Nothing is better than sweetness tapped directly from nature. Pure maple syrup is a wholesome, delicious, and healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth without guilt.
Far from being just a pancake companion, real maple syrup is great for sweetening tea and coffee, adding flavor to baked dishes, and bringing out the flavor profiles of desserts.
With so many “imitation” maple syrups out there, it’s important to find authentic, unadulterated options when searching for the best maple syrup brand.
Here’s what it takes to find premium maple syrup packed with health benefits!
Our recommendations for Best Maple Syrup Brands:
- Best Canadian Maple Syrup: Tristan Foods Organic Maple Syrup
- Best Organic Maple Syrup: Escuminac Maple Syrup
- Best Aged Maple Syrup: Runamok Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup
- Best Flavored Maple Syrup: Crown Maple Maple Syrup
- Best Sampler Pack: Runamok Maple Syrup Sampler
- Best in Bulk: Mansfield Maple Pure Vermont Maple Syrup
Maple Syrup Grades Explained
Before we get into reviewing our recommended maple syrups, let’s take a quick look at the grading system. It was renewed in 2014 and the familiar Grade B syrup is a thing of the past.
Maple syrup is now available in these four grades:
Grade A (Golden): Known for its delicate flavor and light color, this syrup often shows some hints of vanilla with what can be described as buttery notes. It typically comes from the first sap of the season and is commonly used as a sweetener for drinks, ice cream, and dessert.
Grade A (Amber): Expect a rich flavor showing off a robust maple taste. This is the classic and familiar syrup taste that people expect. It’s a top pick for breakfast foods! This syrup is collected toward the earlier part of the season.
Grade A (Dark): Offering an intense flavor, this grade brings the flavors of golden and amber syrup to the next level. This syrup is typically collected later in the season and is great for BBQ sauces and baking.
Grade A (Very Dark): The darkest grade, this option has an intense maple flavor. It’s a favorite for cooking because the flavor holds up against heat. This is a late-season syrup that gets its intense color and texture from the increase in microbes that occurs deep into the sugaring season.
6 Best Maple Syrup Brands Reviewed
Here are reviews of our recommended maple syrups for bringing some healthy sweetness to your life:
Best Canadian Maple Syrup: Tristan Foods Pure Organic Maple Syrup
Tristan Foods’ pure organic maple syrup is a great pick for anyone searching for the highest grade maple syrup. Even it’s light, this syrup still packs a rich and notable flavor that brings out sweet notes when drizzled on foods and drinks without overpowering other flavors.
- Amount: 250 ml / 8.5 oz
- Type: Pure Organic Maple Syrup (Grade A Amber)
- Fresh and light taste
- Perfect for tea, coffee, pancakes and desserts
- Comes in a beautiful glass bottle
- Vegan, kosher and organic
- Produced at a family farm
Recommended by many professional chefs and experts the Tristan Foods maple syrup is of superior quality. This means the price per ounce is also higher compared to many competing brands. But it’s worth every penny.
Overall, this maple can be described as having a fresh, sweet taste. The beautiful bottle that’s used to package this syrup can be kept as a keepsake!
Another perk of the bottle is that it can be sealed back to its original tightness to keep the strong flavor of the syrup as robust as the day you first opened it. While this works wonderfully as pancake syrup, it’s also great for ice cream, fruit slices, and desserts.
Best Organic Maple Syrup: Escuminac Maple Syrup
This rare syrup is cultivated in a small village called Escuminac located near the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Quebec. The syrup comes packaged in a gift bottle that is a true delight to present to people for holidays and special occasions!
- Amount: 500 ml / 16.9 oz
- Type: Pure Organic Maple Syrup (available in different grades)
- Superior Canadian quality
- Available in 3 different grades
- Beautiful gift bottle with hand-waxed lid
- USDA and Ecocert certified organic
The amber grade offers an extremely rich and wholesome flavor that brings delicate whispers of sweetness to what you’re eating or drinking. A classic syrup that can be used on multiple desserts and breakfast items, this sweet treat tastes especially magical when drizzled over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
There are also two darker varieties available. They offer stronger and deeper flavors that work well in cocktails and sauces.
Best Aged Maple Syrup: Runamok Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup
Here is a “boutique” maple syrup that offers a flavor experience like nothing else you’ve tried before!
The Runamok bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup comes packaged in a beautiful glass bottle and it’s ideal for everything from topping your desserts to adding some richness to baked beans.
