We worked with our partner and friends of Nomadic, Makers Mark to host a series of events across 2 years to showcasing the origins of their celebrated Kentucky Bourbon in a new and innovative way to a handpicked group of talented, British cocktail enthusiasts.
10 UK leading mixologists at a time from London’s best hotels and bars joined us on an intimate, hands on, immersive adventure into the woods to learn about the historic nature of the Oak, smoked barrels (arbory foraging) the distinctive mash (breadmaking) and the diversity of the spirit through a paired cocktail menu alongside an oak, smoked feast over fire.
Makers Mark wowed their guests with limited edition cask tastings as they took part in making a bread dough to accompany their meal, replicating the exact mash percentages of corn, rye and red winter wheat in the classic red waxed bottle.
The mixologists took part in a visualisation meditation, where they escaped their busy day-to-day lives with a sound bath, served under the tree canopy of Oak and Beech, listening to the sounds of the forest. Our wellbeing instructor Ling encouraged the guests to enter a deep state of meditative rest whilst thinking about nature, in particular the fields and meadows that grow the red winter wheat on the midwest plains of the United States where Makers Mark was first created. Visualising the locations of the origins of the raw ingredients that make the Kentucky spirit brought a new angle to the mixologists when considering a bourbon; they had never thought of how cocktail making could ignite a multi-sensory experience outside of the bar in this way.
Our forager and spirited cocktail enthusiast George, took the team on a tour of the estate, focusing on the Oak that forms a comfortable home for Makers Mark during it’s time in cask. The guests were shocked to learn that from this great tree originates the first form of writing ink that was used to scribe the magna carta some centuries ago. The same ink that has been used to label Makers Mark bottles for decades once came from the oak nut or gall as it is commonly known. The aroma from the oak once burned and smoked forms part of the well-known and recognisable flavour palette and their limited edition bottles and ‘46’ special are enhanced further with staves of french oak in their maturing process for an extra special taste profile.
The dining table was adorned with red wax dipped wheat and rye stems to emanate the famous bottles, red candles lit up the table and only English, wild red flowers were used to decorate the feasting spaces.
Guests never ran dry as an award winning mixologist was on hand to serve Makers Mark classic cocktails throughout the experience. The forager created a Makers Mark infused herbal digestif using noble fir and douglas syrups to round off their evening before heading back to the big smoke.