Tap That Sap: 13 Amazing Maple Cocktails

As winter announces its overdue presence and maple harvest time looms, we yearn for maple syrup more than ever. We pour it on pancakes, use it to glaze bacon for our burgers, and drizzle it over snowball-sized scoops of ice cream. However, there’s no place we like it more than at the bar. That’s because the amber liquid has a rich, deeply flavorful sweetness, which works well to mellow out liquor’s sharper tones. Here are 13 amazing maple cocktails.

Charcut, Calgary, Canada
Bar manager Mackenzie Oullette has fond childhood memories of making lollipops by pouring boiling maple syrup into the snow. Now she makes a similar maple taffy to garnish her whiskey rich Fléche cocktail, which gets a sugary lift from even more Grade A syrup. Make a reservation at Charcut.

Maple Cocktails

Burritt Room & Tavern, San Francisco, California
The phrase ‘study abroad’ used to conjure images of drinking in foreign countries while trying to improve international relations one hookup at a time. But now that we’re older, slightly wiser, and a tad more refined, the phrase makes us think fondly of this cocktail with the same name. Bourbon based, it’s sweetened with dark Grade B maple syrup and given some nuance through the inclusion of pear liqueur, allspice dram, and lemon juice. Make a reservation at Burritt Room & Tavern.

Maple Cocktails

Almanac, New York, New York
Simply called the Maple, this cocktail is essentially a seasonally accented Old Fashioned. The kick of the Overholt Rye and the botanicals of the dry vermouth are smoothed out by a dose of salted maple syrup and a couple of dashes of housemade orange bitters. Make a reservation at Almanac.

Maple Cocktails

The Salty Sow, Austin, Texas
The Maple Glazed Old Fashioned sounds like it could be an amazing doughnut. It’s also the name of this self-explanatory sipper, which features the classic cocktail sweetened with…yeah, you guessed it. What gave it away? Make a reservation at The Salty Sow.

Maple Cocktails

Gather, Berkeley, California
Earl Grey-infused maple syrup perks up this scotchy sipper, which would most certainly appeal to Ron Burgundy. Dubbed the Northern Exposure, it’s filled out with lemon juice, egg whites, and bitters. Here it goes, down into our bellies. Make a reservation at Gather.

Maple Cocktails

Wildwood Kitchen, Bethesda, Maryland
The Sunday mornings cocktail evokes brunch in a glass. Bacon-washed bourbon is mellowed out with hickory-smoked maple syrup, and vanilla and cinnamon tincture. The glass is finished off with a Serrano ham chip and an orange peel. Make a reservation at Wildwood Kitchen.

Maple Cocktails

The Smith-Midtown, New York, New York
Named after the lovable pig in Charlotte’s Web, the Sweet Wilbur aims to evoke the countryside. Sugar maple liqueur is blended with bourbon, allspice dram, apple cider, and bacon bitters (an item that made it into our Christmas stocking). To complete the cocktail, the rim is rolled in vanilla salt. Make a reservation at The Smith-Midtown.

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8 Ways to Get Jamming with Marmalade Cocktails

Fresh fruit is the mainstay of farm to glass cocktails, but in chillier months there’s another option: the richness of preserved fruit, specifically marmalade, which adds not only flavor and sweetness but also richness and depth to drinks. Since citrus and sugar are common ingredients in cocktails, marmalade helps mixologists save a step (and an ingredient). Here are some top picks for where to find the most scrumptious marmalade cocktails.

Suffragette City, Hunky Dory, Houston, Texas
Marmalade is most frequently served at breakfast, so it should come as no surprise that it features into some terrific brunch-themed cocktails. At Hunky Dory, several of the drinks have cheeky British names like Sheep Dip and Ground Control to Major Tom. The Suffragette City combines Earl Grey tea vodka, fresh squeezed lemon juice and a cordial made from simple syrup, orange marmalade, and vodka. It’s served in a coupe cocktail glass, served up, and garnished with an edible flower. Go ahead and order it with the Full English Breakfast, which comes with British banger, back bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, baked beans, and fried slice and eggs. Make a reservation at Hunky Dory.

