In a glass jar with a lid, shake together ½ cup maple syrup and ¼ cup hot water.
Place simple syrup in refrigerator to chill until ready to use (or for up to a month.)
In an ice-filled mixing glass, add:
- 2 ounces of your favorite bourbon (or rye)
- 2 dashes bitters (such as Angostura)
- 1 teaspoon maple simple syrup
Stir until very cold, then taste, adding more simple syrup if desired.
Strain mixture over fresh ice in an old-fashioned glass.
Rub a strip of navel-orange peel along the rim of the glass, then drop peel into drink; serve immediately. Makes 1 cocktail.