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Pure maple syrup is made by harvesting sap from sugar maple trees and then concentrating that sap down, through a combination of heat and evaporation, to create a deliciously smooth sweetener that makes the world a better place. Remarkably, it can take 40 gallons of sap to make a single gallon of pure maple syrup. As you can imagine, the process takes a lot of dedication and care. Fortunately, the sugarmakers on this list have found a way to perfect that process, and the end result is some of the best maple syrups money can buy.
Here are the best maple syrups.
Best Overall: Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup
Lid is not a flip-top
The Anderson family has been making maple syrup since 1928 and their expertise and dedication are apparent with their pure dark amber maple syrup. The Wisconsin-sourced maple syrup has a perfectly balanced flavor that’s not too sweet but not too robust, making it ideal for all uses from a pancake or oatmeal topping to a sweetener for your yogurt.
Although some pure maple syrup can be an investment, Anderson syrup is fairly priced. But even so, one reviewer calls it “a luxury that is worth having.” If you’re looking for darker maple syrup, Anderson’s has you covered with its grade A very dark variety, which is somewhat smoky and loaded with rich maple taste.
Best Budget: Butternut Mountain Farms Vermont Amber Rich Maple Syrup Glass Jug
Rich maple flavor
Comes in reusable glass bottle
May not be for those who prefer a darker, stronger-flavored syrup
There’s no doubt that pure maple syrup is delicious, but some of the higher-end options can be cost prohibitive, especially if you’re someone who likes to drench your pancakes every Sunday. That’s where Butternut Mountain Farm’s maple syrup comes in. Butternut Mountain found a way to provide the rich taste of its 100 percent pure Vermont amber color maple syrup at a more budget-friendly price point—without sacrificing quality.
Best Aged: Crown Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Organic Maple Syrup
Smooth, rich, multilayered flavor
Bourbon flavor is highlighted but not overpowering
A little goes a long way
If you like your maple syrup like you like your bourbon—aged—then you’re in luck. Two worlds collide with this Crown Maple bourbon barrel–aged maple syrup, which, you guessed it, is aged in oak bourbon barrels. As the organic syrup sits, it soaks up all of the different flavor profiles. The end result, which comes from a sugar house in Dover Plains, New York, is a multilayered, rich maple syrup that’s infused with flavors of bourbon, oak, graham cracker, brown butter, and vanilla.
In addition to its aged syrup, which doesn’t actually contain any alcohol, by the way, Crown Maple also offers other organic syrups, including applewood smoked, cinnamon-infused, and Madagascar vanilla.
Best Organic: Now Foods Certified Organic Maple Syrup
Organic and non-GMO certified
Delicate, versatile flavor
Affordable for the quality
Flip-top is a bit flimsy
NOW Foods is a leader in the organic food market, and it lives up to its name with its certified organic maple syrup. The grade A amber maple syrup is distilled from the sap of sugar maple trees to create a light, delicate flavor that’s truly versatile and can be used on pancakes, in coffee, or as part of a grilling marinade. In addition to being organic, the maple syrup is also non-GMO certified.
If you’re looking for a darker maple syrup that’s a little more robust, NOW Foods also offers an organic grade B maple syrup that has a deeper, richer flavor.
Best Sampler Set: Runamok Maple Pantry Favorites Pairing Collection
Varied selection of flavors
Great for gifting
If you’re not really sure what kind of maple syrup you like—or you’re looking for a great gift for someone in your life—your search ends with the Runamok Maple Pantry Favorites Collection. The set includes four 2-ounce bottles of Runamok’s best-selling organic Vermont maple syrups: ginger root–infused, bourbon barrel-aged, cinnamon and vanilla-infused, and its traditional amber color syrup, which it calls Sugarmaker’s Cut.
It also offers more outside-the-box sets that include flavors like Japanese tea, hibiscus flower, and elderberry-infused, and as an added bonus, Runamok is big on sustainability. All of its syrups are certified organic by the Northeastern Organic Farmers Association and bird-friendly by the National Audubon Society.