- Amount: 250 ml / 8.5 oz
- Type: Aged Organic Maple Syrup (available in different flavors)
- Extreme flavor
- Aged in empty bourbon barrels for six months
- Produced on a Vermont family farm
- USDA organic
- Produced in an eco-conscious solar-powered facility
Each maple syrup batch is aged for six months in empty bourbon barrels to infuse a bourbon flavor that highlights all of the natural maple notes. Every bottle contains slight color variations based on the specifics of the aging process.
Just keep in mind that this can cause your batch of syrup to contain trace amounts of alcohol!
The fun of staying loyal to this brand is that you can also try other varieties like rum and whiskey barrel-aged maple syrups. In addition, there are great flavored options like cardamom, ginger, and coffee-infused syrups to choose from.
Best Flavored Maple Syrup: Crown Maple Organic Madagascar Vanilla Infused Maple Syrup
This syrup offers a unique flavor experience with help from an infusion of real Madagascar vanilla! The flavor profile is sweet and buttery.
Crown Maple also has cinnamon-infused and applewood smoked varieties in their collection.
- Amount: 375 ml / 12.7 oz
- Type: Flavored Organic Maple Syrup (available in 3 different flavors)
- Great for pastries and desserts
- Infused with real Madagascar vanilla bean
- Made in New York’s Dutchess County
- Certified USDA organic
It’s very hard to top this syrup when looking for a perfect companion for desserts and baked goods. In fact, this syrup was practically made to top some sticky buns.
It also makes a very tasty addition to mixed drinks. In addition to being a true artisan product, this maple syrup is very wholesome. It’s sustainably made from trees located on 800 acres of pristine land in New York.
Best Sampler Pack: Runamok Maple Organic Vermont Maple Syrup Tea Pairing Sampler Pack
This set is designed to be a tea and coffee tasting set that allows you to pair different syrups with different beverages to create wholesome, satisfying hot drinks!
It’s a great way to explore how different notes impact the flavor of your favorite drink.
- Amount: 240 ml / 8.1 oz (4 x 60 ml / 2 oz)
- Type: Flavored Organic Maple Syrup
- A great mix of traditional and infused syrups
- Makes a great gift
- Sourced from Vermont
- Certified USDA organic
The four bottles included in this collection are Runamok’s Traditional Organic Vermont Maple Syrup, Cardamom Infused Organic Maple Syrup, Makrut Lime Leaf Infused Organic Maple Syrup and Cinnamon + Vanilla Infused Organic Maple Syrup.
The syrups in this set tend to be a little thicker than other syrups. The perk of that is that it’s very easy to spoon some into coffee or tea. The flavors are also wonderful for accentuating desserts with some extra gooiness.
Runamok also offers about a dozen more sampler sets from cocktail and ice cream pairing collections to barrel-aged varieties.
Best in Bulk: Mansfield Maple Pure Vermont Maple Syrup
If you are on the hunt for pure maple syrup for the lowest price per ounce, then the Mansfield brand is our top pick. Being able to buy high-quality syrup like this in bulk is a great option for busy households where waffles and pancakes are breakfast staples.
- Amount: 1 gallon (2 x 64 oz)
- Type: Pure Maple Syrup (available in different grades)
- Pure high-quality maple syrup
- Low price per oz
- Easy to pour
- Bottled in a high-density, BPA-free jug
This is a top pick for anyone searching for classic Vermont maple syrup without any fancy additions. It’s a go-to choice for pancakes because of its lighter flavor and easy-to-pour consistency.
The flavor profile of Mansfield Amber Rick syrup offers a light sweetness with what can be described as a mild maple flavor. It’s also available in darker grades and smaller containers, so you have plenty of options to choose from.
The plastic jugs are also better than the delicate glass bottles used by other brands when it comes to households with kids.
A Complete Guide to Maple Syrup
While most people know that maple syrup comes from maple trees, not everyone knows about the very interesting, painstaking process of extracting maple syrup.
While maple syrup it’s a natural food, it’s actually turned into a “consumable” form by boiling the sap from maple trees.
Once a hole is drilled into a tree, the raw sap is allowed to pour into a container. Next, the collected sap is boiled until most of its water content has evaporated.
What’s left behind is the thick, easy-to-pour syrup that we all know!
Here is a great video that shows you exactly how Canadian maple syrup is made:
Where Does it Come From?
Maple syrup isn’t something that just anyone can harvest. It’s produced in colder, wooded environments.
In fact, nearly all of the world’s maple syrup is produced in North America. The Canadian province of Quebec alone accounts for around 80 percent of the maple syrup consumed around the world.
