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Cheers! Maple syrup aged in a bourbon barrel for a twist on the whiskey sour

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Ingredients for a whiskey sour using Michigan maple syrup.

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Tammy Coxen with her Michigan maple syrup variation on the whiskey sour.

It's nearly spring, and the sap is running. Maple syrup makes a good choice for a sweetener in our pick for a cocktail.

“This is just a little whiskey sour variation,” Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings explained.

“When I was a kid we would go every year as part of a school trip and I remember loving to see the maple syrup boiling down,” Coxen said, adding, “It’s a really great memory for me and I love maple syrup because of it.

The Michigan maple syrup she chose for this cocktail is bourbon barrel aged by BLiS in Grand Rapids. According to the company’s website, “B.L.i.S” is an acronym for “Because Life is Short.”

When asked why she chose a bourbon barreled maple syrup, she simply responded, “Because it’s delicious.”

Well, sure. Of course.

It does require some adjustments to a traditional recipe for a whiskey sour.

“Maple syrup is sweeter than simple syrup,” Coxen said. That’s why she cut the amount of syrup used in her recipe.

Another ingredient that reminds Coxen of spring is egg white.

“Mostly it just adds texture in the same way when you make a meringue or anything where you’d use a beaten egg white in it. It adds lightness; it adds texture.”

“It also gives us a beautiful canvas for our garnish on top,” Coxen said. That amounts to several drops of Angostura bitters in a circular pattern. Then she drags a toothpick through the dots of bitters to create a pattern (see photo).

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Use an eyedropper for precision.

Maple syrup whiskey sour

1-1/2 oz rye whiskey (2 oz if you prefer)

½ oz maple syrup (we used BLiS bourbon barreled)

¾ oz lemon juice

1 egg white

Garnish with drops of Angostura bitters (see photos)

Put all ingredients in a shaker tin, no ice. Shake for about 15 seconds. You’ll hear and/or feel the egg white change consistency. Add ice to the shaker and shake for about 15-20 seconds more. Strain into a coupe. Using an eyedropper, put a few drops of Angostura Bitters in the pattern of a circle. Take a toothpick and drag it through the drops to make little hearts!

The finished drink.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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