Friday, January 18, 2013

The Maple Leaf Cocktail

Bourbon Lemon Maple Syrup Cocktail

Tomorrow, January 19, is Beaver Day.  I know, you are probably thinking to yourself, "Kelsey, what the heck is Beaver Day?"  Well, obviously, it is a very important holiday here in Canada, celebrating one of our most beloved creatures.  There is a significant amount of legend surrounding the holiday, and I don't think I can do the story justice, so I will just reiterate that it is a really important and fun holiday.

In honour of Beaver Day, I wanted to create a cocktail to represent all that is good and wonderful about this holiday.  My inspiration would be the BeaverTail treats served here in Ottawa.  BeaverTails are a delicious fried dough pastry, often topped with cinnamon and sugar or Nutella.  In other parts of the world, they are known as Elephant Ears.  One of the popular, though albeit strange, variations of the BeaverTail has lemon, cinnamon and sugar.  So that was where I would start.  My love of bourbon is well documented, so of course the drink would be bourbon based. And there would be maple syrup, because what is a drink celebrating a Canadian holiday without maple syrup.  I figured that I would call it a Beaver-tail as a play on the word cocktail.  Sometimes, when I think I've stumbled upon a brilliant idea for a recipe, I do a quick Google search to see if I'm the only one with this idea.  Apparently in this case, I was not the only one to think of combining bourbon, lemon, and maple syrup.  There is a well known drink that consists of these elements, and wouldn't you know it, it is called the Maple Leaf!! So Canadian, it was perfect!  And the drink itself is perfection.

Happy Beaver Day!

Maple Leaf Bourbon Cocktail Recipe

The Maple Leaf Cocktail (aka the Beaver-tail)

As seen on the Kitchn, Leite's Culinaria, etc.

2 ounces Bourbon
1 ounce freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
3/4 ounce pure maple syrup
Dash of cinnamon (or a cinnamon stick)

Combine the bourbon, maple syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon (unless you have a cinnamon stick) in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. (You can pour the drink over ice if you wish).

Making cocktails for a crowd?  Try the Smitten Kitchen's Vermontucky Lemonade and add a bit of cinnamon.


  1. This sounds ridiculously good, I am definitely going to have to try this! Thanks for sharing :)

    Happy Valley Chow

  2. Is Beaver Day for real? I've never heard of it! This drinks sounds like it would be good any day though!

  3. Haha, Natalie, it's not real, but it is really fun. A girlfriend from Windsor made it up years ago to mess with her American friends and has been celebrating it ever since.

  4. Haha okay I feel pretty dumb .. but it seems like there are National Days for pretty much everything on this earth (apparently January 18th is Winnie the Pooh Day) so it didn't sound too far stretched for there to be a National Beaver Day! :)

  5. Haha, I feel like there really should be a Beaver Day though, so you were right to think it probably existed! And after a quick Google, it looks like a group of Nova Scotia architects have been celebrating it for 40 years at the end of February!

  6. I bet this is good!

  7. Good combination of flavors here. My favorite drink at home is bourbon on the rocks stirred with a splash of maple syrup and a strip of orange peel, dash of bitters.

    By the way, a friendly suggestion: whisky cocktails often turn out much nicer (and avoid that frothy foam on top) if you stir rather than shake them. Not to be dogmatic about cocktail rules, but that's one that's usually worth following.


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