I can’t believe it’s been almost five years since I wrote my first cookbook! I’m so proud of it, but sometimes I wish I could go back and tweak some of the recipes. One of the things I’ve quickly come to love about blogging is how alive this site feels. It’s always growing and changing, and nothing is set in stone (or ink). I can revise and make edits whenever I want. That ability is incredibly freeing, as both a writer and a recipe developer.
One of my favorite recipes from The Boozy Baker is for the Maple Leaf cocktail. Alex and I make it all the time; we joke it’s our house drink. It’s really easy: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine 2 ounces of bourbon, half and ounce of lemon juice, and half an ounce of maple syrup. Shake and strain over ice. It’s perfectly delicious, but a couple of weeks ago I was playing around with it a little bit and the results were even better. Now what?
The only thing to do is share it with you here. I’m calling this the Improved Maple Leaf, and I hope you love it as much as we do. It’s a stiff drink! We only have one apiece, and sip them slowly. Sometimes, to make mine last longer, I top it off with club soda. After a torturously long bedtime routine (Owen’s currently involves debating between the Mickey toothbrush and the Elmo toothbrush, drinking a glass of ice water, reading and rereading the same lift-the-flap book multiple times, saying good night to his lamp, plus three hideously off-key lullabies) this is often our sweet reward. You gotta keep your eyes on the prize.
Improved Maple Leaf
Makes 1 drink
2 ounces bourbon
1 1/2 ounces apple cider
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce maple syrup
Two dashes bitters
Twist of orange or lemon zest, thin slice of apple, or maraschino cherry, for garnish
Club soda (optional)
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the bourbon, apple cider, lemon juice, and maple syrup and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and add the bitters. Garnish with the orange or lemon zest, the apple, or cherry, and serve. To make the drink last longer, top with some club soda after you’ve cleared some room.