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Maker's Mark

my favorite spirit.....what's good to mix with? I usually do a maker's and coke or a maker's and ginger ale...simple enough...

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  1. Try a Manhattan Cocktail, an all time classic. You can very the proportions to suite your taste, but here's the basic idea:

    3 parts whiskey
    1 part sweet vermouth
    Dash of bitters

    Shake in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and pour into a martini glass. Top with a maraschino cherry. You can also serve it on the rock, of course. Also, vermouth is cheap -- so get a good quality one to go with your good whiskey. I like Noilly Prat and Cinzano.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Darren72

      Agreed, Makers Mark Manhattans are the only way to go.

      My favorite vermouth is Vya: http://www.vya.com/

      It's tough to find, but worth it.

      1. re: Darren72

        Makers Mark makes a great Manhattan but the sweet vermouth is too much. Try half dry and half sweet for a Perfect Manhattan but even better, use all dry vermouth. And don't forget the bitters.

        ;-) And don't forget to start branding your sour cherries for your garnish right now.

        1. re: JudiAU

          We like "Perfect Manhattans" too and only use Noilly Pratt vermouths. If you can find the Tipsy Cherries from Sable and Rosenfeld, they are soaked in bourbon they are a nice addition.

          Many years ago when I was doing my waitress stint, the restaurant only had a service bar and we had to make out customer's drinks. I remember hearing a customer order a Perfect Manhattan and the newbie replied "I'll do the best I can."

          1. re: JudiAU

            Agreed...I've also substituted Punt y Mes (an aperitif) for the vermouth to good effect


          2. re: Darren72

            I just love these, a little too much perhaps... I do like to cut the sweet by using half dry vermouth. And some bartender recently told me that the bitters didn't matter. Hah! That's the last time I'll order a Manhattan from him.

            1. re: Ellen

              I'm a bartender and the bitters DO matter.

              Bitters are wonderful.

          3. I prefer Manhattans made with rye.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Atomica

              Well since he's asking how to use Maker's Mark, I didn't think it would be helpful to give him rye whiskey recipes....

              1. re: Darren72

                And I thought it was a worthy answer to "Makers Mark Manhattans are the only way to go," because in my opinion, they're not. I think it's worthy to give the poster another perspective on the Manhattan.

                1. re: Atomica

                  I see your Rye Manhattan, and I raise you an Old Fashioned. By all rights, they oughta be rye, but ya just can't seem to keep the kids from plopping bourbon in there.

                  My current bourbon fave is a tarted-up Bourbon Sour.

                  2 oz. bourbon
                  1 oz. lemon juice
                  3/4 oz. triple sec
                  2 generous dashes orange bitters

                  Shake with ice, pour into an ice-filled Collins glass, top with Schweppes Bitter Lemon, and drop in two sour and/or brandy-soaked cherries. Yum.

                  And have I mentioned Bourbon Slush? I grew up in KY, and this appeared at EVERY party.

                  Bourbon slush

                  12 oz. lemonade frozen concentrate
                  6 oz. orange juice frozen concentrate
                  2 c. sugar
                  2 c. hot strong tea
                  2-3 c. bourbon (hey - it's your funeral)
                  7 c. water

                  Freeze in a plastic container. When fairly solid, scoop into tumblers, and top with ginger ale or lemon-lime soda.

                  Pure, slushy, yummity joy.


                  1. re: kittywithawhippet

                    I see your Old Fashioned and your Manhattan (made with rye as is appropriate) and raise you a Sazerac, the true New Orleans cocktail.

                    Into a cocktail shaker 1/2 filled with cubed ice add:
                    1.5 oz Rye Whiskey
                    2 drops Angosturra Bitters
                    5 drops Peychoud Bitters
                    1 teaspoon sugar
                    shake, shake, shake

                    Swirl a tablespoon of Herbsaint, Pernod, Ricard or any Absinthe of your choosing into a lowball or cocktail glass - coating the sides
                    (some people then toss the remains out, i do not) and pour the shaker contents into the glass.

                    Garnish with a lemon twist.


            2. I agree with the Rye Manhattan. It was first made with Rye when created but of course, tastes vary. Some recipes for Maker's Mark though:
              Whiskey Smash - 2oz. MM, 2-3 lemon 'half moons', 6-8 pieces of mint (if small use half amount or to taste) 1.5 tsp of superfine sugar or .5oz simple syrup (this can be to taste as well) Put lemons, mint & sugar in the bottom of highball glass, muddle, add MM, ice then top with soda or flat water.

              S.F. Fog - 2oz. MM, 3 dashes Orange flower water, 1/4 oz of Orgeat (almond syrup), 1 egg white, SHAKE the hell out of it, strain into chilled cocktail glass, sprinkle with grated orange peel

              Gold Rush - 2oz. MM, 3/4oz fresh Lemon juice, 3/4oz runny Honey (dilute 1cup Honey with .25cup of HOT water) Shake & Strain into chilled cocktail glass, lemon twist

              1. The only thing Maker's Mark needs is a side glass of water.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Janet

                  Janet me'thinks you are spitting in the wind. But I agree a bourbon a good as MM should not be covered up with all that sugar. The only thing I add is ice. I use to ask for MM and a splash but got so tired of being drowned I had to climb up on the rocks.

                  1. re: Janet

                    Agreed. Ya want a cocktail? Use cheap whiskey and doll that up.

                  2. Stilleto...

                    Shot of bourbon, shot of almond liquor, rocks.

                    Swig, repeat.

