Coffee Maple Old Fashioned


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(Note: this post was originally published on March 19, 2020. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)

A Seductive Combination

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.

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.

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.

Coffee Maple Old Fashioned with coffee beans

What Is an Old Fashioned?

The Old Fashioned is a very classic whiskey cocktail, and one that we love immensely. It's straightforward and simple, plus it's a great blank canvas for seasonal variations like this Apple Thyme Old Fashioned.

Classically-speaking, the Old Fashioned is made with bourbon (although rye can work as well, but is less traditional). The "original" Old Fashioned is just bourbon, simple syrup, and bitters. It's generally stirred and then served on the rocks (ideally a single large cube, in my opinion) and garnished with orange peel.

A Coffee Old Fashioned??

In this delightfully complex version, a large coffee cube provides great aroma, depth, and coffee flavor. Instead of the traditional Angostura bitters, I like to use coffee bitters; something wintry (e.g. pecan bitters) would also work. Instead of simple syrup (which in my opinion just isn't very exciting... sorry), I use maple syrup. And finally, instead of the usual orange peel, I've shown this drink with a very silly and whimsical mandarinquot half. Although this is by no means a traditional Old Fashioned, the components and ratios stay true to the spirit of the classic.

Coffee Maple Old Fashioned from above

A Very Special Coffee

This winter, I began collaborating with some fellow Vermonters at Paradiso Farm. They make the most amazing Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee, which I used to develop a recipe for this 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.

Coffee Maple Old Fashioned with a bag of coffee

Let's Talk Ingredients

Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • Bourbon. In a cocktail as simple as an Old Fashioned, the bourbon really shines. Accordingly, choose something nice! We like to use something solidly middle-shelf like Knob, Bulleit, or Buffalo Trace in this drink.
  • Maple syrup
  • Coffee bitters. 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.
  • Large coffee ice cube. Brew up some coffee (ideally 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. Just remember that you'll need to make the coffee ice cubes at least a day in advance.
  • Piece of orange peel. For preparing the drink. I like to wipe it across the rim and give the finished drink a final spritz of the fragrant oils from the peel.
  • Orange peel or slice. For garnish. Here I've shown 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. If you choose a bigger citrus, I'd use just a shaving of the peel rather than a slice of the whole fruit.

Coffee Maple Old Fashioned with barware

Closing Thoughts

This cocktail is familiar enough to feel classic, yet interesting enough to feel fresh. It would be perfect alongside a cozy, wintry meal. It would also be so fun alongside a breakfast-for-dinner concept, or perhaps even at a boozy brunch. Although we traditionally think of coffee as a morning flavor, its bitterness and complexity make it highly versatile.

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

Coffee Maple Old Fashioned close-up

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

Suggested Pairings

Sweet and Salty Stuffed Figs

Roasted Brussel Sprout Waldorf Salad

Orange and Cinnamon Roasted Delicata Squash

Maple Bourbon Coffee Rubbed Tofu

Flourless Chocolate Macadamia Blondies

Disclosure: I received free product from Paradiso Farm. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.

Coffee Maple Old Fashioned

This delightfully rich and complex Old Fashioned riff unites fragrant coffee, sweet maple, and fresh orange for an unforgettable combination. This versatile cocktail can do anything from a boozy brunch to a cozy winter evening in front of the fire.



  • 2 oz high-quality bourbon
  • 0.25 oz maple syrup
  • Few dashes of coffee bitters
  • Large coffee ice cube
  • Piece of orange peel
  • Citrus peel or slice for garnish


  1. In a cocktail stirring glass, combine the bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters. Stir well with ice, then let it sit for a minute to chill the drink.
  2. Put a large coffee cube into the highball glass.
  3. Take a piece of shaved orange peel and wipe the rim of a highball glass to enhance the orange aroma.
  4. Using a strainer, pour the chilled cocktail over the coffee cube.
  5. Give it a final squeeze of orange peel, which will infuse your drink with the fragrant oil from the peel.
  6. Garnish with a slice of orange or another shaving of peel.

Leave a Comment

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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Julie Ann
May 23, 2022
Fabulous cocktail! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ It's got all my favorite flavors and they blend so wonderfully together for the perfect sip. This one is definitely going to be on repeat😋
March 17, 2022
My goodness, this cocktail is sensational! Orange and coffee are such a classic combo, and adding bourbon is genius. Extra points given for the coffee ice cube! I can't wait to try this!
March 11, 2022
Wow this has me drooling! What an interesting combo. Loving that coffee cube!