The Maple Whiskey Sour puts a fall twist on the classic sour cocktail. With cozy, warm notes of maple syrup and cinnamon, this fall cocktail recipe is a must-make!
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Maple Whiskey Sour
A rich sip of this bourbon sour embraces the flavors of fall without succumbing to the lure of pumpkin spice everything. With maple syrup instead of traditional simple syrup, it’s ripe for batching for Halloween parties and Thanksgiving gatherings.
The base we build this fabulous drink on is, of course, a sour. But, not just any old version – the maple whiskey sour is a twist on a Boston whiskey sour.
Whiskey sour cocktails, in their most basic form, have only three ingredients – the alcohol, a citrus element and sugar elements.
The primary ratio for them is 2 whiskey: 1 sour: 1 sweet, but when I create my whiskey cocktails, I prefer to use a little less of the sour and sweet elements. This way, the bourbon doesn’t have to punch through so many flavors to be recognizable.
Whiskey sours were originally created to keep sailors from developing scurvy on long sea voyages. The citrus juice was added to the rum ration for British soldiers along with a touch of sugar to sweeten it up.
For a more exhaustive history and LOTS of background on the drink, head to How to Make a Classic Whiskey Sour.
Maple Whiskey Cocktail Ingredients
Many people enjoy a maple whiskey sour with egg whites because they add a beautiful head of foam to the top of the glass.
However, there are people who have concerns about consuming raw eggs. No worries; making sours without eggs is fabulous.
However, the whites add a beautiful head of foam onto the top of the coupe.
To add a more colorful flavor palate for this maple whiskey sour recipe, I use a two kinds of syrup, and some cinnamon bitters to balance out the kick of sweetness.
- Whiskey or Bourbon – For bourbons, I suggest something a little oaky and with some more earthy notes in it. like tobacco and leather.
For a sweeter drink, look for a mid-proof wheated bourbon with flavors of toast, caramel and a hint of the grains from the mash. It should push the flavors a little closer to a stack of pancakes dusted with cinnamon sugar and topped with maple syrup.
I’ve made versions of a maple whiskey sour using Wild Turkey, Makers 46, and Jim Beam Black. The recipe works well using any of them.
- Citrus Juice – fresh squeezed lemon juice is a must for any decent sour cocktail.
- Maple Syrup – use barrel-aged if you can find it. If not, use a premium tapped, Grade A maple syrup, because the maple syrup you choose for this cocktail matters. No offense, Mrs. Butterworth, but you’re just simple syrup in disguise.
If you don’t have maple syrup on hand, use granulated or brown sugar to make a simple syrup. For both, adding 1 cup of sugar or brown sugar to one cup of hot water will get you a delicious syrup to use for making this sour.
- Egg Whites – To avoid raw eggs, consider substituting them with aquafaba. It’s a vegan egg substitute made using chickpea brine, and it creates beautiful foam. Homemade aquafaba is simple to make, too!
- Cinnamon Bitters – I added cinnamon bitters to bring out the cinnamon syrup flavors, but angostura, tiki bitters, ginger bitters or winter spice bitters would make delicious additions.
How to Make a Maple Bourbon Sour
This is a shaken cocktail (due to the citrus juice). Here’s how to make your beautiful mixed drink:
NOTE: If you’ll be making a maple whiskey sour with eggs (like I did), see specific instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Rim and chill your glassware.
Dip the rim of your glassware in a small bit of maple syrup, and then into cinnamon sugar. It adds a perfectly sweet touch to a bourbon sour!
Put your coupe glass in the freezer to chill, or fill with ice so it can get cold.
Add all of the maple whiskey sour ingredients to the cocktail shaker. Fill the container with ice and shake for 10-12 seconds.
- Discard the ice from your glass or pull it out of the freezer.
Pop a strainer on the top of the cocktail shaker, and strain your bourbon sour into the prepared cocktail glass.
- Garnish with candied ginger, a cinnamon stick, star anise, or a simple lemon wheel.
If you want a fancier drink, check out my tips on making ice shine in bourbon cocktails.
If you’re not a fan of maple, make a honey syrup. A honey syrup has 1 part hot water added to 2 parts honey (or split the ratio to equal parts if you enjoy a more diffuse honey flavor.)
And, if you’d rather have some orange and spice-flavored syrup, try this flavored simple syrup for an old fashioned. It is delicious!
Variations on a Maple Whiskey Sour
Here are some of my favorite twists on this fall cocktail recipe:
- Use brandy. Split the bourbon with a quality apple brandy to add apple into the flavor palate of the drink.
- Make it sassy! Use sassafras and sorghum bitters by Bourbon Barrel Foods
- Give it a ginger bite. Use ginger bitters instead of cinnamon, with ginger syrup in place of the cinnamon
- Use an aged rum as the base spirit, or a great rye whiskey
- Use other syrups. Try the bourbon sour with coffee or cinnamon syrup, or make my recipe for infused maple syrup.
Recommended Bar Tools
You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces usually come from the Cocktail Kingdom section of Amazon:
You may already have these bar essentials, but just in case:
Maple Whiskey Sour
- 2 oz bourbon
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- ½ oz maple syrup drop to ¼ for a more sour cocktail
- ¼ oz cinnamon syrup
- ¾ oz aquafaba or egg white, optional
- 3 dashes cinnamon bitters
- Garnish, cinnamon sugar rim
- Prepare the glassware by rimming with maple syrup and cinnamon sugar. Transfer glass to the freezer to chill.
For Maple Whiskey Sour with Egg Whites or Aquafaba
- If using aquafaba or egg white, add it and the bourbon/whiskey to a cocktail shaker. (If not using, SKIP THIS STEP)Vigorously shake for 15-20 seconds.Add other cocktail ingredients to the container and shake for another 10 seconds, until frothy.Strain drink into the chilled glass. If more foam is desired, stir with a latte whisk for 10-15 seconds.
For Maple Whiskey Sour without Egg
- Measure all cocktail ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake for 10-12 seconds.
- Strain into the chilled coupe glass.
This post, originally published in 2022, was updated with additional information in January 2023.