Power of the Palate … powered by Maker’s Mark

Disclaimer: I am not being paid for this blog post. My opinion and thoughts are in fact my own. However, I do have a relationship with Black Restaurant Week. That is all. Keep reading.

Black Restaurant Week has done something fabulous. They have created the “Power of the Palate” cocktail competition and it is as exciting as it sounds. A lot of us middle aged life warriors and working parents drink libations and we also aim to be merry. I, for one, love a good cocktail, a neat, a wee dram, or a robust glass of wine.

I love the fact that “Power of the Palate” highlights Black bartenders / mixologists. The creativity of making a tasty concoction is an art form, for sure. Pairings, flavors, visuals, it’s all there in the process. And this year’s competitors are amazing at what they do. It is great to highlight this facet of the nightlife and spirits industry. What you drink says a lot about who you are in the moment, where you are in the moment, and sometimes eludes to what excites you or what flavors bring you joy.

Okay, I know you are thinking, Erica get to the box! Okay, I will quell my inner Gwendolyn Brooks and now talk about the Power of the Palate – Maker’s Mark box.

The goodies are super duper fabulous. Let’s start off with the Marker’s Mark. In 1953, in Loretto, Ky., Bill Samuels, Sr., fulfilled his dream to create a handmade and delicious bourbon. He decided to make his whisky in small batches, using soft red winter wheat to enhance the softness and sweetness. He then rotated each barrel by hand for consistency and, finally, aged each barrel to taste. Bill Samuels, Sr., transformed bourbon from a “commodity” into a premium handmade spirit, and today Maker’s Mark® continues to make its bourbon the same way. In recent years, Maker’s Mark has introduced thoughtful, super-premium innovations to its portfolio, including Maker’s Mark 46®, Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength and Maker’s Mark® Private Selection, the brand’s first-ever custom barrel program. 

The Akron Honey and the Little Black Box jams are a real treat. Every now and then, I like my neat with a smidge of sweet. They are perfect for a wee dram with a punch of sweet flavor.

Now, I am a weak in the knees for a good cocktail shaker. The shaker and measure didn’t disappoint. Couple that with the lovely drink glasses with the wax bottoms, it’s a great date night cocktail set for a late wee dram and good conversation. And let us not forget the very cute cutting board for a petit charcuterie or just to cut up your limes.

The pièce de résistance is the Power of the Palate cocktail book. That’s the true treasure. You, your book club, or your favorite person can go on a mission to make all the amazing cocktails. Kudos to Black Restaurant Week for putting this together. Black Restaurant Week has recruited the best bartenders from 16 select cities and true to its mission is representing bartenders with a variety of backgrounds including African American, African, and Caribbean heritages. The gift is getting to replicate their amazing creations right at home.

Last but not least, I shall highlight the Chicago cocktail, “Investment Stock“, by mixologist — Nigel Vann. (Oh come on, you know I’m biased. I love all things Chicago.)

I’m looking forward to making amazing cocktails and mocktails for myself and sweet friends. Enjoying a grown sip on the porch, in front of the fireplace, or even nuzzled inside a favorite blanket.

Here’s to superlative liquor and spirits, super-talented Black mixologists, great flavors, and good times.