For the past few years, cocktail consultant Jacques Bezuidenhout has been sneaking maple syrup into the drinks he invents for the Starlight Room and special events, and perhaps it's finally caught on, because now we see it on several menus about town.
At Bar Drake, downstairs from the Starlight Room, Bezuidenhout put maple syrup in the lobby bar's signature cocktail: the Bar Drake Manhattan. It contains Woodford Reserve bourbon, Port, Angostura bitters and maple syrup. 450 Powell St. (at Sutter), San Francisco; (415) 392-7755, Ext. 226, bardrake.com.
Across town at the Presidio Social Club, you'll find the breakfast ingredient in the Pays d'Auge Cocktail, along with Calvados and citrus. 563 Ruger St.(near the Presidio's Lombard Gate), San Francisco; (415) 885-1888, presidiosocialclub.com.
Maple syrup is an unexpected ingredient in any drink, let alone drinks at a tiki bar, but Forbidden Island in Alameda has added it to the fall drink menu. The Dead Reckoning also pairs maple syrup with Port, along with 12-year-old Cockspur rum, Navan vanilla liqueur and fresh citrus. 1304 Lincoln Ave. (at Sherman), Alameda; (510) 749-0332, forbiddenislandalameda.com.
And at the new Bar Johnny in Russian Hill, they make no secret of the syrup in the Bourbon and Maple. It includes those two ingredients, along with the nutty liqueur Nocino Della Cristina and Angostura bitters. Does anyone else want pie? 2209 Polk St. (at Vallejo), San Francisco; (415) 268-0140.