Whiskey Maplecino, a cocktail inspired by the Canadian maple harvest. The maple syrup is often drizzled onto the snow where it hardens and becomes a delicious treat. Keeping it cold, we have made a cocktail where the maple syrup is matured with Canadian whiskey, Kahlua, and a bit of our Italian flare, an espresso shot, giving us a smooth iced boozy cappuccino.
Whiskey Maplecino, a delicious drink that you can have both cold, or hot for those exceptionally cold winter nights. The blend of flavors and delightful color and aroma will charm and warm anyone’s heart and soul.
Nicoletta and I were quite excited when Wayfair contacted us and asked if we would be interested in working together on a project featuring drink ideas using maple syrup during the maple harvest. To tell you the truth we had not done very many cocktails, but I have always wanted to learn about mixing, flavors, proper glassware to use. Intrigued and ready to get going on developing something for Wayfair, we replied quickly with a definite Yes and got going on a little research in the realm of cocktails.
The world of drinks is huge and after many searches and note taking, I decided that with the flavor of maple I wanted to go with a more milky drink, something like an elevated brown cow, with a bit of imagination. Whenever I think of maple syrup I am always envisioning the east side of Canada, Quebec and those maple trees plum and ready for the harvest. A spout goes in a process called tapping, and out comes this crimson gold liquid. An amazing thing, this maple harvest.
Whiskey Maplecino and The Story Behind the Maple!
I love when nature provides us with such wonderful things to enjoy, such as maple syrup. When spring comes at winter’s bitter end and temperatures are not really cold, this is time to harvest. You see, you need a certain temperature to get the maple syrup to flow from the trunk of a maple tree. They say the best sweetest maple comes from the Sugar Maple Tree having the highest content of sugar. The harvest season for maple syrup starts in spring when temperatures hover around the zero degrees Celsius, and days start to get warmer. This causes the sap to flow. When the temperatures change this stops the flowing process. Some say well you can get the sap anytime, and that may be true but the quality of the sap is not there. It has less sugar and does not taste good. When harvested at the right time the color is darker. So it’s spring and the maple trees are ready. The first thing to know is that the best trees to tap are min. 10 inches in diameter. Tapping is the process of drilling a hole into the tree anywhere from 1 ft to 4 ft. The depth of your spout and at a depth of half the length of your tap. Drilling is usually done with a drill, but old school techniques are often used which involves a nail and hammer. The hole is usually made with a downward angle, which helps the fluid run down the spout and into your pail. Another name for the spouts is spiles or taps.
Did you know that it takes four gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup? This is because the sap contains mostly water. Maple harvesters say you can get about ten gallons per tree, and this process takes a few weeks. Harvesters check their pails every so often and when the flow is done, they collect the fluid and put it into a sealed storage container till the season ends. The syrup is ready to begin its road to mapledom.
So the sap is ready for the first filtration, to get all the bugs, wood and barks pieces out. For a small harvester, a coffee filter would do the trick, and filtering devices are used by large maple producers.
The next step is to boil the sap. What this does is helps remove the water and get that syrup to the thick consistency and that beautiful color that everyone loves. This could take up to 14 hours on a roaring fire where the flames are caressing the bottom of the pot, some maple harvesters call this licking the bottom of the pot. Sap is added to the hot pot as more water dissipates. When it is done and the water is gone the maple syrup is filtered once more and put into containers for use. So that’s it, the story of how maple syrup is made. This is definitely a labor of love, quite time-consuming and demands lots of patience and care, but I guess good things come to those who wait.
Now back to our Whiskey Maplecino. Having decided that a creamy cocktail was what we wanted to do, we decided that Kahlua was needed but wanted a bit of a kick to enhance the maple syrup. Canadian whiskey is just what the doctor ordered, just enough of an edge to take this from subtle to fantastic.
I wanted to add some Italian flair to this drink mix, so a little espresso is needed to for its color and bold flavor. Into a shaker go some organic milk, Canadian Whiskey, Kahlua, espresso, maple syrup. A nice vigorous shake, with the lid of the shaker on well, don’t want to visualize that scene drink mix flying through the air, and a flashback of Zoolander with Wake me Up by Wham playing in the background, a little off track there I went, maybe too much flavor tasting! Let’s seal the deal. To spice it up a bit, a nice cinnamon stick, lastly a tumbler with some ice cubes ready to receive this delicious and refreshing drink, it’s time to really sit back, relax and chill out with this Whiskey Maplecino.
The flavors are so smooth, the whiskey warm with its bite hitting your senses. The Kahlua subtle but mature with its chocolaty overtones. The milk adding some rich creaminess to the mix. The cinnamon tickling your taste and scent buds with a bit of spice, and the star of the show the maple syrup, sweetening this pot with its caramel sugary decadence, but not to the point of a tooth shudder, but just enough to make you want to sip this beauty nice and slow, to savor each bit.
If you want you can serve this cocktail warm like a hot chocolate, a beautiful way to sit in the clenches of winter watching the snow fall, wind blowing, cuddled with that favorite someone, sipping this wonderful Whiskey Maplecino!
Song of the day: “Any Way You Want It” by Journey.
Here is the link to the article on Wayfair where a group of six bloggers shares their recipes for drinks featuring our beloved maple syrup. We have not been compensated by Wayfair, and all opinions are our own.