It’s March in the Lakes Region and you know what that means…it’s Maple Month! Trees are tapped, sap is flowing, and sugar shacks are once again springing up (pun intended) all around Lake Winnipesaukee. If you’re a devout sugar shack patron, you know there’s nothing quite like driving those winding, wooded backroads and pulling into the parking lot with the sweet, nostalgic smell of sizzling skillet pancakes greeting you before you even leave the car. The timeless delicious duo of maple syrup and pancakes has always been and always will be a true staple of the season. But if you’re looking for some ways to mix up how to get your fix of maple syrup this sugaring season, we’ve got you covered.  Here are three not-so-average maple syrup recipes that we love to break out every time we’re lucky enough to get ahold of fresh Lakes Region syrup.

 

Cran-Bourbon Maple Cocktail

What’s better than one locally sourced ingredient? Two. Here we encourage you to use not only local Lakes Region maple syrup, but also a splash of cranberry juice à la local New England bogs.

Ingredients

4 oz.      fresh cranberry juice

1 oz.      maple syrup

2 oz.      bourbon

½ oz.      orange liqueur

1              rosemary sprig for garnish

1              handful of fresh cranberries for garnish

 

Method

Add the cranberry juice, maple syrup, bourbon, and orange liqueur to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well blended. Serve over ice in a double old-fashioned glass.

 

Maple Butter

This decadent spread is good as an accompaniment to your favorite bread, melted atop a pork loin, liberally applied to a bucket of popcorn, and, yes, it’s great on pancakes too. So, whip it up and slather it on all your favorite sweet and savory treats.

 

Ingredients

1 c.         softened butter

½ c.        brown sugar

¼ c.        maple syrup

1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

 

Method

In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and stir until evenly combined. For whipped butter, use a hand mixer!

 

Maple-Buffalo Chicken Wings

A sweet twist on this savory staple, these wings are the perfect balance of flavors and great to serve at parties, sporting events, or just the dining room table on a weeknight.

 

Ingredients

2 lbs.     chicken wings

1 tsp.     salt

¼ tsp.    black pepper

¼ c.        hot sauce

2 Tbsp. melted butter

¼ c.        maple syrup

 

Method

Combine all ingredients except the chicken wings in a large bowl. Pat the chicken wings dry and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Toss the hot chicken wings in the sauce and serve!

 

Check Out Some of the Lakes Region’s Sweetest Events

For an in-depth maple syrup season experience, visit the Lakes Region during its annual Maple Weekend festivities. Visit the Remick Museum & Farm to experience demonstrations of historic maple sugaring methods, head over to Heritage Farm Pancake House for an authentic sugar shack breakfast, or experience every step of the syrup making process at Prescott Farm’s “Tap Into Maple” event!