Editor’s Note: These syrups were provided to us as review samples by New Leaf Syrups. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
Bartenders have known a secret for quite some time, and we don’t mind sharing it. Regular simple syrup is boring; plain and simple. While equal parts sugar and water can balance a cocktail and maintain flavors of other ingredients, it is okay to jump off the high dive and play with other syrups. For example, you have probably seen old fashioned recipes swapping the simple syrup, or sugar cube, for maple syrup.
A new company, New Leaf Tree Syrups, is here to bring you a variety of syrups that you can use for just about anything your heart desires. At the moment, my heart desires cocktails, and these syrups do wonders. It’s not just all maple syrup either. New Leaf Tree Syrups has sugarhouses in New York and Vermont, and provides American Beech, Birch, and blended or infused syrups.
Dr. Michael Farrell, CEO of New Leaf Tree Syrups, was the former head of Cornell University’s Uihlein Maple Research Forest in Lake Placid, NY. He took his expertise and started a group called the Forest Farmers in 2017. Their vision was to use the land for the greatest diversity of plants, animals, and sustainably harvested products as possible. This vision became the foundation for New Leaf Tree Syrups as they entered the private sector.
Caring about biodiversity and sustainability, New Leaf Tree Syrups owns 7000 acres of Adirondack foothills and 2500 acres in the Vermont Green Mountains. Owning this land, which is rich with a wide variety of tree species, allows the company to “produce the greatest diversity of single-source, organic and eco-kosher certified saps.” Being the Forest Farmers, New Leaf Tree Syrups forages the lands to provide mushrooms, berries, etc. to locals.
New Leaf Tree Syrups are sold in 375ml bottles. Prices range from $15 to $36, but you can also order a custom sample pack. The Whiskey Wash was given a sample of five syrups, Maple and Walnut, Maple and Balsam Fir, Maple and Birch, Sweet Birch, and American Beech. For now, you can only order online on their site, or on their Etsy shop.
The Maple and Walnut blend is light and sweet. It has a nice balance, and is reminiscent of toffee or nut brittle. The Maple and Balsam Fir is like Christmas in a bottle. It reminds me of hiking and having to push through tree branches on lesser known trails. The Maple and Birch has a kind of kola nut and chocolate note to it. The Sweet Birch makes a great substitute for light molasses or dark corn syrup. It has a thicker consistency and just oozes that brown sugar taste. The American Beech, which I’ve only used in woodworking and never thought about its sap, is truly unique as a syrup. It has an umami and woody flavor mixed with vanilla.
Cocktails Made with New Leaf Tree Syrups
- 2 oz Bourbon
- ¼ oz New Leaf Maple and Balsam Fir syrup
- Rinse or Float of Townshend’s Bluebird Alpine Liqueur
- Dropper of PDX Project Woodland Bitters
In a mixing glass stir all together with ice. Strain over a big cube in a rocks glass. Garnish with a Fir tip.
- 2 oz Irish Whiskey
- ¾ oz New Leaf Maple and Walnut syrup
- ¾ oz Lemon juice
- Club soda
Build in a collins glass with ice. Insert lemon slices. Top with soda water and give it a quick stir.
Bless Your Heart
- 2 oz Peach flavored Whiskey
- 1 oz New Leaf Maple and Birch syrup
- 1 tsp Peach puree
- 4 oz Ice tea
In a shaker with ice, combine ingredients. Pour over ice in collins glass. Garnish with a peach wedge.
- 1 ½ oz Scotch
- ¾ oz Amaro Averna
- ½ oz New Leaf Birch syrup
- ½ oz Orange juice
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
In a shaker with ice, combine ingredients. Double strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with orange wedge or twist.
Whiskey Champagne Cocktail
- Champagne or Prosecco
- ¾ oz Whiskey
- ¼ oz New Leaf American Beech syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
In a flute add syrup and whiskey. Top with champagne or prosecco. Add Angostura bitters. Garnish with a Lemon Twist.
User Review0 (0 votes)
Courtney Kristjana is a leading whiskey taster in the country. She left a career in Gerontology after an article on Heather Greene inspired her to follow her passion for whiskey. She is studying to become a Master of Scotch and someday hopes she is nominated for the Keepers of the...