Coffee Maple Old Fashioned

Bourbon, coffee, maple, and orange. It's a flavor pairing made in heaven, and I'm celebrating it in this very unique Coffee Maple Old Fashioned.

The Old Fashioned is one of the simplest and most classic cocktails, traditionally made with bourbon, simple syrup, bitters, and an orange peel. In our house, we always sweeten it with maple syrup instead of simple syrup, which I've named a Vermont Old Fashioned. The pairing of maple and bourbon is lovely.

But I like to have a bit of fun with this classic cocktail, and I sometimes put a twist on it. This Cherry Chai Old Fashioned is romantic and perfect for winter, while this Deep In The Forest Old Fashioned is really interesting and inspired by the smells of the forest. Can you tell this is a drink I like to play with??

This winter, I began collaborating with some fellow Vermonters at Paradiso Farm Coffee. They make the most amazing Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee, which I used to develop a recipe for some delicious Maple Bourbon Coffee Rubbed Tofu. However, as I was creating the tofu recipe (and drinking Paradiso Farm's beautiful coffee every morning), I couldn't help but thinking... this needs to become an Old Fashioned!

Paradiso Farm's Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee is aged in maple bourbon barrels from Saxtons River Distillery (also in Vermont!), so the beans take on an incredible bourbon aroma and flavor. I actually chose to use citrus in the tofu recipe because I was inspired by an Old Fashioned. Clearly, the unification of bourbon, coffee, maple, and orange needed to happen again, this time in the form of a cocktail.

However, coffee isn't entering into this cocktail in a way you'd expect. Instead of adding coffee into the drink itself, I've added it by way of a very large, charismatic coffee ice cube. Check out that beauty!

My thought process behind this was to create a drink that evolves over the course of your interaction with it. When you start sipping this Old Fashioned, the coffee is more in the aroma, because the ice hasn't started to melt yet. The first few sips are very bourbon-forward. Then, as the drink sits and the coffee cube melts, the coffee flavor melds with the bourbon, creating notes of bitterness and even chocolate. In this way, the drink is a journey of sorts, winding through a wide array of flavors as it progresses.

You'll see that I also included a couple slices of my new favorite fruit, the mandarinquot! They're delightfully sweet and so pretty, although any citrus you like will work great. You can use a citrus slice, or to be more classic, a shaving of the peel. Finally, I like to use coffee bitters in this drink in place of regular bitters. There are numerous artisan drink stores that sell coffee bitters, but regular will be fine if that's all you can get your hands on.

Just remember that you'll need to make the coffee ice cubes at least a day in advance. Brew up some coffee (ideally this Paradiso Farm Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee, of course!) and freeze it overnight. This is really the right place for a single large ice cube so that it doesn't melt too quickly; most kitchen stores have large-cube silicone trays now.

This cocktail is familiar enough to feel classic, yet interesting enough to feel fresh. It would be perfect alongside this Maple Bourbon Coffee Rubbed Tofu (or that same rub applied to your protein of choice). I would also be so fun alongside a breakfast-for-dinner concept, especially with waffles! I'm pretty sure that sipping this cocktail while making these Mexican Coffee Waffles would be the best date night imaginable.

I hope you'll have some fun with this one! Because cocktails should be fun, right?

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Paradiso Coffee. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.

Looking for another fun, out-of-the-box riff on a bourbon classic? I love this Thyme Julep, which is a more fall- and winter-appropriate spin on the Mint Julep.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • Large coffee ice cube (1 per drink). Made with Paradiso Farm's Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee, of course! Remember that you'll want to freeze your coffee cubes at least a day in advance.
  • Bourbon (~2 oz per drink). If possible, choose one with a vanilla-forward flavor profile. Or really do things right and get your hands on the Saxtons River Distillery Maple Bourbon! Who knows, maybe it will be from the exact same barrel that the coffee beans were aged in??
  • Maple syrup (~0.25 oz per drink)
  • Few dashes of bitters. If you have the option, opt for coffee bitters.
  • Orange peel for prepping the drink
  • Orange peel or slice for garnish. Or mandarinquot, kumquat, or any other interesting orange you like.
Thoughts About Method
(These are just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. In a cocktail stirring glass with regular ice, combine the bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters. Give it all a stir, and let it sit for a minute to chill the drink.
  2. While your drink sits, take a piece of shaved orange peel and wipe the rim of a highball glass to enhance the orange aroma.
  3. Put the coffee cube into a highball glass and pour the drink over it, using a strainer to remove the regular ice.
  4. Give it a final squeeze of the orange peel, which will infuse your drink with the fragrant oil from the peel.
  5. Garnish with a slice of orange or another shaving of peel.


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