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Maple Old Fashioned Recipe – A Bourbon Cocktail

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Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by Leah Hall

This Maple Old Fashioned Cocktail recipe is perfect for the fall, or all winter long! A sweet version of the classic, with some nutty and baked flavors, too, for this Maple Cocktail!


Updated October 9, 2023


The Old Fashioned might be the most famous and original American cocktail. Likewise Thanksgiving was originally an American holiday so we figured serving an Old Fashioned would be a great maple cocktail to serve on Thanksgiving, too. Try some more delicious fall twists on classic cocktails like a Maple Manhattan, whiskey sours, or hot toddy with real maple syrup.

tan maple Old Fashioned cocktail in leaves glass on white coaster on wooden table

This Maple Old Fashioned recipe is one of our favorite ways to make an old fashioned cocktail. Using good quality bourbon, bitters, a dash of maple syrup, and a garnish of orange peel. And, feel free to add a brandied cherry for garnish! A classic drink and one of the oldest cocktails, the Old Fashioned is made with aromatic bitters, a sugar cube, a couple ounces bourbon and that’s it! The best Old Fashioneds are made with a large cube of ice and the best bourbon, especially at the end of a long week.


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Maple Syrup Old Fashioned

When we sit down to plan our Thanksgiving meal, one thing we always have to plan for is a good cocktail. We always want to serve something seasonal, so we came up with the Maple Old Fashioned cocktail recipe. It’s a fall flavored variation of one of our favorite classic cocktails, the Old Fashioned.


Since an Old Fashioned is made with bourbon it doesn’t need a lot of added sweetener. The added maple syrup flavor is more interesting and brings out those warm caramel flavors in the bourbon whiskey perfectly. Just add to that a few dashes of Angostura bitters, a squeeze of orange peel, plus maybe a brandied cherry, and you have got a lovely Old Fashioned to enjoy this fall! See our Whiskey Summer Cocktails, too

tan maple Old Fashioned cocktail in leaves glass on white coaster on wooden table

Maple Syrup

Pure Maple syrup is a great fall flavor that often gets overshadowed by big fall flavors like apple or pumpkin spice. We also think maple shouldn’t be one that cocktail drinkers skip when the leaves start to fall. Sweet and rich, maple is great for cocktails as it can be used to add flavor while adding sweetness without diluting the drink.


When using maple syrup rather than simple syrup, a little goes a long way. The sweetness of maple syrup can vary, so start with less and add more if needed. You can always make a drink sweeter, but it is harder to make it less sweet.

tan maple Old Fashioned cocktail in leaves glass on white coaster on wooden table

Maple syrup is delicious and versatile in cocktails. It has dark sugar notes which make it a perfect match to bourbon in cocktails.

What Ingredients are Needed for the Maple Old Fashioned?

Full of a roasted nutty flavor, the maple syrup works really well with the baking spices commonly found in fall dishes. All these ingredients play well together and will be a good choice for bourbon lovers!

  • Angostura Bitters – the salt and pepper of the bartending world, these Angostura bitters are necessary to cut sweetness and add flavor.
  • Maple Syrup – make sure it’s real, not the fake pancake syrup from the store! Grade A is considered the best. If you can get your hands on some barrel aged maple syrup to use, you can thank us later! Try maple syrup in cocktails like our Maple Syrup Mule!
  • Bourbon – bourbon is a sweeter whiskey, so you don’t need to add a lot of maple to sweeten this drink. This American whiskey is sweet and mellow. It’s made from corn and aged in charred oak barrels. This barrel aging gives the bourbon flavors of caramel, dried fruit, vanilla and toast. A mid-tier bourbon is great in old fashioned cocktails. Look at brands like Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek or Elijah Craig. Try other bourbon cocktails like our Hot Buttered Bourbon, Brown Butter Old Fashioned and Bourbon Pear Cider!
  • Orange Peel – No Old Fashioned can be without an orange peel. (Although we have a lot without, LOL!) But, definitely not the Maple Old Fashioned!
  • Brandied Cherry (Optional) – We occasionally like to add brandied cherries to our old fashioned cocktails. You can buy Luxardo Cherries, or make your own with our homemade brandied cherry recipe! Or, we have bourbon soaked cherries, too!

tan maple Old Fashioned cocktail in leaves glass on white coaster on wooden table

Old Fashioned Cocktail

The Old Fashioned uses a uniquely American spirit, bourbon, as its base spirit. Bourbon also is a great spirit to use for fall drinks, its rich notes of vanilla and caramel working really well with fall flavors. A bit heavier than light spirits like gin, bourbon can make a drink that is smooth and sippable while spreading a nice warmth.


For our Maple Old Fashioned, the bourbon is paired up with the maple syrup. Together they make a delicious combination of sweet, toasty flavors that work really well. This Maple Old Fashioned Cocktail is a not miss. Also try our Cranberry Rosemary Old Fashioned, Smoked Cherry or our Peanut Butter and Jelly Old Fashioned!

tan maple Old Fashioned cocktail in leaves glass on white coaster on wooden tableHow to Make the Old Fashioned with Maple Syrup

A true Old Fashioned cocktail recipe has to have bitters, as bitters serve as the salt and pepper for a bartender. Made by infusing spices, herbs and botanicals in high proof spirits to make a complex flavor. Also, bitters can give a drink a whole new characteristic and layer of flavor that can make a drink come alive.


