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Maple Bourbon Smash: Boozy Brunch Cocktail

Sweet and boozy, the Maple Bourbon Smash is ideal to pair with brunch or sip at night by the fire. Follow our easy Maple Bourbon Smash recipe and craft the delightful cocktail at home in just five minutes.

Maple Bourbon Smash on Ledge
Image: ©2foodtrippers

We started our mixology journey into as a fun side project in 2020 after the world shut down. And, to our pleasant surprise, we discovered a shared passion for both crafting and drinking cocktails that has continued with no sign of ending.

This journey has introduced us to drinks that we like and others that we love. A few, like the Maple Bourbon Smash, have joined our short list of cocktail favorites.

What Is a Maple Bourbon Smash?

Maple Bourbon Smash with Bourbon and Maple Syrup
Not surprisingly, we use both bourbon and maple syrup when we craft Maple Bourbon Smash cocktails at home. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The Maple Bourbon Smash will look familiar if you’ve imbibed an Old Fashioned or Manhattan in the past. However, the Maple Bourbon Smash distinguishes itself from those classic bourbon cocktails in a couple key ways…

First, amber-colored Grade A Maple syrup adds a rich sweetness to the Maple Bourbon Smash that’s the opposite of cloying.

Second, this cocktail’s non-alcoholic ingredients, maple syrup and orange juice, are pantry staples. They also feature prominently in weekend breakfasts and brunches.


Maple Bourbon Smash Ingredients
Our Maple Bourbon Smash cocktail recipe calls for bourbon, maple syrup, an orange and ice. The ice isn’t in this photo since it was chilling in the freezer. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The Bourbon Maple Smash cocktail may be the ultimate pantry cocktail based on its familiar list of ingredients:

  • Bourbon
  • Grade A Maple Syrup
  • Fresh Orange Juice
  • Large Ice Cube
  • Orange Peel (garnish)
  • Small Ice Cubes (for stirring)


Bottle of Four Roses Bourbon
Kentucky’s Four Roses Bourbon is our preferred bourbon in this and other bourbon recipes. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Selecting the right liquor is a priority when you craft a cocktail with just a few ingredients. We choose to use Four Roses bourbon when we craft Maple Bourbon Smashes at home.

Four Roses is a great cocktail bourbon since its balanced flavors are relatively mild with hints of both vanilla and caramel. It’s also one of the more affordable bourbons produced in Kentucky and has a 40% ABV, the lowest possible ABV for Kentucky bourbon.

Discover our favorite bourbon cocktails.

Maple Syrup

Canadian Maple Syrup in Bottle
Oh Canada! Grade A maple syrup adds the perfect touch to our Maple Bourbon Smash recipe. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Typically produced in Vermont and Canada, maple syrup is a product usually served with pancakes, french toast and waffles. In a culinary twist of fate, the natural sweetener is a great cocktail ingredient too.

We like to use amber Grade A maple syrup when we craft Maple Bourbon Smash cocktails at home to achieve the rich flavor that we adore. Canadian cities like Montreal sell the sweet elixir in cans at local markets. In Lisbon, we consider ourselves lucky to have found bottles of Canadian maple syrup at a nearby grocery store.

How to Craft a Maple Bourbon Smash

Maple Bourbon Smash Mis en Place
Preparing a Maple Bourbon Smash is easy. Pictured here are most of the bourbon cocktail’s ingredients and bar tools. All that’s missing is the ice. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Despite being highly potable, the Maple Bourbon Smash is ridiculously easy to craft at home.

Our recipe only has a few ingredients and doesn’t require any special tools or equipment. Since we don’t literally smash the orange, the only equipment we use are a Japanese jigger, bar spoon and cocktail strainer.

Measuring Maple Syrup Maple Bourbon Smash Recipe
We had plenty of maple syrup left for brunch after we measured an ounce for this recipe. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The first step is to measure the bourbon, maple syrup and freshly squeezed orange juice. We use a Japanese jigger to avoid spillage and ensure accurate measurements.

