maple old fashioned

Bartenders in NYC are a bit of a celebrity. They take their craft very seriously, and there is nothing more enjoyable than having a meal – at the bar – watching the bartender make drinks for the dining room and listening to the chatter around you. Some of my most memorable dining experiences have been at a “fancy” restaurant, starting at the bar, having a pre-dinner cocktail, then giving up your table to stay right where you are. At the bar. My favorite old fashioned was at the NoMad Library bar in Midtown NYC. If there was ever a perfect cocktail, this was the place – except Harvey’s Diner – always.

I’m a whisky girl, and a bit of an old fashioned snob, I like the classic old fashioned – no cherry – no club soda. Fight me cowboy. I’m ready.

maple old fashioned

Serving Size:
one cocktail
3 minutes


  • one teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 ounces bourbon or rye (I used Bulleit Bourbon for this cocktail)
  • 3–4 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • orange peel
  • one two inch ice cube


  1. Grab an orange.  Use a vegetable peeler to cut a 2- to 3-inch-long piece of orange peel.  Run the pulp-side of the peel around the rim of the cocktail glass. 
  2. Add bourbon (I prefer bourbon over Rye), bitters, and maple syrup.  Stirring to combine, adding maple syrup to the classic old fashioned adds a caramel-y, warm taste to this slightly bitter, smokey cocktail.
  3. Add the ice cube.  And stir with the spoon again to mix and chill the drink.
  4. Garnish and serve.  Give the orange peel a good twist to release its oils, if you’re fancy, grab a match and light the zest over the cocktail.

Photos by Nathalia Rocha

7 thoughts on “maple old fashioned

  1. Barb had he first old fashioned at Harvey’s, and I’ve dozens, maybe hundreds, for her since then. It is definitely her go-to cocktail. She’ll be thrilled that you’ve posted your recipe for me to try.

  2. This looks wonderful! I too am an “old fashioned” girl who started with “very good” scotch and keep expanding my pallet. Can’t wait to try this!

  3. I’m with you on the bourbon, but I like a good Irish Whiskey in an Old Fashioned. I’ll fight you over the cherry part, though. I’d allow you to make me several to change my mind.

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