A few weeks back I noticed the Maker’s Mark Gourmet Sauce I previously saw was on sale for $3 off a bottle. Not willing to pay the $9.99 it was originally priced at, I thought I’d give it a try at a more reasonable $6.99. Not a huge bourbon fan but always attracted to the beauty of the wax dipped bottle, I thought this was a cute gimmick which was worth the try, especially after reading the ingredient list:
tomato puree, distilled vinegar, corn sweetener, pineapple, sugar, Maker’s Mark bourbon, salt, spices, applesauce, corn starch, lemon juice, raisins, hydrolyzed soy protein, molasses, autolyzed yeast, carmel color, onion and garlic powder, anchovies and/or sardines, natural flavorings, paprika, tamarinds, cloves, chili peppers, eschallots, sodium benzoate (added as a preservative)
Aside from inclusion of “natural flavorings” which they later point out are MSG and the annoying “corn sugar”, I thought the ingredient list was pretty novel for a bottle of store-available sauce, particularly raisins and pineapple mixed with sardines. The little tag on the bottle offers a ton of suggestions on where to use the sauce including: a tablespoon in your favorite bloody Mary mix, raw and/or fried vegetables, covering cream cheese with the sauce and eating it with crackers, etc. They also include two recipes for Grilled Cajun Shrimp and Grilled Lamb or Pork Chops, both which are easy and sound pretty tasty.
The sauce itself is a dark brown and pours slow. There are chunks of pineapple visible in the sauce which bring a unique sweet and tart bite when you hit one. Mixed with the Mrs. T.’s bloody Mary mix (they were out of Zing Zang and Devil’s Spit was stupid expensive) which is my third favorite for drinking without liquor, I found the taste to be altered in a way which I didn’t much care for at first but which grew on me over time. Yet, once I finished the glass I couldn’t make a final determination whether I’d drink that particular mix with it again. It definitely brought some depth and a richness to the mix with only a tablespoon in a pint glass, but I’m not sure the additional sodium and sweet pineapple were meant to go well with this particular mix. Perhaps I’ll try it again with Zing Zang and see how that turns out.
We aren’t planning to grill any pork, chicken, or shrimp this week and I didn’t really want to put this on my burger tonight but I took their suggestion to dip raw veggies in it. I was pleasantly surprised that it worked and worked well. I had some leftover green and red bell pepper slices and their own sweetness coupled with the rich sauce really made for a nice treat and one I’d do again. While I would love to see this on meat and think it would work well being that it reminds me a lot of Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauces, something I had a crush on about 10 years ago.
Overall I think this sauce is a good one, however, at an average price of $9.99, I think you’re paying for the fancy bottle and name recognition and not so much the sauce itself. Even at $6.99, 15oz of sauce really isn’t all that much especially if you’re using it for marinading and you’re really probably better off using something else. However, if you’re just using it as a dip or a novelty and are a true Maker’s Mark lover, this might be just what the doctor ordered.
Have you ever had Maker’s Mark Gourmet Bourbon Flavored Sauce? If so what did you think? Would you pay $10/bottle for it? What other liquor-based sauces do you prefer? On that note, what’s your favorite store-bought bloody mix? Anything I should give a try knowing I drink them virgin?