By Mike Augustyniak

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you’re a bourbon fan there are a few tasty new options for you around town that you literally can’t find anywhere else in the world.

Maker’s Mark is giving bars 1,001 options to add a complex and one-of-a-kind flavor to the bourbon they sell.

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The Maker’s Mark Private Select Barrel program is the only way that area bars can make their own barrel of whiskey. It’s kind of like building a house out of custom plans, as opposed to choosing from the five or six that the contractor has.

The starting point for Private Select actually uses the finished Maker’s Mark Cask Strength you can buy in stores. But, instead of bottling it right away, Private Select bourbon spends a few extra months resting inside oak finishing barrels.

The finishing barrels are constructed with up to 10 wooden staves that have been toasted to varying degrees to impart the desired flavors.

You can’t buy these new blends of Maker’s Mark in stores — the entire barrel goes to the bar or restaurant group that created it. So, you’ll have to stop in to one of the locations to try it.

The bars in Minnesota participating with the Maker’s Mark Private Select Barrel program are Butcher and the Boar, Freehouse and Bellecour/Spoon and Stable. B

Below are recipes for cocktails made with each bar’s Private Select.

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The Counselor
Steven Alemida from Butcher and the Boar

1.5 oz. Butcher & the Boar Maker’s Mark Private Select
.5 oz. Grand Marnier
.5 oz. Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
.25 oz. Luxardo maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Peychaud’s bourbon barrel-aged bitters

Pour the above ingredients over ice; stir until chilled and mixed; strain into a chilled coupe (or highball filled with ice upon request) and finish with a lemon twist; drink and enjoy, thoroughly.

The Mercury Express
Lily VandenBussche from Freehouse

1 oz. Blue Plate Maker’s Mark Private Select
2 oz. Aperol
¾ oz. honey simple syrup
¾ oz. fresh grapefruit juice
1 sprig of rosemary or 2 small ones

Muddle rosemary and Aperol in bottom of mixing glass, add remaining ingredients except soda and
shake with ice until chilled. Double strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice. Top with Soda.

Bellecour Old Fashioned
Robert Jones from Bellecour/Spoon and Stable

2 oz. Bellecour Maker’s Mark Private Select
.25 oz. Demerara syrup
2 dashes house old fashioned bitters

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Combine ingredients in mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled and diluted. Strain over large ice cube, express orange peel over drink and insert peel into glass.

Mike Augustyniak