Maple Syrup Is The Secret Ingredient For A Delicious Coffee Cocktail

While coffee cocktails have become popular in recent years, these seldom involve a simple mixture of black coffee + booze because these bitter flavors need to be tempered by sweeter elements. Simple syrup may be the go-to sweetener of choice in many bars, but one alternative is to swap this ingredient out for maple syrup. It may be a bit of a stretch to call it a secret ingredient as maple has a fairly assertive taste to it, but it's one that's always played nicely with coffee (as witnessed in nearly every coffee chain's fall flavors lineup). It also means that home mixologists, can skip buying (or making) the simple syrup and just use the same stuff they already have on hand for topping pancakes.

Maple syrup has been uber-trendy lately not only due to its flavor but to the health benefits it conveys. It's high in nutrients such as manganese and riboflavin and rich in antioxidants. By contrast, simple syrup supplies none of these. One thing to be aware of is that a 1-ounce serving (which equates to 2 tablespoons, for those of you without a cocktail jigger) has 110 calories, whereas the same amount of simple syrup is just 50 calories. Due to the former's sweetness, however, you can generally replace the simple syrup in a drink recipe with maple syrup that's been diluted 50/50 with water. (This will also help cut down on the costs, because maple syrup may actually be priced higher than some top-shelf liquors).

Try a maple syrup swap in these cocktails

Irish coffee is one of the most well-established coffee cocktails, and it's a fairly simple one that any bar with a coffee maker and a can of squirty whipped cream on hand can easily put together. At home, however, you can make it into an Irish-Canadian coffee by sweetening the java with maple syrup before spiking it with whiskey (Canadian, of course) and smothering it with the whipped cream that is, tbh, the best part of the drink.

Should you find yourself getting a bit tired of the basic recipe for an espresso martini, the '90s drink that staged a big comeback in 2022, maple syrup is the cure for that, too. Mix vodka with strong cold coffee, and equal amounts of coffee liqueur and maple syrup. Stir them up over ice to chill the drink, then sip on that sweet, pre-millennial cocktail like it's 1999.

If you're a fan of coffee soda, we have one more suggestion: a mapley-spin on a drink called the Siciliano. This low-ABV drink is made with sweet vermouth and cold coffee (in about a 4:3 ratio) sweetened with maple syrup, then topped off with club soda. Certain recipes for a standard Siciliano up the booze content a touch with the addition of amaro or amaretto, but either the bitter flavors of the former or the sweet almondy notes of the latter also work well with maple syrup.