The woodsy flavor of pure maple syrup complements the vanilla, oak, and caramel notes of bourbon in a truly delightful and unique Maple Old Fashioned.

Short cocktail glass with ice, orange peel, cherry, and whiskey.

Each ingredient in this Old Fashioned has so many layers of flavor that it’s not surprising how good this cocktail is. It’s a slow sipper, so you can savor every aspect of it. Drink responsibly!

Bourbon or rye is the backbone of the drink. Each brand has unique qualities, so choose one you love. I’ve been into bourbon cocktails lately. Have you tried this Vanilla Bourbon Fizz, with bourbon, vanilla, and prosecco? So good!

Along with the bourbon, you’ll taste the herbal and spice notes of Angostura bitters. Bitters are a common ingredient added to cocktails and there are different kinds: aromatic, citrus, herbal, and nut. Aromatic Angostura bitters have been around for a long, long time and the secret formula reportedly contains herbs, spices, bark and alcohol. Because of their potent flavor, bitters are measured by “dashes” or drops, not ounces. (I love chocolate bitters!)

About this cocktail

This Maple Old Fashioned substitutes a bit of maple syrup for the usual sugar cube, giving this cocktail another layer of sweet woodsy flavor. For sure you’ll want to use real maple syrup, not pancake syrups which are basically corn syrup with artificial flavoring. 

Alcohol being poured over ice in an old fashioned glass.

This bourbon cocktail can be easily made in five minutes. An Old Fashioned is stirred, not shaken, and it’s served over ice in a short glass, called a rocks glass, lowball glass, or even sometimes, you guessed it, an old fashioned glass. 

Orange peel being added to an old fashioned cocktail.

You’ll find directions on the recipe card below for making individual cocktails or a pitcher, with four servings. 

Cocktail being stirred.

What you need

This recipe contains what you’d expect in a classic old fashioned, except for the maple syrup. In addition to the maple syrup, make sure your bar is stocked with Angostura bitters, Bourbon (or rye), Orange peel and cherry for garnish, and ice.

Traditional ice will work, but I also love to use a large square or round ice cube.

Overhead view of a drink with orange peel and cherries.

FAQ

What’s the best alcohol for an Old Fashioned?

I prefer using bourbon as it has a sweeter, softer flavor (Woodford Double Oaked is my personal favorite). Rye gives the drink a more spicy, woody flavor.
Feel free to choose whatever you like best. If you’re uncertain, this blog post by Whiskey Watch is informative and helpful. Because this is a mixed drink, diluted with other ingredients and served over ice, don’t use the priciest bottle you have. Save that for sipping neat. However, it’s still pretty straightforward with not a lot of mixers, so choose something mid-range.

What’s the difference between an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan?

These two cocktails are so similar, each containing bourbon (or rye) whiskey and Angostura bitters. The difference? An Old Fashioned is sweetened with a sugar cube but a Manhattan omits the sugar cube and instead sweetens things up with an ounce of sweet vermouth. 

How to make this drink your own

  • If you prefer a sweeter drink, feel free to add more maple syrup or a sugar cube.
  • If you really love maple flavor, add a drop of pure maple extract
  • For a fun variation, add ½ ounce of freshly squeezed orange juice.
  • I love making an Old Fashioned with chocolate bitters. It’s unbelievably good!
Old fashioned cocktail in a female's hand.

More sippers

Here’s a few more ideas to spark your interest. You’ll want to try them all!

An old fashioned cocktail on ice with an orange peel and cherries.

Maple Old Fashioned

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The woodsy flavor of pure maple syrup complements the vanilla, oak, and caramel notes of bourbon in a truly delightful and unique maple old fashioned.

Ingredients

For 1 Drink

  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup, or to taste
  • Small splash of water (about ¼ teaspoon)
  • 2 ounces bourbon (or rye)
  • orange wedge and cherry, for garnish

For a Crowd (4 drinks)

  • ½ teaspoon Angostura bitters (8 dashes)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 cup bourbon (or rye)

Instructions

  1. Add the bitters, maple syrup, and water to a rocks glass (or pitcher). Stir gently to combine. 
  2. Fill the glass with ice and then top with bourbon (or rye). Garnish with an orange wedge and/or cherry. 
  3. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • If you prefer a sweeter drink, feel free to add more maple syrup or a sugar cube.
  • If you really love maple flavor, add a drop of pure maple extract. 
  • For a fun variation, add ½ ounce of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 cocktail
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gSugar: 17gProtein: 1g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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