Woodworker Art Drauglis’ small furniture showroom in Northwest D.C. near Takoma Park is a modest affair. Windowless and hot, its walls are dotted with Drauglis’ handmade walnut and cherry wood shelves. Though you wouldn’t expect it, Drauglis is masterminding a culinary mash-up in this unassuming space.
It’s all happening in the wooden barrels filled with amber liquid that sit on the floor. What’s inside isn’t high-proof liquor, though; it’s maple syrup.
The sweet stuff comes from Milroy Farms in Salisbury, Pa., and spends two months inside these casks. Over that time, the maple syrup gets infused with the natural flavors from the barrels (currently, Drauglis is using a pair of 30-gallon rye whiskey casks from Purcellville, Va.’s Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. and a single 10-gallon wheat whiskey cask from Bainbridge Organic Distillers on Bainbridge Island, Wash.).
“You’re going to get some warmth from the liquor,” Drauglis says. “Maybe a little bit of smoke from the char in the barrel.”
It definitely isn’t your average Aunt Jemima. What Drauglis has dubbed Langdon Wood Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup (named after his Langdon Park neighborhood) possesses a boozy undertone — which means you can finally have whiskey on your pancakes without raising any eyebrows.