Mixing With: Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky

Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky
Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky

One of our missions here at Drink Spirits is to help you learn more about spirits, but when you bring home that bottle of whisk(e)y, tequila, gin, amaro, or bitters from the store, what are you supposed to do with it? As much as I love spirits, it’s bringing everything together in a great cocktail that really fuels me. This new segment, “Mixing With,” brings you on my  journey into not only what to mix, but how to mix to ensure a great at-home cocktail experience.

Before we jump right in to mixing drinks, a little about me. I’m Heather Kleinman, the co-editor of Drink Spirits. I love bold flavors and balanced cocktails. My most favored spirits include scotch, bourbon, gin, tequila, mezcal, and amari. I don’t care for anise (so no absinthe rinses here), and I don’t like overly sweet cocktails. You’ll sooner find me sipping a dram of Ardbeg over a Cosmo any day. I am also not a bartender. I make cocktails for myself at home and I enjoy working on perfecting my home bar craft.

For this first Mixing With entry, I am experimenting with Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky (81 proof, $29.99), a light-bodied, flavored, blended whisky that is easy to sip neat but also fun to play with. It’s made with grade A Canadian light maple syrup from Quebec and a blend of 3, 5, and 7 year rye whiskies distilled in Canada. Our bottle came with some cocktail recipes, some of which have obscure ingredients not commonly found in a home bar (I don’t keep chocolate mole bitters or cinnamon syrup laying around), so I chose the simple three-ingredient Sidecar 357.

Sidecar 357

2 oz. Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky
1/2 oz. orange liqueur (common ones are Cointreau and Combier)
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

Add all the ingredients to a Boston Shaker (the black tin with the pint glass top), fill with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into a cocktail glass.

Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky and Leopold Bros. Orange Liqueur Sidecar

Sidecar 357

I am a fan of the products from Leopold Brothers in Colorado, so I decided to pair their American Orange Liqueur with Tap 357. It is slightly bitter and not too thick or syrupy.

Getting Ready to Shake

Before measuring all the ingredients into the shaker, fill the cocktail glass you plan to serve with ice so it can be chilling, and set aside. I also always use the hawthorne strainer (the one with the coil) plus a fine mesh strainer, so I’m sure to get all the icy bits out of the cocktail.

The Finished Sidecar 357

The Sidecar 357 is both a refreshing cocktail and one that you can sip. I like how the subtle bitterness of the Leopold Bros. Orange Liqueur and the acidity of the lemon juice play with the maple sweetness of the 357 whisky. There is enough complexity of flavor in these three ingredients that I would definitely make this again.

For my next drink with Tap 357, I wanted to make a riff on both a Whisky Sour and an Old Fashioned. I like to make my Old Fashioneds with cherry bitters, but I wanted the light and easy lemon flavor of a sour. The outcome is what I call a Maple Cherry Sour.

Maple Cherry Sour

2 oz. Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky
3/4 oz. lemon juice
3 dashes Woodford Reserve Spiced Cherry Bitters
1/2 oz. agave syrup

Measure all ingredients into a Boston shaker, fill with ice, shake well, and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Maple Cherry Sour
Maple Cherry Sour

Again, the sweetness of the 357 whisky is balanced by the lemon juice and the bitter cherry bitters, which I think it needs in a cocktail. If you are going to sip 357 neat, it’s a sweet treat, but in a cocktail I like the flavors to balance out.

Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky is available in select states across the country.