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Maple Leaf


Maple Leaf

This simple, sour-style cocktail combines caramel-y bourbon with maple syrup and tart lemon juice to create a mellow, moreish cocktail. The Maple Leaf is a great choice for whiskey enthusiasts or those wanting a warming winter cocktail.

Bourbon, Lemon Juice, Maple Syrup.

*premium glassware pictured, event glassware may differ.

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The Maple Leaf is an understated spin on the classic Whiskey Sour. This version lowers the amount of tart lemon and replaces the usual sugar syrup with maple syrup to give the drink a rich, sweet flavour and a soft, warming texture.

The Maple Leaf is a great choice for those planning a whiskey-based menu for their bar hire. Like many whiskey drinks, the Maple Leaf is strong and alcohol-forward. With only a splash of syrup and lemon juice atop the all important bourbon, this drink certainly packs a punch.

If you’re planning on serving the Maple Leaf you may want to include some lower ABV whiskey cocktails along with it.

A great long whiskey drink is the Eclipse Cooler. This cocktail combines bourbon with the dry fruitiness of cranberry juice, the tart acidity of lime and the sharp sweetness of raspberries in a surprisingly balanced long drink that sits well alongside its heavier whiskey-based cousins.

With it’s warm maple and bourbon flavour profile, the Maple Leaf makes a great cocktail to include on a wintertime bar hire. If you’re looking to include some other warming winter cocktails some favourites include the White Russian; a creamy mixture of vodka, coffee liqueur and cream, and the Boulevardier; a beautifully rich, bourbon based twist on a classic Negroni.

If you’re planning on including the Maple Leaf on your menu and want to know what other drinks might work well with it, be sure to speak to your event organiser about your options, or check out some other whiskey-based, wintery and short cocktails from our list.


This one came via our resident cocktail chemist and events manager, Jake Rogers, we asked him to elaborate on the inclusion of this deliciously simple, winter warmer cocktail:

“It’s something I used just as a super simplistic cocktail with an American theme, I think it was for a thanksgiving event. The maple syrup has the perfect rich sweetness to balance out the zing of the lemon and the bourbon gives it that woody warmth for an autumn-y, wintry twist on a classic sour.”


Myths & Legends

The Maple Leaf is something of a myth in its own right, whilst there seem to be hundreds of nearly identical recipes for this drink across the web and in various cocktail books, none of the authors claim its creation.

Whilst most instances seem to list just the recipe and perhaps some comment on its qualities as a winter warmer or a way to showcase the woody spice of bourbon, almost none delve into the cocktail’s history and the few that do, hit the same dead end that we have. It seems that despite its widespread recognition and popularity, this cocktail just appeared out of thin air.


Bobby Huegel, owner of Houston’s celebrated Anvil Bar and Refuge featured the drink on his list of 100 cocktails everyone should try, as well ass singing its praises on his personal drinks-based blog, When asked about the drinks origin’s in the blog’s comment section, Huegel admits that he too struggled to find any history on it:

To be honest, I’ve been somewhat irresponsible in my making of this cocktail. I don’t actually remember the origins of where I discovered it. I tried relocating it myself with no luck. Maybe someone else out there knows; maybe I’ve overlooked it in an obvious book. I’m really not sure.”

Ingredients & Equipment

Bourbon is the main ingredient In the Maple Leaf and drives the flavour of this cocktail, so the bourbon you use will greatly affect this drink’s taste.

One of our favourite bourbons to use in this drink is Woodford Reserve, this classic Kentucky bourbon has a rich, caramel-y finish and an oaky spiced undertone that makes it a delicious partner for sweet maple syrup.

Maple syrup is quite an expensive ingredient but it is worth investing in the good stuff, there are many ‘maple flavoured’ syrups available, these are usually made from golden syrup or high-fructose corn syrup, this means they may have a sickly artificial flavour and can contain a higher sugar content than natural maple syrup.


  • 50ml Bourbon
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • 12.5ml Maple Syrup
  • Cinnamon Stick to Garnish



  • Shaker
  • Jigger/Measure
  • Hawthorne Strainer
  • Fine Strainer
  • Mexican Elbow
  • Rocks Glass
  • Cubed Ice
  • Take your Boston glass or small tin
  • Using your jigger to measure add the bourbon to your shaker
  • Using your Mexican elbow and your jigger to measure, squeeze 25ml of lemon juice and add it to the shaker
  • Fill your shaker with cubed ice and seal using your Boston tin or lid
  • Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds or until your tin is very cold
  • Fill your rocks glass with cubed ice
  • Using your Hawthorne strainer and your fine strainer, double strain your cocktail into your rocks glass
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick
  • Serve and enjoy!

For larger groups of six or more students, we offer the option to take things private. Our classes are fully portable, and we are able to set ourselves up efficiently and professionally in a wide variety of locations and settings across the capital, the UK, and beyond. You name the location, and we’ll endeavour to make it happen.

Give one of our dedicated event organisers a call on 020 8003 7982. They’ll happily talk you through your options, and answer any questions you may have about both our mobile and in-house cocktail making classes.