Buy a Japanese jigger from Amazon if you need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

The second step is to pour the three liquids into a mixing glass after you measure each. We typically use the base of our Boston Shaker but any mixing glass will work just fine.

Pouring Orange Juice into Maple Bourbon Smash Recipe
Freshly squeezed orange juice gives our Maple Bourbon Smash an extra zing. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The third step is to add ice to the mixing glass (or shaker base) and stir the liquids with a bar spoon until they’re mixed and chilled. This step should take about 20 seconds.

Mixing Maple Bourbon Smash with Cocktail Spoon
Small ice cubes are best when mixing the liquids… | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The fourth step is to drop a jumbo ice cube into a lowball glass. While you could you use smaller ice cubes, the jumbo ice cube melts more slowly and doesn’t dilute the cocktail. Plus, it looks super sophisticated and will impress your friends.

Big Ice Cube for Crafting a Maple Bourbon Smash
However, a jumbo ice cube is best in the actual cocktail. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The final step is to strain the cocktail into a lowball glass and add an orange twist as garnish.

Straining Maple Bourbon Smash into Rocks Glass
Once we strained this Maple Bourbon Smash into a lowball glass, it was almost go time. And by go time, we mean drink time. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We like to express the rim of the glass with the orange twist and recommend that you do the same.


Maple Bourbon Smash Selfie
Mindi got into the Maple Bourbon Smash spirit by wearing an amber ring to match the cocktail’s amber color. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Even if you fall in love with this Bourbon Maple Smash recipe, you may want to experiment to make it your own. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Add a few splashes of Angostura bitters for an herbaceous twist.
  • Replace the orange juice with lemon juice to create a tarter and more summery flavor profile.
  • Replace the orange peel garnish with a sprig of mint or sage.
  • Replace the orange juice with grapefruit juice to craft a Brown Derby cocktail.
  • Replace the maple syrup with a sugar cube and the orange juice with Angostura bitters to craft a classic Old Fashioned cocktail.
  • Top with seltzer if you’re feeling bubbly.

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ingredients in a Maple Bourbon Smash?

Bourbon, Grade A Maple Syrup, Fresh Orange Juice, Orange Peel, Small Ice Cubes and a Jumbo Ice Cube

What’s the best bourbon to use in a Maple Bourbon Smash?

You should use your favorite bourbon in this cocktail recipe. We typically use Four Roses but any bourbon will work just fine.

Is the Maple Bourbon Smash shaken or stirred?

The Maple Bourbon Smash is stirred, not shaken.

What type of glass is best for the Maple Bourbon Smash?

We like to serve this cocktail in a lowball glass and you should do the same.

Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.

Maple Bourbon Smash with Orange Twist
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4.41 from 27 votes

Maple Bourbon Smash Recipe

The Maple Bourbon Smash is an ideal brunch beverage. You could also sip it at night in front of the fireplace. The choice is yours.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 220kcal


  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce maple syrup (grade A amber)
  • 1 ounce orange juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 ice cube (large)
  • orange peel (garnish)
  • small ice cubes (for mixing)


  • Measure bourbon, maple syrup and orange juice and pour each into a mixing glass.
  • Add small ice cubes and stir until the liquids are mixed and chilled – approximately 20 seconds.
  • Drop a large ice cube into a lowball glass.
  • Strain the liquid into the glass.
  • Express the glass with an orange peel slice before adding it as garnish.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 57IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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Thirsty for More Bourbon Cocktails?

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About the Authors

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.


Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

Original Publication Date: December 17, 2021

Recipe Rating

Mike T

Monday 27th of December 2021

Try it with Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon!


Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

PS. This drink should also be made with muddled orange rather than juice. Muddling the orange, pith, peel and all, realeases oils and bitter flavor components that subtly enhance the drink. It only adds a few seconds and some elbow grease to the prep, but it adds dimensions of flavor to the finished product!


Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

This drink is much better shaken, as are all drinks made with a significant amount of juice, aquafava or egg (white and/or yolk). These ingridents aerate when shaken, building body and making the drink much more interesting. Please keep stirring drinks without these ingredidents, but otherwise, shake away!

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