Ever since I started writing this Healthy Happy Hour cocktails column for Tuja Wellness, I look at seasonal produce much more differently. Prior to this, I’d seek out inspiration for my next meals, snacks, desserts, etc. by looking at what was fresh and in-season around me. That hasn’t changed, but now I look at things through a much broader lens because I’m also always thinking about how I could put those same seasonal ingredients into a cocktail. Maple syrup, a bonafide Canadian ingredient, gives inspiration year-round (but most prominently in the Spring when the festivals see people actually tapping into the trees to get at the liquid gold). I love its rich, sweet creaminess paired with, well, almost anything. Since the Samuel Adams Boston Lager has caramel-like undertones, I thought maple syrup would bring those caramel notes out. It was that thought that got me on a streak of recipe-testing beer-inspired cocktails that included maple syrup. After trying out several versions, including some with rosemary, meyer lemon, and orange bitters, I landed on this version, which happens to be my favourite. Paired with bourbon, a squeeze of orange juice, and–for something a little different–coffee bitters. There is a warm creaminess that perfectly captures the mood of the season. Topped with Samuel Adams Boston Lager, which is lovely on it’s own or as a partner to this pizza (recipe coming soon!), this drink becomes extra special. Beer is often thought of as something you drink cold, on a hot day. But with the addition of these other ingredients, this classic beer is transformed into a special occasion drink, a sitting by the fire bevvie, or a chilling with friends on a cold night sip. A warming, balanced, come out from the cold drink, it’s my new cocktail for the fall. The coffee bitters really adds a new layer of depth to it for me, but if you don’t have them, try it without. It’s still lovely! If you drink shandies, or other beer-inspired cocktails, this will be right up your alley. And if you don’t, you just might want to try. Cheers, friends!
- Pour the maple syrup, bourbon, orange juice, and about 4 drops of bitters into a cocktail shaker with several ice cubes. Shake the shaker vigorously for about 10-15 seconds and strain into two short glasses filled with ice. Top with 4-6 ounces (half a bottle) of the Boston Lager and stir to combine. Garnish with an orange twist/wedge and drink immediately.
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