The Scoop: Runamok Maple is an organic maple syrup company that aims to bring something new to the breakfast, lunch, and dinner table. Its delightfully rich and unique syrups are infused with all-natural flavors that can complement just about any sweet or savory dish. Its products can also serve as upscale mix-ins for a cocktail. Runamok Maple features dozens of syrup-inspired recipes on its website to help couples find new ways to tantalize their taste buds on a date night at home.
Runamok Maple is a Vermont-based company that makes all-natural maple syrup and infuses it with unique flavors, including ginger root and hibiscus flowers, to wow customers across the country.
Runamok Maple Co-Founders Eric and Laura Sorkin are passionate about organic food and fresh ingredients, and that’s why they bought land on the slopes of Mount Mansfield in 2000. Their dream was to refurbish its old farmhouse and make something from the land.
In 2009, the couple transformed their 1,000-acre property into a streamlined maple-producing factory. It currently has over 76,000 taps in its forest of maple trees.
Laura has used her training at the French Culinary Institute to play around with the traditional flavors of maple syrup. Runamok Maple has experimented with different techniques that can change this classic pancake topping into a smoky, tangy, or savory ingredient.
Runamok Maple offers infused, smoked, and barrel-aged syrups as well as pure maple syrup, so you can mix things up during meal times.
Couples can try something outside the ordinary and take on a cooking challenge on their date nights by incorporating Runamok Maple’s syrups into their dinners and cocktails.
“We realized there was a lot of potential in maple syrup and started innovating,” Laura said. “We basically took it to another level and tried absolutely everything to make our brand unusual and fun.”
Find Recipes for Savory Dishes & Indulgent Desserts
Cooking at home is a wonderful way for couples to have fun and create intimacy, and all they need is the right ingredients to turn a favorite dish into something really special. Runamok Maple has a catalog of recipes available to anyone who wants to use the syrups in their kitchen pantry to upgrade their meals.
Runamok Maple has a variety of flavorful syrups for creative home chefs to choose from. And some of them may surprise your palate.
The Hibiscus-Infused Maple Syrup is a tangy and fruity concoction that doesn’t taste like traditional maple syrup at all. Laura recommends pouring this ruby-red syrup over ice cream or substituting it for grenadine in their cocktails. If couples are feeling fancy, they can also use the hibiscus syrup to whip up a maple panna cotta in the shape of a heart.
Couples can use Runamok Maple’s recipes to plan a fun date at home. Even something as simple as pouring a maple glaze over popcorn can glam up an evening in. Couples can throw together a healthy shiitake pizza, or they can learn to make their own maple marshmallows from scratch.
If you’re going for something easy and elegant, Laura recommended broiled salmon topped with a maple mustard. This light dish has a lot of savory flavors — and leaves couples with enough room for an indulgent maple bread pudding for dessert.
“You can have a fun, goofy, good time while stirring and talking over the stove,” Laura said. “And, of course, the result is wonderfully delicious.”
Craft Sophisticated Cocktails to Top Off a Romantic Evening
Couples can add a drop of indulgence to their dinner dates by mixing in a buttery rum-infused syrup or a sweet cinnamon vanilla syrup. These high-quality syrups can upgrade a lot of different dishes — from pizzas to ice cream — and they can also bring complex flavors to an after-dinner cocktail hour.
Laura said the maple syrup is the right consistency for a cocktail because it just takes a few stirs to integrate into the drink and add a subtle sweetness or tang.
Runamok Maple has imaginative drink recipes that incorporate maple syrup into cocktails, slushies, sangria, and hot toddies. Its maple-infused Old Fashioned are a particular favorite. These drinks are great for impressing a date and setting the mood during a romantic night.
“A lot of people worry it’s going to taste like Sunday breakfast. But it’s not like waffles at all,” Laura assured us. “Particularly with the dark spirits like bourbon or rye whiskey, it adds the perfect amount of flavor. There’s a lot more nuance to maple syrup than simple syrup.”
In addition to its syrups, Runamok Maple has developed cocktail mixers and bitters for adults looking to jazz up their happy hours at home. These will be available in the end of October 2020. It can make for a wonderful socially distant date. Instead of going out to a bar or club, couples can stay in, mix up their own maple-infused cocktails, and enjoy a good conversation or a movie night.
The maple-based tonics and bitters do not taste as sweet as traditional syrup. These products highlight aromatic, citrusy, and sometimes quite bitter flavors, and just a few drops can make a cocktail really pop.
“This is great for couples, certainly, because it is so easy and makes you look like a star,” Laura said. “Just add booze to it and viola — you have a perfect cocktail!”
A Passionate & Hard-Working Crew Develops Fun New Flavors
Runamok Maple began in the forests of Vermont, but it quickly outgrew its sugarhouse and expanded to add a corporate office in Fairfax. Now half its team works in the field to collect and make the maple syrup, while the other half focuses on marketing and selling these unique syrups.
The woods crew spends about six weeks tapping over 76,000 trees in the wintertime, and it takes a lot of diligence to get this job done properly every year.
“We have a very hearty and impressive group of men and women,” Laura said. “They love working outside, and they’re very capable.”
The Runamok Maple team may be geographically divided in their work space, but they share a common work ethic and drive.
In past years, the company has brought everyone together by throwing holiday parties, picnics, barbecues, and other social outings. Such large, team-building activities have been put on hold during the pandemic, but Laura said she’s heard of employees independently organizing small, outdoor gatherings to stay in touch with each other.
In September 2020, the Runamok Maple team unveiled its newest innovation: Sparkle Syrup.
The shimmering, sweet syrup is a treat for children, college students, and adults in need of a good laugh. Couples can use it to glam up their pancakes or maple-dipped apples. The pearlescent mica gives the syrup a sparkly appearance without affecting its sugary taste.
Sparkle Syrup sold out pretty soon after it hit the online shelves, but customers can preorder it and get first dibs when the team does another sparkle harvest in October.
“This one was just for fun — to make people smile,” Laura said. “We have the capacity to do something a little goofy, and people need goofy right now.”
Runamok Maple Can Bring Dynamic Flavors to Dinner Dates
A Vermont couple started Runamok Maple in 2009 to change the way people thought of maple syrup and prove it could do more than sweeten pancakes.
Eric and Laura infused their all-natural syrups with an array of herbs, spices, and other unique flavors. Some of them worked (vanilla cinnamon is still the company’s best-seller), and some of them didn’t (wasabi was not a success), and every experiment gave them greater insight into maple syrup’s versatility as a sweet, savory, and aromatic ingredient.
Today, Runamok Maple has many bold flavors that appeal to foodies of all types. Couples can grab the chocolatey maple syrup to satisfy their sweet tooth, or they can try the maple bitters to elevate their cocktails. These fresh syrups and mixers can be a great addition to barbecue sauces, ice cream sundaes, or margaritas, so the only thing holding budding home chefs back is their imagination.
“Our mission is really to make people happy, and we feel like we’ve done that,” Laura said. “As for the future, keep your eyes open — because we’re always coming out with something new.”