Born in Kentucky, where bourbon whisky originated, the spirit of Maker’s Mark has always lived outside the box. Founded in 1953, the brand has changed the industry with numerous pioneering innovations—such as using red winter wheat for smoothness, wood stave finishing for more polished flavours, and to top it off, a signature hand-dipped red wax seal to guarantee each bottle of hand-crafted whisky.
In line with its visionary legacy, Maker’s Mark is celebrating whisky classics in the best way possible—by breaking them wide open. For the month of September, the brand is partnering with 16 bars in Singapore, including Sago House, 28 Hongkong Street, Smoke & Mirrors, Offtrack and White Shades. Interpreted by their top bartenders, each bar will serve an iteration of a classic like the whisky sour, Manhattan or an old fashioned.
You don’t have to be a cocktail aficionado to really get into the spirit of these creations—just bring a sense of adventure and experimentation.
Yvonne Chong, Maker’s Mark brand ambassador as well as the bartender at 28 Hongkong Street, explains why the brand’s refreshed brand ethos—”Make your mark”—resonates with her. “Breaking stereotypes and pushing limitations describes my style of bartending,” she shares. “Maker’s Mark whisky is made from soft red winter wheat, so it is easy on the palate and never sharp. This makes it my personal favourite for classic whisky cocktails and highballs.”
At 28HKS, you can enjoy Yvonne’s velvety Popcorn Old Fashioned infused with the nostalgic flavour of freshly popped corn, or the Strawberry Shortcake Sour, for a zesty touch of luscious fruit balanced by Maker’s Mark’s characteristic smoothness.
Over at Sago House, a newly-crowned number 10 on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2023 list, a buttery Corn Cup Old Fashioned gets a kick from black pepper to send your gastronomic juices flowing. The cheekily-named Improved Highball sees Maker’s Mark receiving a tropical makeover with a banana and cacao shrub, banana angostura, and Amaro Montenegro with a refreshing splash of soda.
New kid on the block Offtrack is a vinyl bar that hits all the right notes with the warm timbres of Maker’s Mark. The Noir Manhattan is a riff on the original with notes of blackberry cream, which calls for the darker, more complex Maker’s Mark 46 aged in French staves. Go easy with Cherry Bomb, inspired by the cherry pie. With a creamy head of froth, the libation complements the notes of vanilla, apple, cinnamon, clove and toast from Maker’s Mark.
Smoke & Mirrors, situated at the National Gallery, showcases artistic elegance to its drinks. Blood and Sweat is aptly dedicated to bartender Mel Chavez’s first child, Johan. This masculine, smoky creation brings together curacao (orange liqueur), sweet vermouth, chocolate and candied orange, with peated whisky to balance the richness of Maker’s Mark. For something fresher, Ruby Smash is a gleaming whisky sour with the vibrant essence of orange, strawberry and grenadine.
Finally, arrive at one of the hottest destinations in town. The newly opened White Shades dials up the flavour not just with its cocktails—but as the location for Marked by Maker’s pop-up party, taking over the first three floors in the name of passion, craftsmanship and innovation.
Its two most unexpected creations are instant hits. Simple Beauty pairs Maker’s Mark with lychee oolong tea and carbonated coconut water for a highball that is light, fizzy and layered. Mulled is a mysterious martini, where the lingering depth of bourbon meets mulled tea syrup, with Noilly Prat vermouth and sakura bitters to finish the palate.
Ripe for discovery
At White Shades, the two-night pop-up will take place on 22 and 29 September 2023. Here, mingle with fellow cocktail lovers over smooth tunes from homegrown DJ AKA Sounds, who’ll set a fitting backdrop of electrifying underground house, jungle and hip-hop rhythms.
On the third floor is The Imperial Smithster, a silversmith who will demonstrate the lost art of wax casting. Recycled silver will be transformed into a handcrafted bespoke piece on the spot, redeemable for you to bring home with purchase of Maker’s Mark cocktails. Local environmental organisation Plastify will host an interactive booth, showcasing how their injectors can transform plastic scraps into durable, beautiful coasters to use under your cocktails at home.
You’ll also find a tasting station, where guests can get sampling portions of either the Maker’s Mark Classic or Maker’s Mark 46. If you’re in the mood for something sweeter, indulge in the Maker’s Mark Gold Rush, a classic Maker’s Mark cocktail brightened with fresh citrus and honey syrup.
With each display an integral part of Maker’s Mark’s efforts to help shape a more sustainable future, the highlight for fans of the iconic wax seal will be the dipping station, where you can personally watch the hand-dipping of whisky glasses into the red wax. This an experience that brings you closer to each bottle that is still dipped by hand in its base in Kentucky—a true symbol of the Maker’s Mark legacy.
Discover Whisky Classics Marked by Maker’s here.