In the United States, Vermont is the top producer of maple syrup. New York, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut also produce notable amounts.
We recommend that you only buy maple syrup from North America when looking for the best brand.
Maple Syrup Taste, Texture and Uses
Maple syrup is sweet like sugar with a unique twist. The taste of true maple syrup can be hard to describe because it’s very complex.
What’s more, the flavor notes can change depending on what you’re eating with the syrup. Most people identify notes of caramel, vanilla, butter, and date-like sweetness.
Maple syrup is synonymous with pancakes and waffles. However, this is only the beginning of the flavorful potential offered by this tree-born liquid gold!
Here are some amazing ways to enjoy maple syrup:
- Hot and Cold Drinks: Mix a little into tea or coffee (hot or iced) as a sugar substitute.
- Breakfast: Pour it on pancakes, hot oatmeal or cold cereal.
- Frying: Add a drop to a pan with butter to lightly caramelize cooked vegetables.
- Desserts: Drizzle it over cinnamon rolls or ice cream as a icing or caramel alternative.
- Bacon: Add some to a pan before cooking up bacon for maple-infused bacon.
- Dipp: Use it as a dipping sauce for apples slices.
- Cocktails: Add it to cocktails in place of simple syrup.
- Soups: Add it to favorites like pumpkin soup or squash soup for a sweet-and-savory flavor.
- Sauces and Glazing: The darker maple syrups work well in BBQ sauces and in meat glacing.
There are no rules when it comes to savoring the goodness of maple syrup. It can technically be used as a substitute for your normal sweetener in any food or beverage that needs a little sweetness.
Its thick, rich consistency goes a long way for bringing lots of flavor with just a small drop.
Maple Syrup Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts
Each tablespoon of maple syrup has 52 calories on average. This is much less than sugar that has about 80 calories per tablespoon.
One of the big health benefits of maple syrup is that this fat-free food is rich in magnesium. Just a single tablespoon provides 4.2 milligrams of magnesium. In addition to supporting muscle and nerve function, magnesium also helps to regulate blood sugar.
Maple syrup can easily be classified as a “health food” once you break down all the benefits it offers.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most notable health benefits of maple syrup:
Antioxidants: The robust assortment of antioxidants in maple syrup can help fight against oxidative stress that produces inflammation. This can make it useful for preventing signs of aging, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, and more.
Low Glycemic Index: Maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than sugar and ranks near sweeteners like honey, molasses, and agave nectar. This is good news, especially for diabetics.
Minerals: It’s full of beneficial minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, and calcium.
Antibiotic Effect: The natural antibiotic properties in maple syrup may help the body fight bacterial infections.
In addition to supporting a healthy body on the inside, maple syrup can be used topically. A study published in 2018 found that the elastin-restoring properties of maple syrup actually cause it prevents wrinkles when applied topically.
Of course, the most important health benefit of maple syrup for most people is that it allows them to cut down on refined sugars without feeling deprived.
We know that refined sugars are linked with everything from diabetes to increased cancer risks. Some studies show that switching to artificial sweeteners to avoid sugar’s health risks may increase risks for weight gain, brain tumors, bladder cancer, and many other health hazards.
Real maple syrup allows people to enjoy a sugar alternative that doesn’t pose any of the potential health risks of artificial sweeteners.
If you are looking for a completely sugar-free option, take a look at our reviews of the best monk fruit sweeteners. One of the included products is designed to substitute maple syrup.
Maple Syrup FAQ
What are the healthiest maple syrup brands?
All pure maple syrups are about as healthy.
There might be some differences between brands depending on which area they come from and how they are processed. However, the differences are more in the flavor and not healthiness of the syrup.
Just make sure you buy pure maple syrup and not maple flavored syrup. Picking a certified organic product might also be a good idea.
Is maple syrup vegan?
Yes, maple syrup is a plant based product so vegans can consume it without worries.
Should you refrigerate maple syrup?
There is no need to refrigerate unopened maple syrup containers. After opening it’s best store it in the refrigerator to extend the shelf life.
Opened maple syrup lasts about one year when refrigerated.
What is the best Vermont maple syrup?
Our recommendation for the Vermont maple syrup is the Runamok Organic Maple Syrup. It has a light and smooth flavor that is great for almost anything from hot and cold drinks to pancakes and icecream.
What is the best pure maple syrup?
You can choose any maple syrup recommended in this guide as they are all 100% pure maple syrup. The choice depends on your personal taste preference and what you are going to use it for.