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.
We started our journey into lazy mixology 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?
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
The Bourbon Maple Smash cocktail may be the ultimate pantry cocktail based on its familiar list of ingredients:
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.
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.
Buy a bottle of amber Grade A maple syrup from Amazon if you don’t have any in your pantry.
How To Craft a Maple Bourbon Smash
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.
Discover 10 essential bar tools for home mixologists.
The first step is to measure the bourbon, maple syrup and freshly squeezed orange juice. We like to use a Japanese jigger to avoid spillage and ensure accurate measurements.
Buy a Japanese jigger from Amazon if you don’t have a jigger or are interested in 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.
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.
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.
Buy a jumbo ice cube tray from Amazon. It’s a bit of a splurge but will pay for itself before you know it.
The final step is to strain the cocktail into a lowball glass and add an orange twist as garnish.
We like to express the rim of the glass with the orange twist and recommend that you do the same.
Buy lowball glasses from Amazon if you want a matching set.
Maple Bourbon Smash Variations
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:
Maple Bourbon Smash FAQs
Bourbon, Grade A Maple Syrup, Fresh Orange Juice, Orange Peel, Small Ice Cubes and a Jumbo Ice Cube
You should use your favorite bourbon in this cocktail recipe. We typically use Four Roses but any bourbon will work just fine.
The Maple Bourbon Smash is stirred, not shaken.
We like to serve this cocktail in a lowball glass and you should do the same.
Maple Bourbon Smash Recipe
Maple Bourbon Smash
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.
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1 ounce maple syrup, grade A amber
- 1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 large ice cube
- Small ice cubes
- Orange peel
- 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.
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Maple Grove Farms Organic Pure Maple Syrup, Grade A Amber, 8.5 Ounce
Samuelworld Ice Cube Tray Large Size Silicone Flexible 8 Cavity Ice Maker for Whiskey and Cocktails, Keep Drinks Chilled (2pc/Pack)
Hiware Professional 24 Oz Cocktail Mixing Glass, Thick Bottom Seamless Crystal Mixing Glass
Japanese Jigger - Premium Double Cocktail Jigger, 1oz/2oz made from Stainless Steel 304
Hiware LZS13B 12 Inches Stainless Steel Mixing Spoon, Spiral Pattern Bar Cocktail Shaker Spoon
Whiskey Glasses-Premium 11 OZ Scotch Glasses Set of 6 /Old Fashioned Whiskey Glasses/Perfect Gift for Scotch Lovers/Style Glassware for Bourbon/Rum glasses/Bar whiskey glasses,Clear
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About the Authors
Daryl & 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 and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: December 17, 2021
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!