Category: Cocktails

Maple Sugar Smoked Cherry Bounce

Maple Sugar Smoked Cherry Bounce

It’s summer in Vermont and the cherry trees are loaded! Sour cherries are the most adaptable cold hardy tree, so a little sweetening with maple sugar makes them perfect.

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine to use maple sugar rather than bland white sugar. The maple sugar not only adds vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but also melds well with the smokiness of the cherries. We have a productive sour cherry tree that works well for this recipe, but Bing cherries from the grocery store are also perfect.

This vibrant, homemade cordial is infused with savory smokiness and rich maple sugar. The three month wait time increases everything good about the handful of ingredients. Put it away in a cool dark place and pull out for your first trial on a chilly fall night!

You’ll need:

  • 6 cups fresh Bing cherries (about 1 3/4 pounds), stemmed and pitted, divided
  • 2 cups granulated maple sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 quart (32 ounces) brandy or rye whiskey

Prepare smoker with cherry wood chunks according to manufacturer’s instructions, bringing internal temperature to about 225°F; maintain temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Place 1 cup (about 4 1/2 ounces) cherries in an even layer in an 8-inch square disposable aluminum pan, and place on smoker grates. Close lid. Smoke cherries, maintaining temperature inside smoker around 225°F, until cherries are infused with desired degree of smoky flavor, 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, shaking pan occasionally.

Combine smoked cherries, maple sugar, lemon juice, and remaining 5 cups fresh cherries in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until maple sugar is dissolved and mixture is very juicy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool 1 hour.   

Pour cherry mixture into a large, clean lidded jar, and top with brandy or whiskey. Screw lid on tightly, and store in a cool, dark place for 3 months.

Maple Bourbon Lime

Maple Bourbon Lime

What is finer than the confluence of maple syrup, bourbon and freshly squeezed lime juice? This cocktail is perfect for a summer evening, and so easy to make. 

Measure into a glass:

1 ounce bourbon

½ ounce VT maple syrup

½ ounce lime juice

Stir well, add ice and stir again to slightly melt ice into cocktail. Top with a piece of lime.

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Allspice Dram

Allspice Dram


The Allspice Dram has a quintessential fall flavor, and is very fun to make. Allspice berries are the fruit of the pimento bush, so you’ll also see this called pimento dram. Most drams are made with simple syrup, but ours, of course, is made with Vermont maple syrup! You need a high proof rum or vodka. I prefer rum and always try to go with a local variety. Smuggler’s Notch Distillery makes a perfect light rum for this dram.

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Magic Maple Citrus Cooler

Magic Maple Citrus Cooler

This is a nice fruity, bubbly and complex cocktail. Magic Hat #9 is a local ale with a bit of an apricot taste. It enhances the citrus nicely and adds some bubbles!

2 oz bourbon

½ oz orange liqueur

½ half oz lemon juice

½ half oz maple syrup

stir, add ice, top with half can of Magic Hat #9

stir and garnish with a nice sprig of mint

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Maple Bourbon Smash

Maple Bourbon Smash

Maple and bourbon pair very well. This cocktail is fresh and citrusy, but also carries the depth of bourbon. Delicious!

1/2 ounce pure VT maple syrup

1/2 ounce fresh orange juice

1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

4 dashes Angostura bitters

1/2 orange wheel

2 ounces bourbon

1 1/2 ounces seltzer

In a rocks glass, combine the maple syrup with the orange juice,

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Maple Negroni

Maple Negroni This feels like a perfect fall cocktail. Slightly sweet but also retains the crisp flavor of Compari. Maple replaces the standard simple syrup and creates a much deeper flavor.

1 ounce maple syrup

1 ounce gin

1 ounce Compari

1 ounce sweet vermouth

½ orange wheel

Add all ingredients except the orange to a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and serve with one large cube and the orange.

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