We talk to owner of the Gin Joint in Charleston, South Carolina - Joe Raya. He & his wife also make delicious syrups for bartenders called Tippleman’s. There are 6 delicious varieties:
Lemon Oleo Saccharum
Barrel Smoked Maple
Its Bartender Journey Podcast # 129 ! Listen with the player on right, or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.
First lets do a cocktail of the week! Its a Bourbon/Maple Old Fashioned using the Tippleman’s Barrel Smoked Maple syrup. The syrup is made using barrels from Willett Distillery. I used about ½ oz. I happened to have a lovely bottle of Willet Pot Still Reserve Bourbon, so I figured lets use that in our Old Fashioned! It’s a pretty incredible Bourbon and it’s tempting to just drink it neat or with one ice cube, but I used it anyway -- 2 oz of Willet Bourbon in my quite decedent Old Fashioned. I used Basement Bitters from Tuttletown distillery. These are the guys that make the great Hudson Whiskey among other things and their bitters are great!
To make an Old Fashioned – mix the sugar (or syrup in this case) with the bitters in the bottom of your Old Fashioned or rocks glass. Add the whiskey and some ice – ideally one big hand-cut ice cube and a twist. Normally it would be an orange twist in an Old Fashioned - especially if it were a Rye Old Fashioned - but I used lemon twist in this case. A little extra citrus “zing” from the lemon goes better with the Bourbon and maple flavors.
If you don’t have any Tippleman’s syrups yet, consider ordering some at tipplemans.com. But meanwhile, try experimenting with a good quality maple syrup in your old fashioned. Grade B is what is recommended for using in cocktails. You might consider mixing it with a little hot water to make it easier to mix into your cocktail. And if you don’t have the Basement Bitters, try substituting other aromatic bitters – Angostura is of course an awesome choice and widely available, but perhaps try experimenting with a few other brands too!