Habitant – Recipe from David Embury’s ‘The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks’

Sweet Martini with the addition of as much maple syrup as Italian vermouth. Two dashes Angostura to each drink. Stir or shake. This is a specialty of the Canadian Club of New York City. It can be improved upon by cutting down somewhat on the maple syrup and adding a few dashes of lemon juice. 

As expected this drink is credited to a Canadian gentleman who used to work at the Seignory club in Quebec, a club noted for being the retreat of Canadian and world leaders for decades.

The word is an old Canadian word which refers to an early resident of the west from a time when Canada was New France and before Old France had traded its sugar islands in the Caribbean for these few acres of snow north of the American border.

I’m a massive fan of maple syrup, I seem to remember it being an important food group for me for a while, normally accompanied by a crumb or two of pancake, and it wasn’t until earlier this year that I discovered that the trick to using it in drinks is to use the really expensive stuff, no matter how pure it says it is on the outside of the bottle, if that bottle is plastic then its chalk to proper syrups cheese.

I decided to stick to Embury’s preferred version, and was lucky to have a sample of a grapefruit heavy gin in the freezer from the Bimber distillery which helped emphasis the citrus, which worked a treat. Although not as good as the Applejack Rabbit (23rd Feb), its still a great drink, and well worth trying, the maple works nicely with the gin, and red vermouth, although I would use a very small amount of maple, around 5-10ml per drink, with 10 almost making it too sweet.