The Absolut (sorry) Maple Sour

Booze is at Defcon 1. Repeat: BOOZE IS AT DEFCON 1.

After drinking down our whiskey supply last week to the unspeakable amount of none, on Friday night the PhoBlograpHusband and I (were we drugged? hallucinating?) offered to supply the hard liquor at a friend's get-together in her nearby Plateau apartment. Sean put together an impressive travel bar backpack full of drinkies-poo: gin, both vermouths, Campari and I think dark rum and bitters. This was not the most experienced cocktailing crowd, which was more than fine, because all we had to do was mix up a nice round of Negronis and we were regarded as freaking geniuses.

Also dry geniuses: Four weeks to go 'til the end of Sean's semester, and what remains of the home stock is... vodka. And I think Calvados. And like two bottles of ouzo. So when Sean mentioned that he came across this Absolut Maple Sour recipe from a Google ad or spam mail (if I were in his shoes, I wouldn't fully cop to it either), what else was a girl to make? Times is tough, and recessions ain't just for breakfast anymore.

Now, this may be burying the lead, but I did NOT make this with Absolut. I have never kept Absolut in my house and have no plans to start. While I am an Absolut snob, I'm not an all-around vodka snob, because who's got the money or the inclination to care? Ketel One always served us fine back in the States. The vodka we happen to have on hand these days is Cupcake Vodka. Those readers who often find themselves purchasing bottles of cheap wine for their cutesy names (it's OK, we're all admitting embarrassing things here) will probably recognize the label from bottles of California vino; it's made by the same guys. And it's incredibly inexpensive and completely pleasant, two characteristics that can also be said about this recommendable sour itself.

The combination of the three ingredients of color gives this cocktail a trompe l'oeil orange tone. The taste is of an old fashioned as much as a sour, with the maple's sugared earthiness covering for the lack of whiskey more than you might expect.

The Absolut Maple Sour

1 1/2 ounces Cupcake  (or whatever you like) vodka

3/4 ounces maple syrup

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Lemon peel, to garnish

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake until your hands are too cold to keep holding onto the tin. (Srsly, because that syrup is a mother to disperse well.) Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with lemon peel.

Tasting Notes

Sean says, "This is good as outlined in the recipe above, but you could use a different liquor just as easily. You could also turn it into a maple Collins by adding soda."

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