Best Flavored: Maple Craft Blueberry Vermont Maple Syrup
Available in several flavors
A bit pricey
Blueberry and maple are one of the best flavor duos in town, and Maple Craft does extreme justice to the pair with its organic blueberry syrup. Maple Craft sources its slow-boiled maple syrup from a farm in Vermont and then combines just the right amount of organic blueberry juice concentrate and organic blueberry extract to create a rich, flavorful syrup.
Best Vermont: Ackermann Maple Farm Pure Vermont Maple Syrup
Each bottle packaged by hand
Smooth, sweet flavor profile
Aged and infused syrup flavors also available
Vermont is one of the original birthplaces of maple syrup and the Ackermann Maple Farm does the state proud with its pure maple syrup. The maple syrup, which is boiled using a natural wood fire, comes from over 6,400 trees on a family farm in Cabot, Vermont. Each bottle of syrup is poured and personally sealed by the co-owners, Caitlin and Ian Ackermann, to ensure strict quality control.
Their original maple syrup comes in amber rich, dark robust, and golden delicate grade A varieties, and each one has a smooth and perfectly sweet flavor that can please a crowd. They also offer aged and infused maple syrups, like bourbon-aged and cinnamon-infused, which contains real cinnamon sticks.
Best Canadian: Escuminac Pure Canadian Organic Maple Syrup, Grade A
Smooth, delicate flavor
Pure syrup with no artificial ingredients
Comes in a beautiful jug
Hefty price tag
The extra-rare maple syrup is Escuminac’s best-selling flavor, and it’s easy to see (or taste) why. The organic maple syrup, which has a light delicate flavor that makes you want to drink it straight from the bottle, comes from a single forest and is harvested and bottled at a maple farm in Escuminac, Quebec. It’s truly pure and never blended with any other maple syrup or any artificial ingredients.
If you like darker maple syrup, Escuminac also offers Great Harvest, which is harvested in the same way but later in the year to give it a richer, more robust flavor.
Best Sugar-Free: Good Good Natural Sweet Like Syrup, Maple
No strong aftertaste
Small bottle for the price
Technically, there’s no such thing as real sugar-free maple syrup, but Good Good’s Sweet Like Syrup maple syrup will have you fooled. The gluten-free syrup is made from a combination of isomalto-oligosaccharide, natural maple flavor, stevia, and natural color that come together to form a viscous syrup that’s as close to the real thing as you’re going to get for under 1 gram of net carbs per serving.
Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup (view at Amazon) checks all the boxes when it comes to both taste and price. It's bold, balanced, and just the right amount of sweet. If you want something more unique, you’ll want to go with the Crown Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Organic Maple Syrup (view at Amazon). It's aged in oak bourbon barrels, and the result is a rich, multilayered syrup you'll want to use on more than pancakes.
Does maple syrup go bad?
Maple syrup is shelf-stable when unopened (so long as it's in a dry environment at room temperature or lower), although it may begin to discolor and lose its flavor after two years. Glass bottles keep best, plastic bottles aren't recommended after 18 months, and tin should be tossed after six months. Once maple syrup is opened, you must keep it in the fridge, where it will keep for several months. As always, make sure to monitor the "use by" date.
How is maple syrup made?
It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup, and Vermont produces roughly 50 percent of the country's supply. The process begins during sugaring season—the freezing four to six weeks leading up to spring. The first step is drilling a hole into the tree and inserting a spout, which guides the sap into a bucket or tubing system connected to a collection tank in a sugar house or other facility by way of a vacuum pump. From there, the sap is sometimes filtered through a reverse osmosis machine to remove water before boiling. Once the temperature reaches 219 degrees, it's taken off the fire, filtered, adjusted for density, and graded for flavor and color.
Is maple syrup vegan?
Maple syrup is completely plant-based as long as it's 100 percent pure with no additives. Many commercial products, on the other hand, contain additional ingredients that may not be suitable for a vegan diet. To be safe, always check the ingredients list.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and food and beverage-testing experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the healthiest, best-tasting options and ingredients across all food and drink categories.