If there’s a good time to enjoy a little booze in the morning, it’s during the Holidays. According to my research, the combination of maple syrup and bourbon for breakfast is a wonderful way to start out the New Year. No, I’m not a bad influence…at all. Don’t forget to bring your sweet tooth and a good appetite to the table. You’ll need it!
My inspiration came from CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) by Founders Brewing Co. Breakfast stout aged in maple syrup barrels is quite arousing, to say the least. I happened to have bottles of both Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup from Trader Joe’s and Maple Smoked Bourbon from Knob Creek. There are several barrel-matured maple syrups and a few other maple whiskies on the market. With the basics well in hand, I decided to make one of my favorite breakfast dishes: French toast and coffee.
Maple Bourbon Coffee
This Smoked Maple Bourbon from Knob Creek is great for sipping, but it’s also amazing in coffee. I recommend pairing it with half and half and simple syrup made from brown sugar. You can make your own simple syrup by boiling water and adding sugar at a 1:1 ratio. Stir until the sugar dissolves and then allow to cool. Add bourbon, cream, and sweetener to fresh brewed coffee according to your tastes. If you don’t have the Smoked Maple Bourbon (sadly, it’s a special order here in Utah), use maple syrup and whatever bourbon you have on hand. Just omit the sugar.
Banana Nut French Toast with Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup
The secret to good French toast is quality ingredients and proper cooking techniques. I use thick sliced French bread, an egg for each slice, a trio of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice), with a splash of milk for creaminess. Mix together and soak the bread all the way through. Cook in a non-stick pan slowly over medium heat. Turn the toast several times for even cooking. Slice bananas and chop some walnuts for topping. I added some cherry wood-smoked thick-cut bacon from Harmons on the side. However, my husband informed me that it would be best chopped up as a topping along with the nuts. I think he’s right. The smoky, salty bacon blends perfectly with this dish. Add a little whipped cream for good measure and don’t forget the bourbon barrel-aged syrup!
The beauty of this is that it works for any favorite breakfast dish. Try it on pancakes or waffles. Pumpkin waffles anyone? For those who may be more refined, use the combination as a filling for crepes. If you’re not a fan of bananas, use strawberries or peaches. Maple syrup is fabulous on both! The possibilities are endless. Whatever you do, enjoy an out-of-the-ordinary holiday breakfast to begin 2018 in the best way! Happy New Year, everyone!