Earlier this year Maker’s Mark launched an initiative to exhibit some of the UK bartenders favourite bits of bar kit, last month the Bartenders Trove took place.
It isn’t often BarLifeUK finds itself at exhibitions these days yet as we walked through the doors of the The Goldsmiths’ Centre we felt very at home. Partly due to the bar in the centre of the exhibition space, partly because of the handed to us and partly as the glass cases were full of bartending equipment, books and serving vessels.
The displays looked great with bartenders and journalists huddled round the cabinets discussing the finer points of the contents. There were swords, Thai bartender kits, Shakers in all shapes and sizes including a penguin and a lighthouse plus one from 1930 complete with the patent drawing applications.
We were particularly taken Paul De Newton’s collection which revolved around an old bar mentor from Brighton including a cocktail book gifted to Paul and a hip flask inscribed which Paul gave him as a present many years ago which was returned to him by the family after he unfortunately passed away. The hip flask was engraved with the very useful phrase ‘Your Name’s Barry, You’re in a Bar….’
Following a good nose and plenty of jealous looks at the exhibits it was over to Mixxit Ambassador Amanda Humphrey who lead the assembled audience on a history of bourbon and Maker’s Mark tasting. As a treat she had some Maker’s Mark White Dog to hand which was eagerly enjoyed and helped understand that flavour notes in the main product.
No Maker’s Mark event would be complete without the red wax dipping machine thingy (sorry if that was a bit technical for you) getting an airing. Everyone had a chance to dip their own bottle of Maker’s Mark and it wasn’t long before all sorts of objects were being submerged into the iconic red wax led, not for the first time, by Francesco Turrini.
There was also a competition to worry about and the judging panel had considered not just their drink but also the objects they had donated to the exhibition and the story behind it. There were 5 winners picked who all progress to the final later in the summer for the chance to win a trip to Kentucky, we will of course be bringing you all the news from that when it happens.
The five finalists are Chris Lacey from Rules, Rusty Cerven from The Connaught, Michal Buben from NinetyEight Bar & Lounge, Martin Scott from Twenty Princess Street and Tim Pryde from Voodoo Rooms. There cocktail are all below as well as a video of the day.
Chris Lacey – Rules, London
Precious Object: Corham Sterling 1950s Martini Spike (vermouth dispenser) which Chris found on eBay. It dates from the immediate post-war period when martinis were becoming increasingly dry as it was hard to source vermouth.
Make it in Brooklyn
- 75ml Maker’s Mark
- 15ml China Martini
- 12 drops Yellow Chartreuse
Stir over ice, then strain into a chilled coupette and garnish with two maraschino cherries.
Rusty Cerven – The Connaught, London
Precious Object: Ornamental samovar was purchased at a flea market in Russia, a samovar is traditionally used to heat and boil water in Eastern Europe and is a beautiful addition to any tea set. Rusty used this samovar to warm his cocktail.
Flags of our Fathers
- 50ml Maker’s Mark
- 20ml Becherovka liqueur
- 15ml homemade 100% cocoa bean syrup
- 60ml cinnamon-smoked Ceylon tea
Heat all ingredients together, stir and pour into a tea cup. Garnish with an orange twist and grated tonka bean.
Michal Buben – NinetyEight Bar and Lounge, London
Precious Object: Reed & Barton sterling silver jigger. The 50/30 Reed & Barton sterling silver jigger was made in 1920 in the USA and was the very first piece of equipment that inspired Michal to collect vintage bartending tools. The jigger has remained with him throughout his career and he’s used it in every trial shift and cocktail competition he’s been a part of. He feels it’s his lucky charm.
- 35ml Maker’s Mark
- 25ml Umeshu
- 10ml Fig liqueur
- Bar spoon of sugar syrup
- 2 dashes of orange bitters
Put all ingredients together, stir and pour into a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist and a slice of fig.
Martin Scott – Twenty Princess Street, Edinburgh
Precious Object: Vintage cocktail shaker circ. 1930s was found when Martin was converting an Edinburgh hotel, which dates back to 1910, into a bar/restaurant. It was unearthed, along with many other items including cigarette packs, hotel guest details and a drinks menu, after discovering an entire level of the hotel, which was once used as the main entrance. The shaker remains a key piece in Martin’s collection and has inspired classic 1930s-style cocktails that are served at Twenty Princess Street.
The ‘Café Racer’
- 35ml Maker’s Mark, shaken with 10ml Café XO Petron
- ½ shot of espresso sweetened with 2ml of agave syrup
- Spray of rubber essence
- Finished with Cigar Paper Smoke
Mix ingredients and serve in a rubber cup. “With this cocktail you get the layers of smoke, a hint of rubber, espresso, then the lasting sweetness of the Maker’s Mark,” explains Martin.
Tim Pryde – The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
Precious Object: Ceramic ‘Shisaa’ cup from Okinawa, Japan. A Shisaa cup is a guardian lion/dog decoratively used to ward off evil in Okinawan tradition. Tim received his cup from a close friend during his travels around Japan. The open mouth of a Shisaa represents the welcoming of good spirits and this cup inspired Tim’s cocktail.
- 60ml Maker’s Mark
- 30ml Nigori Sake
- 40ml Green tea syrup (6 min infusion, 1:1 ration with caster sugar)
- 12 Mint leaves
Add all ingredients to the Shisaa cup. Add crushed ice, stir and repeat until the unit is full.