Marmalade cocktails

Breakfast Martini, Fort Defiance, Brooklyn, New York
St. John Frizell, the bartender and operator at Fort Defiance in Red Hook, decided to put the most famous marmalade cocktail, the Breakfast Martini, on his menu after trying it for the first time in London. It’s made with gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, and orange marmalade. Says Frizell, “Salvatore Calabrese made it for me at the Fifty St. James Club. The drink is so simple, elegant, and delicious; I’m honestly surprised it doesn’t show up on more brunch menus.” Make a reservation at Fort Defiance.

Marmalade cocktails

Toast & Marmalade, Atrium DUMBO, Brooklyn, New York
At Brooklyn Bridge Park, you’ll find this chic dual-level dining room with a vertical garden, modern Mediterranean food, and a cocktail called Toast & Marmalade. It was inspired by breakfast — tea and rye toast spread with marmalade, in particular. It features rye bread-infused Guillon Painturaud VSOP Cognac, orange marmalade, Assam tea syrup, and an egg white, effectively encapsulating all the flavors of breakfast in each and every sip. Make a reservation at Atrium DUMBO.

Marmalade cocktails

Alibi, The Dorian, San Francisco, California
The Dorian is a modern-day parlor with plenty of clubby Victorian touches. The drinks menu is extensive with whiskey flights, no fewer than four martinis and a bottled cocktail that serves 3-5 people. According to bartender Ilya Romanov, the Alibi is a take on the original whiskey sour traditionally made with bourbon, lemon juice, and sugar. “Our take on it features Evan Williams Straight Bourbon Whiskey, house made salted pistachio syrup, fresh lemon juice, bitter orange marmalade and a drop of bitters.” It’s a refreshing and playful drink and reflects the same sweet and sour properties of orange marmalade with slight nutty and smoky notes. Make a reservation at The Dorian.

Marmalade cocktails

The Social Tea, The Stanton Social, New York, New York
Located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, The Stanton Social is a collaboration between several partners including celebrity chef Chris Santos. The menu features multi-ethnic shared-plate style dining and DJs spinning on the second-floor bar and lounge, so ace cocktails are a given. The Social Tea blends together citrus vodka, gunpowder green tea, and a housemade orange-honey marmalade to refresh the palate in between bites of Maryland Crab Cake BLT Sliders, Coconut Curry Samosas, and French Onion Soup Dumplings. Make a reservation at The Stanton Social.

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Get Nutty: Five Southern Pecan Dishes + Drinks to Try Today

The holidays — a time when legendary pecan pie reigns supreme in the South — may be over. But we’re still longing for the sweet, nutty flavors through winter and beyond. And better yet, these hickory nuts are chockful of nutrients and good-for-you fats to help you accomplish all your healthy eating 2016 resolutions. Here are five Southern pecan dishes (sweet, savory, and sippable) highlighting the regional staple.  

Pecan Daiquiri, The Pinewood, Decatur, Georgia
We recommend drinking your dessert this season, especially when it’s as delectable as the pecan daiquiri at The Pinewood. Giving the classic Manhattan a Southern twist, this whiskey mecca relies on their housemade pecan cocktail syrup (Hint: it’s also available for purchase by the bottle!) made from oven-roasted Georgia pecan-infused bitters to up the ante. This dangerously delicious daiquiri is also laced with rum, lime juice, and Dry Curacao for a cocktail you won’t soon forget. Make a reservation at The Pinewood.

Southern Pecan Dishes

Pecan Marjolaine, Mandolin, Raleigh, North Carolina
Head to Raleigh’s farm-to-table Mandolin for a well-balanced pecan dessert that will make you forget all about cloying pecan pie. Chef Sean Fowler’s pecan marjolaine is made with eight layers of pecan sponge cake, chocolate, and orange buttercream before being garnished with pralines and candied orange peel. Make a reservation at Mandolin.

