Maple syrup is so good, it’s hard to believe it comes out of a tree. Or maybe it’s easy to believe. Trees also give us peaches, olives, and lemons, three things that markedly improve mundane life with their mere existence. I feel like maple syrup knows how good it is, at least based on its price tag; and it’s the price that makes me hesitant to toss even a mostly-empty bottle.
This is part of Eating Trash With Claire, a Lifehacker series where Claire Lower convinces you to transform your kitchen scraps into something edible and delicious.
A mostly empty bottle was what I found myself with after making maple-poached eggs, which may be one of my top three eggs. I bought a new bottle of syrup so that I could eat more maple eggs, but I couldn’t bring myself to toss the old crusty, sticky bottle—not while I could still see a few milliliters of syrup pooling at the bottom. It wasn’t enough syrup for even a single pancake, but it was enough to sweeten a glass of iced coffee (or a couple of other things).
Rinse your maple syrup bottle with cold brew
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Maple syrup functions just like any syrup in a beverage, and dissolves into solution without much effort on your part, even in cold drinks. Just funnel a few ounces of cold brew, regular drip coffee, or espresso into the bottle, shake shake shake, then pour it into a glass filled with ice (or mug if you’re using hot coffee), and enjoy. If coffee isn’t your caffeinated beverage of choice, you can use this little maneuver with any beverage, including tea and lemonade.
Make a maple vinaigrette
If I could offer the salad eaters of the world one piece of advice, it would be, “Use more acid in your vinaigrettes.” If I could offer them two pieces of advice, the second one would be, “Add a little sugar.”
Sugar makes things taste better, but it also balances out sour flavors from the acid in your dressing, rounding it out to create a vinaigrette that’s punchy, but not unpleasantly sour. To make a maple vinaigrette right in the bottle, add 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt directly to the maple syrup bottle. Shake it up and give it a taste; if it’s too sweet, add a little more oil and vinegar. Shake and taste again, and pour it on a pile of raw leaves or roasted vegetables. It’s particularly nice on roasted carrots.
Mix up a maple old fashioned
The old fashioned are a lightly sweetened cocktail, and I like to sweeten mine with maple. Since you only need a teaspoon of syrup, you probably have more than enough lingering in the bottle. Funnel 2 ounces of bourbon into the maple bottle, along with a few dashes of bitters. Swish it around until the syrup dissolves, then pour it into a lowball over ice. Garnish with a cherry or orange slice.