Illustration for article titled Add a Little Maple Syrup to Your ScotchPhoto: Claire LowerHappy hour with 3 ingredientsHappy hour with 3 ingredientsThe weekly beverage column with super simple but delicious libations.

I’ve said it several times before, but I really think maple is an underrated cocktail syrup. It’s sweet and rich, and thanks to its fairly thin body, it goes into solution with the utmost ease. I like it in Old fashionedI like it in Julepsand – since last night – I love scotch.

Illustration for article titled Add a Little Maple Syrup to Your Scotch

Scotch heads love to freak out when they add something to scotch that isn’t a few drops of distilled water, but I bought that bottle of scotch, damn it, and I’ll do what I want with it. (It’s also Dewar’s white label, which the internet says is a good “everyday scotch”.) Adding a little syrup to scotch, of course, isn’t my original idea. This drink is based on a recipe for the improved Scottish cocktail that I saw on Serious Eatswho have favourited Scotch, Benedictine, Demerara syrup and two types of bitter substances. I only used maple syrup in place of the suggested Demerara and left out the bitter ingredients altogether, although you can add them back if you wish.

However, I am not sure whether the bitter substances are needed. Benedictine is already busy – 27 herbs, spices, and peels to be precise – and maple syrup has a lot of minerality and richness; I don’t see any reason to pollute the drink with additional botanical tinctures. With just three ingredients, you get a rich and complex cocktail that still tastes mostly like scotch. To do it you will need:

  • 2 ounces of scotch
  • 1/4 ounce (3/4 teaspoon) Benedictine
  • 1/8 ounce (3/4 teaspoon) maple syrup – not pancake syrup

Add all ingredients to a lowball and stir to dissolve the syrup. Add a large old ice cube and stir to cool. Shake in a few bitter substances if you wish, but I think it’s nice the way it is.

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