Our nation’s Independence Day isn’t till this weekend, but our neighbors to the north are already celebrating. Today marks Canada Day, the anniversary of the 1867 decree that united the country’s first four provinces.
You can pay homage to our upstairs neighbour, a.k.a. “America’s Hat,” with a deliciously sweetened cocktail made with 100-percent Canadian maple syrup. Several bars around town are serving maple-laced cocktails, including Allen & Delancey, Char No. 4, and Raines Law Room.
We spoke to Meaghan Dorman, who created the Mapleleaf Sour for Raines Law Room.
“Maple and Scotch go really well together,” says Dorman. “Maple works well as a sweetener because you don’t have to use as much of it as with other sweeteners, like simple syrup. Plus, it adds to the flavor profile, unlike plain sugar.”
So, is the sappy sweetener becoming a trend?
“I’ve been seeing it a lot more. People are playing around with different syrups and making their own flavored syrups. They’re moving away from just sugar.
“For this cocktail, I played around with four different kinds of maple syrup–all Canadian, but all different grades. I tried lighter ones, like you might use on French toast, then a darker one that is more for baking. I decided to go with something in the middle. It’s a Grade A, dark amber-colored, so it has a bit more flavor. Then, I played around with what Scotch to use, and went with Oak Cross, which is a nice, mellow Scotch. It works well with the ginger.”
2 thin fresh ginger slices
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon Grade A Dark Amber Canadian Maple Syrup
2 oz Oak Cross Scotch (or a different whiskey)
1 egg white
dash Angostura bitters (for garnish)
Muddle the ginger slices in a mixing tin, then add the remaining four ingredients.
Dry shake vigorously to whip up the egg white, then add ice and shake again.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with an Angostura bitters swirl in the foam. (Use a straw to create the swirl.)