We wanted to add a hint of baking spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, so we used Angostura bitters. (A great bitters based cocktail is our Halloween Cocktail, Polyjuice Potion!)


A few dashes of bitters really pulled out the hints of spice from the bourbon while adding in a rich complex characteristic. We can garnish the drink with one of our Brandied Cherries and a fresh orange peel which adds a nice perfume to each sip. Try some other fall and winter cocktails like our Blizzard or Apple Cider Manhattan.


This is a simple fall cocktail, and so much fun for the time of year. This delicious twist doesn’t require a cocktail shaker, but you do need a mixing glass. You can also make it in the rocks glass, but we prefer to make sure the maple syrup is all dissolved in the mixing glass. The sugars can settle at the bottom of the glass, so if you do it this way, make sure it’s all stirred in.


Add the bitters and maple syrup into the mixing glass, and stir to combine with a bar spoon. Add in a good-quality bourbon and ice. Stir to chill and combine. Strain into your rocks glass with a large ice cube or ice cubes in it. Add an orange peel (use a vegetable peeler) to the rim of the glass or on a cocktail pick with a Luxardo cherry.


Bourbon Maple Syrup Cocktail

We really loved the way the Maple Old Fashioned sweet and spice, richly complex and delightfully boozy, too. Also, we think it will be perfect for gathering friends and family to sip while you ponder that next piece of pie! Check out another flavored Old Fashioned, with this Pine Old Fashioned! Also, try our Bourbon Bacon Cinnamon Rolls, they go great with this recipe!

tan maple Old Fashioned cocktail in leaves glass on white coaster on wooden table

Tips & Tricks
  • Bitters – If you don’t want to use Angostura bitters in this recipe, orange bitters would work well here, too. Some other different bitters options would be Coffee bitters, Cardamom bitters or Pecan bitters.
  • Sweetness – This drink is on the sweeter side, so if you want it less sweet, just use .25 ounce of the maple syrup. Or, just add more bourbon to offset the sweetness of maple syrup!
  • Ice – a large ice cube works the best for this cocktail because then it doesn’t water down as quickly. Here are some great ice cube molds to make them at home!
  • Garnish – obviously like we stated above, we used an orange peel and a cocktail cherry like a brandied cherry for garnish. But, for this maple cocktail, there are some other options for seasonal flavor. Maybe a lemon peel or orange twist instead of full orange peel.
  • Glassware – we used a rocks glass. The one in the photos is a Libbey with silver leaves, which gives it a seasonal twist. But most rocks glasses work well for an Old Fashioned.




If You are Looking for a Classic Cocktail, Try These!


If You Are Looking for More Bourbon Cocktails, Try These!


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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

The Ginger Snap - a Scotch CocktailThe Woodsman Cocktail


The Maple and Cider Kentucky Mule - A Bourbon CocktailThe Maple and Cider Kentucky Mule


Other Old Fashioned Cocktails

Other Maple Cocktails

tan maple Old Fashioned cocktail in leaves glass on white coaster on wooden table
Yield: 1

Maple Old Fashioned - A Bourbon Cocktail

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

A maple version of the classic Old Fashioned cocktail.


  • .50 ounce maple syrup
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • orange peel for garnish


Add bitters, maple syrup and bourbon to a mixing glass. Stir to chill and dissolve the maple syrup.

Add a large ice cube to a rocks glass.

Strain into rocks glass.

Garnish with an orange peel and brandied cherry, if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 14.3gFiber: 0gSugar: 12.7gProtein: 0g

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Friday 15th of September 2023

I've always enjoyed a similar recipe to this although I use orange bitters and add a tablespoon each of fresh squeezed lemon, lime and orange juice. My neighbor who is an Old Fashioned snob says it's the best he's ever had. For what it's worth, I use Two Star bourbon.

The Noms

Saturday 16th of September 2023

Hi Stan! Love this idea, sounds like a delicious twist on a whiskey sour with maple! Cheers! Jay and Leah

Melanie Greer

Saturday 28th of October 2017

What kind of bitters do you suggest? I am using luxardo cherries in this

The 'Noms.

Saturday 28th of October 2017

We suggest a great aromatic bitters like Angostura.

Cathy Mini

Wednesday 16th of November 2016

Yum!! This looks so delicious--pinning for later!

Melynda Brown

Thursday 10th of November 2016

Maple and bitters? Count me in, pinned.

The 'Noms.

Sunday 13th of November 2016

It's a great combo! Thanks for pinning, cheers!

Jessica Lam

Wednesday 9th of November 2016

This looks so delicious! Great photos!

The 'Noms.

Sunday 13th of November 2016

Thanks so much! Cheers!

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