Maker’s Mark are searching the UK and asking bartenders to submit their own precious piece of equipment to their Bartender Trove.
Bartenders are being asked to submit a photo of their vintage or antique gems or unusual and particular possessions along with a Maker’s Mark cocktail. The items will then be shown in the Maker’s Mark Bartender Trove via Pinterest. A live exhibition will follow next year and the most impressive submission will win a trip to Loretto Kentucky.
The launch event for this new initiative took place at The Luggage Room in London and saw several of the capitals top bartenders sharing their precious elements and the story behind them whilst knocking up some great drinks for the crowd.
After an overview of the plans by Maxxium’s Eileen Livingston and Mixxit’s Amanda Humphrey whilst the crowd enjoyed a Maker’s Mark Welcome Punch courtesy of the Luggage Room crew, it was over to the bartenders to show us their stuff.
Chris Lacey from Rules was first up and had some impressive looking ingredients lined up on the bar to create his cocktail. Sitting alongside the Maker’s Mark was a bottle of 1974 China Martini and an even older bottle of 1956 Yellow Chartreuse with which to create his ‘Make it in Brooklyn’.
Chris was remarkably generous with the China Martini offering anyone who wanted a try the opportunity, the Chartreuse was, however, a different case. In fact to ensure he wasted none of the liquid he produced his ‘precious’ piece of bar equipment in the form of a 1950’s vermouth pipette.
With a green olive at one end acting as the bulb to administer the drops it was designed to sit in the top of a vermouth bottle in a bar and be used for those who were following the latest trend of ‘as little vermouth as possible’ in their Martini’s. Chris is a bit of a collector of these sort of weird and wonderful bar accessories and this one was acquired on the ever-reliable eBay.
Chris Lacey, Rules Make it in Brooklyn
75ml Maker’s Mark Bourbon
15ml China Martini
12 drops Yellow Chartreuse
Stirred over ice, then strained into a chilled coupette and garnished with two maraschino cherries.
Next up was Rusty Cerven from The Connaught Bar who quickly answered the ‘what’s with that golden urn thingy on the bar?’ question that the assembled crowd of journalists and bartenders had been asking. As it turned out it was one of two ‘precious’ items that Rusty had brought along.
The urn was actually picked up by Rusty a few years ago when he visited the markets of Moscow. This mainly ornamental urn had grabbed his attention due to his Eastern European roots which all linked perfectly into his second item, a teacup he’d picked up on a recent trip home.
As Rusty explained, when you are growing up as a kid there are knick-knacks around the family homes that you generally ignore (unless you catch an episode of the Antiques Road Show and see something vaguely familiar going for a small fortune). However as you get older, and especially if you become a bartender, some of these pieces suddenly gain a renewed interest. As is the case with the teacup Rusty’s grandfather had once drunk from which now serves cocktails to lucky folk like us.
Rusty Cerven, The Connaught Bar Flag of our Fathers
50ml Maker’s Mark Bourbon
20ml Becherovka liqueur
15ml homemade 100% cocoa bean syrup
60ml cinnamon-smoked Ceylon tea
Heat all ingredients in urn and serve in a teacup with tonka bean grated over the surface of the drink.
Francesco Turrini of Lanes of London was next behind the stick and he had a unique take on his precious item. As he was setting up we were craning to see what he had to show us but nothing seemed obvious. However, as always with Francesco, when his chat started it all became clear.
Since his early days in Italy, Francesco has traveled around the world bartending as far away as Australia before arriving in London. It was this journey, the way it has matured his pallet and taught him so much about the craft of bartending, that he considered to be most precious.
As he made his cocktail using ingredients that reminded him of places he had visited and drinks he had tried it became obvious it was certainly a very precious item indeed. How Maker’s Mark are going to put it on display without some major surgery remains to be seen.
Francesco Turrini, Lanes of London Corn & Soil
50ml Maker’s Mark Bourbon
20ml beetroot cordial
20ml pink grapefruit juice
20ml egg white
Dash chocolate bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice then strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with dried grapefruit, corn and beetroot.
Last up was Mario La Pietra from our hosts The Luggage Room. Mario had to come up with a drink slightly on the fly as it was discovered that his carefully worked out original drink had been served up to us as the Welcome Punch (it was very nice Mario!). That however was never going to keep him down and he quickly got on with his new creation.
As he began to combine his ingredients he explained his precious item. Francesco had previously been at The Luggage Rooms and when he left he had passed on a very nice bar spoon to Mario. A handing of the baton or torch if you will.
It was obviously a gesture that meant a lot to Mario and, as such, was a very precious item to him. It did also explain slightly why Francesco didn’t have anything physical to use as a precious item – looks like he’s given it all away….
Mario kept the crowd entertained as he carbonated his drink and had time to send a couple of texts and take a panorama picture of the crowd in the process. Then presenting in single serve bottles dipped in the Maker’s Mark wax machine.
Mario La Pietra, The Luggage Room Boilervadier
30ml Maker’s Mark Bourbon
30ml Cocchi Vermouth
60ml flat Peroni beer
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass before charging with CO2. Then decant into a small bottle and crown cap before serving.
The crowd enjoyed the drinks and some different ages of Maker’s Mark, and as a special treat they also got to dip their own Maker’s Mark bottle (and anything else at hand) into the legendary Maker’s Mark wax machine.
If you want to get involved and be in with the chance to win a trip to Kentucky then you will need to submit your unique Maker’s Mark cocktail recipe (ideally using some rare and coveted ingredients) with a minimum of 35ml Maker’s Mark along with a pic of your precious object and a small explanation to firstname.lastname@example.org