Southern Pecan Dishes

Candied Pecan Risotto, Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails, Alpharetta, Georgia
Don’t rule out pecan plates just because you’re lacking a sweet tooth — plenty of innovative chefs are using the smoky nut in savory dishes, such as risotto and espresso-rubbed shrimp at Milton’s. Spiked with blue cheese, port cherry, pomegranate molasses, and basil oil, this well-rounded dish is sure to make a pecan lover out of even the saltiest diner. Make a reservation at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails.

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Mocktail Hour: The Best Booze-Free Mixed Drinks in NYC

If the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve are one long party — filled with office fetes, a few too many holiday spirits, and just one more slice of pie — January is the hangover. Sometime in the midst of the third cookie swap of the season, the calibration shattered and excess became the standard. But the first month of the new year represents a fresh start in every sense, a time to reset the scale with healthier eating, extra trips to the gym, and, for some, cutting out alcohol. Whether you’re spending January atoning for all the gastronomic sins of the holiday season or have another reason to pass on the alcohol, these spots go beyond bland iced tea and club soda to offer the best booze-free mixed drinks in NYC worthy of the dishes they complement. We’ll drink to that.

Atera
Atera gets it. Bar Director Nick Duble explains that “for many people, enjoying a beverage pairing is just as essential to the overall experience as the food is” but he understands that the traditional wine pairing isn’t a fit for every guest. Enter the Temperance Pairing, created “to provide a non-alcoholic alternative that does not make people feel left out.” It’s hard to imagine feeling left out with cocktails that utilize ingredients and creativity to mimic the classics so sharply that the drinker might question how temperate these drinks really are. The Laurel Martini, for example, is made with cucumber and bay leaf and adds “a theatrical component to the pairing and increases its overall enjoyment.” Make a reservation at Atera.

Best Booze-Free Mixed Drinks in NYC

Gabriel Kreuther
New York magazine calls chef Gabriel Kreuther’s first solo restaurant, opened last summer, “the most elegant new boozehound destination in midtown.” (They, like many others, also recognized it as one of the year’s Best New Restaurants.) Luckily, even if you’re abstaining beverage director Emilie Perrier has some tempting picks. The fragrant Verte Light blends kale, green apple, mint, and coriander syrup while The Virgin Glory is inspired by the Morning Glory Fizz. The latter is typically made with Scotch, absinthe, and lemon for a hair-of-the-dog hangover helper, but Perrier’s version substitutes in Lapsang Souchong smoked black tea, fennel, and lemon for a similarly soothing, anise-flavored alternative. Make a reservation at Gabriel Kreuther.

Best Booze-Free Mixed Drinks in NYC

Riverpark
Highlighted as ‘Temperance Coolers’ on the menu, Tom Colicchio’s restaurant overlooking the East River features several seasonally-appropriate, alcohol-free choices. Bubbles is a blend of apple cider, cinnamon, lemon, and bitters for a festive, warming soft cocktail, perfect for pairing with the Berkshire pork chop or the pasta with Zucca (winter squash) and pumpkin pesto. Or, get your dose of Vitamin C with the Maiden Voyage, with pineapple, orange, lemon, lime, and Peychaud’s Bitters, and toast to a healthy new year. Make a reservation at Riverpark.

Best Booze-Free Mixed Drinks in NYC

Saxon + Parole
Non-drinkers won’t go thirsty at this stylish spot on the Bowery named after two famous racehorses. Among the six deliciously offbeat options, there’s the zippy Bell Pepper Lemonade with fresh red bell pepper juice, lemon, chili tincture, and Perrier, and the uniquely refreshing Garden Tonic with lime juice, celery bitters, celery juice, housemade tonic, and herbs, or with a little kick. (We’ll wait until February to request a splash of vodka in either.) Make a reservation at Saxon + Parole.

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