I’ve written quite a bit over the years about Kentucky bourbon brand Maker’s Mark, and created many a cocktail recipe with their whisky on this very blog. I’ve even had the opportunity to visit the distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, walk the storied Maker’s Mark campus, and meet the family behind it all. It’s hard to think of a time before this historic bourbon made its mark on America and the world.
Maker’s Mark is so iconic with its squared bottle dipped in red wax and that consistently familiar flavor profile; It is recognized and beloved the world over. Apparently, not without a shaky start.
According to Rob Samuels, who currently runs the company, it took a good 30 years for the billion dollar brand to turn a profit.
He should know. His grandparents (Bill Samuels and Margie, pictured below) started Maker’s Mark in the 1950s when American whiskey was at an all time low, his father Bill Samuels Jr. helped to usher in this country’s bourbon boom, and for the last 8 years, Rob has been leading the brand into the next generation as President and COO.
For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, I caught up with Rob (pictured below with a Bit by a Fox Podcast pin!) at the recent BevCon conference here in LA and he gave us the super insiders take to all things Maker’s Mark, the Samuels Family and Kentucky bourbon.
This week’s featured cocktail is the signature drink for Kentucky horse race institution, Keeneland.
1 1/4 oz Maker’s Mark
splash Orange liqueur
splash Ginger ale
splash Fresh squeezed orange juice
Rocks glass and ice
Fill rocks glass with ice, add the bourbon, orange liqueur and fresh orange juice, top with ginger ale, give it a stir and garnish with an orange wedge.
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