The maple sap run started early this year, making it easier for folks staying local to plan fun activities for the March Break. If you live in the region – and Lanark County alone is blessed with 200 maple syrup producers – what better way to celebrate the season than to visit one or more local sugarbush operations? (Oh, and you’ll want to read on if only to get a recipe for a Log Cabin Cocktail and a great video for making maple taffy!)

Ontario’s Maple Weekend website shares the location and profiles of maple syrup producers across the region, so you can find a sugarbush close to you.

If you’re in the Ottawa area and feel like a pancake-based meal to go with your syrup, visiting Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugarbush in Pakenham, or Temple’s Sugarbush (Lanark) are great options. Fortune Farms near Almonte doesn’t have a restaurant, but the walking trails and activities offered make for a great visit, and there are loads of maple syrup products in the shop. East of Ottawa, Proulx Maple & Berry Farm is a nice choice, and south of Ottawa is Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm.

Get the scoop: Flavour matters: What makes Lanark County maple syrup taste so good?

Making Maple Taffy

Kids of all ages love making maple taffy on fresh snow, and we’ve certainly had some of that recently after a long spell without snow. Here’s a great video on how to make your own. If you’re really keen, you could easily do this outside over an open fire with the kind of weather we’ve been having.

A Log Cabin Cocktail – Really!

We always like to include something fun for the grownups when we take these seasonal breaks. We think we’ve found it with How to Make a Log Cabin Cocktail by The Kitchen Magpie.

This rather delicious sounding cocktail combines all of these ingredients:

  • 2 ounces maple liqueur
  • 1 ounce apple brandy OR apple whiskey
  • 1/4 ounce to 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ounce sparkling apple cider
  • ice

Combine the liqueur, brandy/whiskey and 1/4 ounce of the lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until the shaker is cold to the touch. Taste and add more lemon juice as needed. Pour everything, including the ice, into an 8-ounce rocks glass. Top with the sparkling cider, and gently stir to combine the cocktail. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe for How to Make a Log Cabin Cocktail

Pancake Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

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