The month of March brings an agricultural awakening in New England with the start of sugaring season. For the last few weeks, farmers throughout the Northeast have been busy tapping their sugar maples for gallons of sweet sap to boil down into thick, amber syrup. It's currently Maple Month in New Hampshire, where sugar houses open their doors to neighbors and tourists alike, offering jugs of freshly made maple syrup, tours, and even special events like pancake breakfasts.
Lucky for me, I know a few sugar shack operators in New England, and received some of the liquid gold for Christmas last year. Find your own favorite producer by sampling syrups boiled nearby; the rich local sweetener will add a deep caramel sweetness to your cocktail.
- 1 ounce bourbon
- 3/4 ounce dark rum
- 1/2 ounce St. Elizabeth's allspice dram
- 1 ounce Metcalf's Vermont maple cream
- 1/2 ounce real maple syrup
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 6 dashes Miracle Mile toasted pecan bitters (available at The Boston Shaker and online)
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers black walnut bitters
- 1 large egg (as fresh as possible)
This recipe uses a whole egg, which may seem strange, unless you've read about Elisha's trip to Eastern Standard. Make sure you use fresh, cold, and preferably organic eggs for cocktails, as you'll be serving them raw. If you can't find maple cream liqueur, Bailey's is a suitable substitute, although you'll lose some maple flavor.
- In a cocktail shaker, combine all liquid ingredients. Crack your egg and carefully add the whites and yolk to your cocktail shaker, being careful to avoid any shell. Cover and shake without any ice — also known as "dry shaking." This will emulsify your egg and make it nice and frothy. Dry shake for at least a minute. Fill your shaker with ice and shake again vigorously until chilled, about another minute. Double strain into an 8 oz coupe or cocktail glass (double straining eliminates any small chips of ice). Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.