We love a good fall cocktail, and is there anything more fall-ish than cozy bourbon drinks? Throw in some maple, cinnamon, and orange and we’re giving the PSL a run for its money! This Saltsy Hour we’re doing just that by mixing up an Autumn Bourbon Maple Spritzer.
The maple bourbon spritzer, also known as an orange maple bourbon smash, is a twist on a classic bourbon cocktail and it’s a deceivingly quick drink to whip up. Yet, despite its simplicity, it’s sure to become one of your favorite bourbon cocktail recipes this holiday season.
A refreshing new drink in your fall lineup
One thing we find particularly appealing about this drink is the fact that it’s fallish without an overwhelmingly heavy or sweet flavor profile.
Don’t get us wrong, pumpkin pie martinis have their place, but holiday dessert drinks are like a party dress… fun and frilly every now and then, but not something you want to squeeze into every day. On the other hand, the bourbon maple spritzer is akin to an oversized sweater: casually stylish and reliably comfortable in nearly any setting.
You’ll find that this particular autumn spritzer is a complex yet refreshing cocktail — bourbon-forward, with just a hit of sweetness. It’s the perfect companion for cold nights and warm visitors!
The secret? Follow your nose…
So, what makes the Saltsy Hour version special? The unique spin is in the garnish.
You’ll take a thinly sliced orange wheel and ever-so-lightly dust it with cinnamon and place it atop your spritzer. From the first sip to the last the scent of the cinnamon intermingled with the fresh orange keeps your olfactory system engaged. You’ll find the cinnamon enhances the richness and caramel notes of the bourbon, while the orange brings out the mellow sweetness of the citrus.
The other key to making this drink a success is using pure maple syrup. It’s sweet yet robust where maple-flavored syrup is watery and overly sweet. The real stuff truly helps pull together all of the fall flavors in this particular beverage. So, treat your taste buds — after all, it’s that time of year!
Let’s get mixing
What you’ll need for your Autumn Bourbon Maple Spritzer:
- Rocks glass
- 2 orange slices
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1/2 ounce pure maple syrup
- 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
- sparkling water (3-4 ounces)
- ice (one large ice cube or smaller ice cubes or crushed ice — bartender’s choice!)
- optional angostura bitters (only if you’re feeling fancy!)
- Add maple syrup, orange juice, and bourbon to glass
- Add 1 orange wheel and muddle
- Add sparkling water (~3-4 ounces)
- Top with ice
- If using angostura bitters, add your dash here
- For the garnish — don’t skip this part! — lightly dust the remaining orange wheel with cinnamon. A twisted orange peel is a good alternative, too!
If you’d like to mix up a larger batch for a holiday happy hour, then just multiply the ingredients accordingly. You can make a few hours ahead by pre-mixing the bourbon, maple syrup, juice, and muddled orange in a pitcher. Wait to add the ice and sparkling water until party time. Prep the garnishes last minute as well — you want them to be as fragrant as possible, and if you make them too soon, the cinnamon will soak into your orange slices… and that won’t be nearly as festive looking!
Let us know if you mix up an Autumn Bourbon Maple Spritzer, and feel free to tag us @SaltsyCo. We’re can’t wait for this to become one of the most popular cocktails in your fall lineup!
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