                    1. If you like a classic bourbon-and-ginger, try mixing it up with some very good (or unusual) ginger ales.

                      I am a devotee of Blenheim's, an unusually spicy ginger ale made in South Carolina. You can find it in some speciality grocery stores around the country, but it can also be ordered directly from Beverages Direct:


                      1. I like Manhattans (with rye) and I like bourbon Manhattans, but the unschooled, younger bartender tends to reach first for bourbon or Tennessee whiskey -- many have no idea what rye is. It looks like ryes are starting to make a comeback; a few Boston bars, the kind of places that know how to make a Sazerac, are now carrying six or seven ryes, including some boutique-y ones I've never heard of. I appreciate places like Cambridge's B-Side Lounge, where the very serious barmen know to stir rather than shake your Manhattan lest the bitters cloud the drink.

                        1. uh.....what's wrong with just a few ice cubes ;-)

                          1. One of my rotating favorites is a Maker's Mark whiskey sour--shaken well, so it gets all foamy. And a Maker's straight up is wonderful paired with a rich, chocolate dessert; like a flourless chocolate cake.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: gina

                              I'm guessing you mean Maker's neat (all by its lonesome, straight from the bottle, into an unchilled glass), not straight up (shaken over ice and strained into a chilled glass, usually a cocktail glass), with your chocolate dessert, yes?

                              As much as I love whiskey cocktails of most stripes, my preferred mode of drinking good bourbon (and MM is my standby) is over a little bit of ice in a big, heavy rocks glass.

                            2. i agree a whiskey sour is the only way to fly, sweet and sour mix, makers mark and crushed ice with a cherry

                              1. Maker's Mark is nice with ice.

                                1. has anyone ever made a manhattan with sweet sherry instead of sweet vermouth. They're not bad

                                  1. Send me the bottle of MM and I will send you two bottles of cheap bourbon to use for cocktails. Personally I think Bourbon is for drinking neat, or on the rocks.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: JMF

                                      I disagree completely. A Manhattan, for example, is 75%, or more, bourbon. If you use cheap bourbon you'll end up with a crappy Manhattan. This is the same reason people use high quality gin for their Martinis. Mixing crap together will not make a good drink. Cheap bourbon is ok if you adding a lot of seltzer or syrup to the drink, since the nuisances in the bourbon will be lost.

                                      1. re: Darren72

                                        Personally I don't consider a Manhattan to be a cocktail. Just like I don't consider a Martini to be one. They are just ways to jazz up the natural flavors of the spirits. Like you said a Manhatttan is 75%+ bourbon and only has a little vermouth and bitters to perk it up.

                                        By cocktail I meant those drinks that have so many ingredients that you can't tell what the heck is in it. Even a whiskey sour which has very few ingredients is overwhelmed by the sweet and sour. I should have been more precise.

                                        1. re: Darren72

                                          I've yet to have a "bad" Gin Martini anywhere in any bar that used their Well Gin, Darren. If I'm drinking Bombay Sapphire, I wouldn't even throw the fumes of a Vermouth at it.

                                      2. Wow, I can't believe no one mentioned the mint julep yet! I prefer to use a sweeter and higher proof bourbon, but Maker's Mark would do just fine. Muddle some mint leaves (6-10) with a teaspoon of sugar and a little water in a tall glass, fill with ice, fill with bourbon, garnish with mint, drink, and repeat until the heat no longer bothers you.

                                        1. i like it on the rocks with a splash of soda and a wedge of lime.

                                          1. For a hot summer day, I have enjoyed Maker's Mark on lots of ice with San Pellegrino sprakling mineral water. The natural salts in the water add depth to Maker's Mark.

                                            By the way, if you like Maker's Mark but want to go one step up, try Woodforde Reserve. My favourite bourbon!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: YYZSolly

                                              Bookers, it's all about Bookers. 127 proof and goes down like nobody's business, very tasty.

                                              1. re: YYZSolly

                                                Ugh...Woodford's Reserve tastes like paint thinner smells. My current bourbons of choice are Rock Hill Farms (100 proof) and Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20-year (90.4 proof).

                                              2. here's how to make the smoothest Maker's Mark Manhattan

                                                1. I usually order a Maker's and [club] Soda at bars.

                                                  I haven't had a Manhattan in a while though. I gotta get me some bitters and me one! There is a bar in SF called Blondie's, where I got a Manhattan, which was almost an entire pint glass full of Maker's. It fills up 3 martini glasses and only costs $11. Needless to say, I only had *1* drink that night. ;)

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Hapa Dude

                                                    If you're in SF, check out the Pomegranate Manhattan at Frisson. No, it is not a fruity girly drink as the name may imply, but an excellent modern variation on the classic. In addition to pomegranate molasses, it uses cynar and orange bitters instead of Angostura.

                                                  2. I love Whiskey Sours, Lynchburg Lemonades, straights (with good bourbons and whiskeys only), Scotches, Irish Whiskeys, etc.

                                                    One thing I came across at home out of desperation has been my go to for over a year now: Bourbon and Fresca.

                                                    You do need a sweeter bourbon, and as many have mentioned, if you're going to mix it with something, usually cheaper. I've found that Old Forrestor works well.

                                                    Go ahead and laugh, but if you like sours, lemonades, gingers - try this once. You'll thank me.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Dennis S

                                                      That sounds delicious--I love ginger & makers, but it can be a little too sweet sometimes.

                                                      Floyd's on Atlantic Av in Brooklyn has this special where they'll give you a bottle of fancy ginger beer (can't remember brand name) and a serving or makers and you can mix it to your liking. The best part is after you finish, there's still ginger left, so you just go and get another makers (which is half price, usually). If you do it right you can get three drinks out of that bottle of ginger and pay for less than the cost of two.

                                                        1. re: kenito799

                                                          It might only be on Wednesdays--so call first!