Applejack Rabbit – David Embury

1 part Maple Syrup

1 part Lemon Juice

1 part Orange Juice

6 parts Applejack

Shake with cracked ice.

Maple sugar may be used in place of Maple syrup but has the same disadvantage that ordinary sugar has compared with a sugar syrup. This drink is also sometimes, for no reason at all, called the Applejack Dynamite.

I had another drink lined up for tonight, but a good friend surprised me after a trip to Canada with a bottle of 100% pure Maple syrup, and if life gives you maple syrup, make an Applejack Rabbit.

I noticed this drink when I picked up my first copy of Embury years ago, but it was at a time when good maple syrup was well above my pay grade, and cheap maple syrup, or what I could get through the bar I was working in, had all the intense flavour of processed sugar, so this drink never really worked for me. I kept trying by putting in more syrup to tease out the flavour, but just felt closer to diabetes. I gave up.

Maple syrup is a strange thing, its very tightly regulated by the Canadian Government to keep prices stable, stable at just over 20 times the value of oil, or $1300 a barrel. All the producers have a quota they cannot exceed, and Canada accounts for ¾ of all of the worlds maple syrup. It’s an awesome cartel. Like all valuable things its copied, badly. Most maple syrup on the market may have a drop or two in the bottle so it can print the name on the plastic, but what’s inside is mostly just sugar.

Like a lot of valuable things its susceptible to crime. A few years ago the government cartel controlling distribution had almost 10000 barrels stolen, with a street value (I love being able to write this about maple syrup) of $13 million.

This drink first appears in “here’s How” from 1927, with an insane amount of maple syrup, I suspect designed to hide the flavour of whatever was pretending to be Applejack at the time. I’ve seen this drink on one menu, once, about 15 years ago. And they didn’t use the good stuff. I was a bit hesitant to try it tonight, but was blown away. Not only does this drink have one of the coolest names, reminds me of Pulp Fiction, but with good quality syrup it’s fantastic.