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Making A Mark: A Bourbon for the Home

As we fall into another extended lockdown in many parts of the world, we all need something to help us get through the long days stuck at home. Everyone has their own methods that keep them sane and relaxed in the confines of their home. Many have picked up new hobbies, learned new skills, and found some inner peace. Personally, one of my techniques to stay busy revolves around home mixology. Learning new recipes and techniques has undoubtedly been helpful. Like many people, I miss going out and drinking with friends at my favorite bars, so learning to do it and enjoy it at home has been essential. Since investing in booze is not exactly easy on your wallet, I figured I'd help all of you pick out one beautiful bottle of liquor that will satisfy your needs at home during this lockdown.

The History

Maker's Mark Kentucky Bourbon Whisky has proven to be my go-to one-bottle wonder this lockdown. Before I get to why this is my pick, here's a little background about this unique bottle of Bourbon. Maker's Mark has a long and rich heritage, its roots dating back to 1953 when Bill Samuels Sr. and his wife Margie first developed their recipe, claiming the title of the oldest existing family in Bourbon history. Till today, Maker's Mark is still produced in Loretto, Kentucky, in its signature square bottle with a beautiful red wax seal. However, it is not only the bottle that makes this Bourbon stand out from the others but also the mash bill.

The Flavor

Unlike most Bourbon Whiskies, Maker's Mark doesn't have rye as part of the ingredient list. Instead, the distillers use red winter wheat, along with corn and malted barley, which imparts a soft, rich sweetness that is very recognizable. And the addition to 5-8 years in a new oak barrel gives it a clean finish. An excellent sipping whiskey on its own, Maker's Mark has the following tasting notes:

  • Nose: fruity and rich with caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla

  • Palate: rich, full, and savory with toasted nuts, cinnamon, and barley

  • Finish: light and sweet with butterscotch and dry oak spice

This flavor profile makes this bottle versatile and perfect as a one bottle-wonder at home because it can be easily enjoyed in many ways: neat, on the rocks (with ice), or even in a cocktail.

The Drinking Experience

The distinctive flavors of the Maker's Mark mash bill certainly offer a unique drinking experience. One can undoubtedly enjoy it in classic whiskey cocktail recipes like the whiskey sour, boulevardier, and manhattan, to mention a few. However, I prefer it in an Old Fashioned cocktail, which highlights the flavor profile of this small-batch Bourbon, and you'd look absolutely sophisticated with it in your hand.

Maker's Mark Old Fashioned

  • 60ml Maker's Mark Bourbon

  • 2 Dashes of Aromatic Bitters

  • 1 Teaspoon of raw cane sugar

  • Orange Peel

In an Old Fashioned glass, muddle the aromatic bitters and raw cane sugar. Add the Maker's Mark Bourbon with ice and stir. Express an oil peel over the drink and garnish the drink.

Other Uses

Over the past weeks, I've found several other uses of Maker's Mark at home. Firstly, it makes a great cooking ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes. Imagine adding it into a barbeque sauce recipe, marinade, or even dessert to impart its signature flavors into your next meal. The Maker's Mark website even has a recipe to a delicious-looking Bourbon Ball recipe linked here.

Another reason for my choice of Maker's Mark is simply because the bottle is so beautifully designed. The unique square shape and the distinctive melting red wax make it a great house display that is easy on the eyes. The design really does stand out from the rest; I'm sure many will agree. Also, a fun fact about the bottle design is on the label. The spelling of "whisky" is not a typo but is a conscious choice of nomenclature to pay homage to the Scottish roots of the Samuels family.

Lastly, for those who may find this important, the bottle's unique shape makes it a perfect weapon to defend your home in case of a break-in. Think about it; it would be great to be prepared for anything.

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