This recipe is sponsored by BarrelCharWood.com. All opinions are my own.
Sugar maple rum and apples? Yes please! This seemingly fall-centric cocktail takes those cozy flavors and makes them enjoyable year round, with a squeeze of fresh lemon and plenty of crushed ice.
It’s sweet, tart, and very refreshing, making it a great spring cocktail for those first outdoor happy hours of the season.
Aging spirits at home with Barrel Char Jar
This cocktail is my final infusion made with the Barrel Char in a Jar spirits aging alternative system. Instead of having to use (and buy) a whole barrel to age your own spirits at home, you can simply use a piece of toasted or charred wood and a common mason jar.
In October 2021, I set out to test the Barrel Char in a Jar system with four interesting infusions: cherry wood infused bourbon, amburana wood infused tequila, birch infused gin, and sugar maple infused white rum.
More barrel char jar cocktail recipes:
Sugar maple infused white rum
My sugar maple infused white rum is the lightest colored of all of my infusions, with a pale golden color. The aroma at six months is sweet and caramel-like, with definitive notes of maple and a slight fruitiness.
The taste is clean and smooth with prominent brown sugar and a hint of oak. I think that this infusion was my most straightforward, with the mild flavors of the wood pairing seamlessly with the mild flavors of white rum.
It may not be the most exciting or unexpected infusion, but it’s a distinctively dessert-flavored liquor that is wonderful sipped neat. Because of its generally mild, sweet flavor and aroma, it works in a wide range of cocktails, from winter treats like the Coquito to a fresh, ice-cold Mojito.
Rum, maple, apple, and lemon
With spring finally here in New England, I was inspired to go in a refreshing direction with this sweet rum, even though it definitely also has a place in sweet, creamy dessert drinks.
I knew I wanted to pair it with a splash of pure maple syrup to strengthen that flavor, and I found apple and lemon were the perfect accompaniment to keep things light and fresh.
I used pebble ice from my Opal Ice Maker, which adds just the right amount of dilution. You could also use crushed ice. If using regular ice cubes or large pieces of ice, add a splash of soda water.
How to make the cocktail
This rum cooler is made with four simple ingredients:
- Sugar maple infused rum
- Apple juice
- Lemon juice
- Maple syrup
Of course, you could make this cooler with any white rum and it would still be great. But the sugar maple infusion adds a whole other dimension to the drink. It also makes the rum taste much smoother, less “hot,” and just generally more expensive, in my opinion.
When choosing an apple juice, go with something pure, if possible. A freshly pressed juice will have the most flavor, rather than just adding sweetness. I like to use honeycrisp apple juice in this recipe and there are tons of great choices at stores like Whole Foods.
As always, be sure you use freshly squeezed lemon juice. There is no place for bottled or from concentrate lemon juice in this cocktail. It makes all the difference in the flavor and freshness of the drink!
I used a great, full flavored, local maple syrup. Make sure you use pure maple syrup and not something adulterated like “pancake syrup” and the drink will be exceptional. Another way to ramp up the flavor is to use a barrel aged maple syrup, if you can find one!
You may also enjoy these other cocktails:
- 8 Cocktails to Make You Fall in Love with Fall
- First Frost (Rum & Chartreuse Cocktail)
- Fresh Banana Daiquiri
- Corn ‘n Oil
- Fish House Punch
Sugar Maple Rum & Apple Cooler
- 2 oz sugar maple infused white rum
- 1 oz apple juice
- 1 oz lemon juice
- ½ oz maple syrup
- splash club soda, optional
- Combine all ingredients (except the club soda) in a cocktail shaker and fill it 3/4 with ice.
- Shake until chilled, then strain into a tall glass over crushed or pebble ice.
- Top with a splash of club soda, if desired. Garnish with an apple fan.