How to Make a Maple Old-Fashioned, the Only Drink You Need Right Now

Updated: Apr. 29, 2024

This maple old-fashioned is the perfect fireside cocktail.

The old-fashioned never goes out of style. Whether served with or without muddled fruit or made with brandy, Wisconsin-style, this simple cocktail lends itself well to endless variations. The version we like to tap into come fall: a maple old-fashioned.

This drink replaces the classic sugar cube or simple syrup with maple syrup. Use only real maple syrup in this recipe for the best flavor.

How to Make a Maple Old-Fashioned

Ingredients

Ingredients For A Maple Old Fashioned Susan Bronson For TohSusan Bronson for Taste of Home

Editor’s Tip: For a perfect orange peel garnish, use a sharp paring knife or Y-peeler.

Directions

Step 1: Mix

Add the bourbon, maple syrup and Angostura bitters to a rocks glass and stir to combine. This guide to types of cocktail glasses explains the difference is between a rocks glass and other common bareware.

Step 2: Add ice

Place a large ice cube in the glass and stir for a few seconds to thoroughly mix and chill the drink.

Step 3: Garnish

Maple Old Fashioned Susan Bronson For TohSusan Bronson for Taste of Home

Use a Y-peeler or a sharp knife to remove a thin slice of orange peel, taking care to not pick up too much of the white pith. Squeeze the strip of orange peel skin side-down over the glass to release its oils and then drop into the drink. Garnish with a cherry and serve.

Editor’s Tip: This cocktail calls for a truly tasty cherry (step away from the neon-red maraschinos). Two options we love (and that are particularly flavorful) include Amarena Fabbri or Luxardo cherries.

Tips for Making a Maple Old-Fashioned

Overhead Maple Old Fashioned Susan Bronson For TohSusan Bronson for Taste of Home

What else can I use to garnish a maple old-fashioned?

To really lean into this cocktail’s autumnal vibes, garnish with a cinnamon stick and/or a whole star anise.

Can I make this a smoked maple old-fashioned?

The flavors of a maple old-fashioned make it ideal for adding smoke. You can do so using a cocktail smoker or serving the cocktail over smoked ice.

Does an old-fashioned cocktail have muddled fruit?

The classic recipe for an old-fashioned cocktail does not include muddled fruit. In fact, it was originally just called a “whiskey cocktail,” and included whiskey, sugar, bitters and water (ice). Fruit (most often an orange slice and cherry) made its way into the cocktail during Prohibition, when the addition of muddled fruit helped hide the rough flavor of the poor quality liquor produced during that time.