As I have confessed before, the pancake syrup of choice in our house is, and has been for more years than I can count, Aunt Jemima’s Butter Lite. I’ve hauled those plastic squeezy bottles from the United States to five other continents in my luggage. Even here in Dubai, one can find Aunt Jemima’s but not the Butter Lite. They don’t know what they are missing.
But this month my Foodie Extravaganza group is using maple syrup in our recipes so I felt obliged to buy the real stuff. A fairly small bottle is about $8 so a cocktail recipe that would make it last longer than, say, using the whole thing in cookies or cake seemed like a prudent plan.
Just a quick search on The Google led me to The Back Forty Cocktail recipe already published in many places but the most reliable seemed to be in this 2008 article, an interview with then Back Forty bar manager Michael Cecconi. Sadly, I will never taste the original because Back Forty closed this past July but if my homemade cocktail with Canadian maple syrup, Kentucky bourbon and Angostura orange bitters instead of Vermont syrup, Tennessee whiskey and Fee Brothers bitters (none of which are available to me here) is any indication, it was delicious.
2 oz or 60ml American whiskey or bourbon
1 oz or 30ml maple syrup
1 oz or 30ml fresh lemon juice
3-5 dashes orange bitters
Add the lemon juice and maple syrup to a cocktail shaker and swirl it around to loosen the maple syrup and dissolve it in the lemon juice. Add in the bourbon and a cup or so of ice cubes.
Shake vigorously to combine and serve over more ice in a low ball glass.
Garnish with a lemon slice or lemon peel if desired but know that, as per Mr. Cecconi, the original has no garnish. Because it's perfect just as it is.
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