one is that you get the licorice up front on the start of the sip, but after a sip or two, the chocolate and coffee notes from the amaro start to shine through and really make it a well-rounded cocktail.
Midnight on the Bayou
0.25 oz Watson’s maple syrup
2 oz Rye whiskey
0.75 oz Foro Amaro
0.25 oz Herbsaint (a licorice-flavored liqueur)
Garnish: star anise and/or candied ginger
Add cocktail ingredients to a mixing glass, add ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass and garnish with the star anise and candied ginger.
I was never a fan of pears until I had a lemon pear tart. The combination of the earthy sweetness of pears and the tart lemon was a winner, and once I added a little drizzle of maple syrup, it tasted like heaven. I wanted to recreate those flavors within a cocktail and nailed it. I used a lovely pear brandy which had tons of floral notes and added the @watsonsbarrelagedsyrup Watson’s maple syrup to it along with lemon juice and some bourbon. I added an egg white for a lovely foam on top, but you can omit that if you like. It softens the flavors and melds everything together to recreate that taste of a bite of lemon pear tart.
The Brillet pear brandy makes the cocktail very floral, not as much as a gin cocktail, but you definitely get good bit of floral aftertaste with each sip. If you're not a fan of floral cocktails, you might use a less floral brandy or liqueur, but still, the pear flavor is a wonderful match with the maple and bourbon.
Maple Pear Sour
0.5 oz pear liqueur or brandy - I used Brillet
0.5 oz Watson’s maple syrup @watsonsbarrelagedsyrup
1 oz lemon juice
1.5 oz bourbon - I used New Riff Bourbon
1 egg white or 0.75 oz aquafaba
5 drops sassafras and sorghum bitters
Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake, shake and shake some more. Double strain into a chilled couple or martini glass and garnish with a few drops of bitters on the top. Use a garnish skewer to make a design with the drops. Enjoy!
There’s something magical about digging into a freshly baked cherry pie, and one that has a bit of bourbon in it is even better. I wanted to use the bourbon base-notes of the maple syrup with a fruit that wouldn’t overpower it and would marry well together as you sipped it. I found the perfect match in cherry liqueur and Watson’s Bourbon Barrel aged Maple syrup. Finished with a quality cherry garnish, some black walnut bitters and maybe a spiced pecan, you’ve got a cocktail in your hand that’s sweet, but not overpowering, and lets all the elements shine while you sip it.
Cherry Pie Old Fashioned
2 ounces bourbon
0.25 oz Watson’s maple syrup
0.25 oz cherry liqueur
2 dashes black walnut bitters
Garnish: spiced pecans and cherries
Add cocktail ingredients to mixing glass, add ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into an old fashioned glass with ice and garnish with cherries and pecan (if desired). Cheers!
Heather Wibbels is a whiskey enthusiast (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching cocktails, making cocktails and drinking cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location. For more information about her favorite whiskey group, head over to Bourbon Women and join the women's whiskey revolution!