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Dec 3, 2001 02:50 AM

Hitting the Bottle

  • b

There's a little glass bottle in the cupboard calling to me. I must resist. I don't have a problem. Honestly. I could quit, if I really wanted to.

It started innocently, at the yuppie grocery store we frequent. There was a section of maple syrups in an aisle, microbrew syrups among the Aunt Jemimas and Log Cabins. On a whim I placed a bottle of "Northern Comfort" in my cart. I was amused by the flask-shaped bottle, with a label parodying Dixieland whiskey, and it had a good color.

I've usually been dismissive of "genuine" maple syrup in favor of the usual maple -lavored varieties you find at most stores. The real stuff is usually expensive, thin, watery and without much flavor. At $11 a bottle, imported from Vermont, this bottled stuff had better be good.

And oh baby is it good. I'm a Canadian, maple syrup runs in my blood, and I haven't had any this yummy since a kindergarten field trip to the sap forest where they pulled it out of trees. "Northern Comfort" is thick like Aunt Jemima (and boy is my Aunt Jemima thick) and has a strong maple sugar flavor. It would be obscenely delicious on steel-cut oatmeal, but I've been putting it on vanilla ice-cream. It's all I can do not to take big swigs out of the bottle! It's calling to me even now.

I don't have a drinking problem. Yet.


A Burke and Wells review.


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  1. r
    Rochelle McCune

    Check the label, does it say "Grade B"? One day I bought some real maple syrup that came in a clear bottle - I chose it because of its deep, dark color. Wow! was it good!

    Then I realized that all these years I had been buying the lighter, more refined Grade A Maple Syrup because "A" is better then "B", right? Wrong!

    FYI - when I make coffee at home, I put a little drizzle of maple syrup in the carafe. It adds just a hint of maple yumminess to the coffee, without being too overwhelming or sugary.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rochelle McCune

      You can get very good, full-flavored Grade B maple syrup in bulk at Rainbow for about $6/lb. there is NO comparison between that fake maple-flavored corn syrup masquerading as "table syrup" and the real stuff!

      1. re: dixieday

        Trader Joe's has Canadian Maple Syryp 25oz. grade B for 6.99 a bottle. I'm no maple syrup connoisseur, but it sure tastes good to me.

    2. On a chilly night, mix maple syrup with heavy cream and dark rum. Serve in small glasses, like eggnog. Enjoy!

      4 Replies
      1. re: ironmom

        Oh, that's just EVIL!

        1. re: ironmom

          "Evil" is the word! Does this work better with warm cream and syrup, or should it be taken chilled?

          1. re: ironmom

            What proportions are the dark rum, cream and syrup? And what serving temperature is best? My wife went nuts over the idea of this concoction and requested that info.

            1. re: Tom Hall

              I keep the cream and syrup in the fridge, so when I mix it up to drink, it's cold. I mix equal parts. After you taste it, you may want to adjust the proportions to your taste.

              Experimenting is fun, because you have to drink all the test batches.