While it personally is hard for me to not instantly associate syrup with a vintage Chris Rock bit (see: tossed salad), I never realized just how big the stuff was till I met two guys from Vermont. Growing up my mornings were spent with Aunt Jemima and while I was certainly aware that 100% maple was out there it just seemed unnecessarily high-end or expensive. Don’t ever say that to a Vermonter. Suddenly I’m being schooled in grades and ambers, my childhood unraveling before my eyes.
What was once just a kitchen staple to me became as complex as a fine scotch. There are syrups aged in bourbon barrels, infused with flavors, cooking syrups and numerous others, but to avoid sounding like Bubba from Forrest Gump I’ll leave it at that. And all the bottle options! No, I can’t, I won’t list all those too. And while I’m still a rookie when it comes to syrup I have a new found appreciation for it and if you’re looking to learn more I’d recommend finding a Vermonter. Though if they’re anything like my friends you may find yourself sipping it out of the bottle, but if that’s not for you perhaps try it in the drink recipe below.
Basil Hayden’s Maple Manhattan
1½ parts Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
½ part Sweet Vermouth
½ part Dry Vermouth
½ part Maple Syrup
2 dashes of Bitters
1. Stir together the bourbon, vermouths, maple syrup and bitters over ice in a rocks glass.
2. Garnish with a cherry and serve.