HomeEventsMeet the Maker

Meet the Maker


The Blend is giving three (3) lucky hospitality professionals the opportunity to meet Rob Samuels, in Sydney at an intimate and immersive Maker’s Mark lunch.

Event Details

The Blend is giving three (3) lucky hospitality professionals the opportunity to meet Rob Samuels, in Sydney at an intimate and immersive Maker’s Mark lunch.

 We recently invited The Blend members, (old and new!) to attend the Virtual Distillery Tour of Maker’s Mark, bringing the distillery to your living rooms, or venues, (wherever you logged on to view really)

 This time round, we are excited to be bringing the distillery to you!

That’s right, Rob Samuels, 8th Generation family member, is coming to Sydney, to host an intimate private session which enables Blend members to meet the Maker.

Hosted at EST –Sydney’s iconic Merivale Venue, attendees will embark on the story of how Rob Samuels’ family have crafted this hand-made whisky, evolving into one of the world’s favourite bourbons tasting new liquids from the distillery whilst dining on Peter Doyle’s menu and carefully crafted cocktail list from Charlie Parker’s Garden and Giacomo Franceschi’s creation.


We are offering three (3) x lucky winners a ‘golden ticket’ to the event. From your closest capital city, we will fly you to Sydney, host you at the QT Sydney and a seat with your name on it could be yours!

Why are we calling it a golden ticket?

All you need to do is submit your twist on the Gold Rush, Maker’s Mark famous cocktail.

Maker’s Mark prides itself on its sustainability, with The Distillery receiving its B Corporation certification, highlighting it as one of the most sustainable in the world as it follows the global movement. How will this inspire you to create your twist on the  Gold Rush?


The Gold Rush plays off of the standard Whisk(e)y Sour recipe, replacing simple syrup with honey syrup. Also known as “liquid honey,” the syrup adds a new richness and depth to the original. The earliest printed Whisk(e)y Sour recipe appeared in the 1862. But versions of this cocktail were widely popular long before that. Sometime around the 1750s, an English naval officer named Edward "Old Grog" Vernon was known to mix a variation of the sour for his crew on long sea journeys. Eventually, the drink would be brought to shore and refined with ingredients like those found in this version, particularly the Maker’s Mark.


50ml Maker's Mark

20ml Fresh Lemon Juice

 20ml 2:1 Honey Water


Shake it to wake it, don’t rock it to sleep!


Paint your glass with honey and bee pollen Strain over cubed or block ice, and garnish with a lemon wheel



• Create a cocktail that reflects the submission brief ‘ Your twist on the Gold Rush’…’
• This could be the use of honey, the twist on the classic whisk(e)y sour, or wherever your creative juices take your mind, it’s up to you!
• Enter your details in the form below
• Share your creation with an image and the story behind it



• Participants must create a NEW (unpublished), imaginative and delicious cocktail
• Homemade ingredients are welcome
• All ingredients used must be expressed in ‘mls’ or for small quantities as dashes, drops, wedges etc
• The cocktail must be composed of a maximum of six (6) ingredients (including drops/ dashes)
• Ice and garnishes are NOT included as ingredients
• The cocktail must hero a brand from the selection of Beam Suntory products stated on the entry form below
• Your cocktail can be created in any style and served in any glass
• The cocktail must contain a minimum of 45mls of Maker’s Mark
• Your cocktail must NOT exceed 75ml of alcohol

NOTE: This is a Beam Suntory competition – it’s best to use our brands where possible… just a heads up!

You will need to submit an image of your drink, to be eligible for entry, online. No points are awarded for the image or styling just so we can understand the visual representation of your drink.


Maker’s Mark is a small-batch bourbon whisky brand that is recognised for its unique, dipped design bottles—not to mention its refined taste. The handmade bourbon was created in 1953 and the brand has continued its journey toward greatness ever since. The whisky is produced in small batches, using soft red winter wheat to utilise its sweetness and softness,  in which the barrels are rotated by hand to create a consistent taste every time. 

The owner of the brand, Beam Suntory can safely say it now operates the largest distillery in the world to receive B Corporation Certification, recognising the company and the brand for their sustainability endeavours. 

The achievement is one that completes the brand with a mission to “Make Your Mark. Leave No Trace”. As the distillery was able to meet the rigorous B Corp standards, it has now been formally recognised following its development of community, customers, environment, governance, and workers.


‘’Where to begin… Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels and the team have some incredibly exciting environmental initiatives going on at the distillery. We are by no means perfect, but we are committed to change and ongoing improvement at the distillery. We are creating an oak repository within 1000 acres at Star Hill Farm to educate about forestry management to ensure the future safety of the great American white oak. Our Environmental Farm Manager Jason Nally has been working on biodiversity by getting rid of invasive species, bringing back native grasses and prairie lands.

This encourages a healthy wildlife habitat and soils, in turn creating healthy water that is filtered into our spring-fed lakes that are key to the production of Maker’s Mark. Much like our whisky, everything we are growing on our wheat and barley test plots and in the one-acre garden plot at the farm is in the pursuit of flavour. We are growing Dan Barber seeds next to heirloom varieties to see what grows best in our soil. We started back in January, so we are only just starting the journey, but so far we have successfully grown pumpkin, squash, corn, okra, watermelon and tomatoes. We pick produce from the garden daily and take it to the Star Hill Provisions Restaurant to create true seed-to-fork dishes and cocktails.

The menu will forever change and evolve depending on the season and what is available to us at the time. A total of 80 per cent of our produce is from our farm or local producers - our eggs come from my colleague’s farm and our honey from our neighbour Jonny Young. His bees pollinate wildflowers on the Maker’s Mark property, which is super cool and I use his honey in a lot of cocktails at the distillery. We have also taken single-use plastics out of tastings, events and the restaurant, and are lowering waste through recycling and composting on-site.

Maker’s Mark also uses solar panels to offset the energy used to run its maturation houses. And then we move to the unsexy but equally as important stuff like our wastewater treatment facility. We have an Environmental Impact team that I am a part of. We get together every six weeks to assess and implement better ways of working. I’m excited about the future.’’

Terms & conditions

• The Meet the Maker is only open to Hospitality professionals in Australia, 18 years and above.

• You must also be an Australian member of The Blend (sign up for FREE if you’re not a member).

• The closing date for entries is 23.59pm 7th November (AEST).

• More than one entry is allowed – so go wild!

• We have 3 trips to Sydney to be won – this prize is not refundable or redeemable for cash.

• Accommodation x 1 night in Sydney.

• Return flights & transfers from your local state airport to home.

• Cocktails must be submitted with an image to be eligible. 

Judging Criteria

• Name, we love a good name, so get creative! (10 points)

• Creativity, what's your twist on the Gold Rush? (50 Points)

• Taste (50 points)

• Story telling, share with how you created this concept (40 points)

Total: 150 points

Sorry, you must be signed in to register for events. Join The Blend today!

Related Events


Omotenashi awaits!

Scholars, we’re excited to announce our next round of events across Australia, bringing you the insights around the craftsmanship of our House of Suntory brands HAKU, ROKU & TOKI and the art of Japanese hospitality, Omotenashi.


Galliano invites you to a Garden Party

Get ready for a festive and fun party; as we 'aperitivo' in style to capture Galliano’s unique character and showcase ‘summer in a glass’ - the Galliano Vanilla Mule.



Off the back of a ‘sip-cessful’ event in Sydney, we are bringing ‘Serve Smith’ to Melbourne; with the launch of Bar of Smithery gaining momentum across Australia with Matt Whiley (RE & former Scout London) and Luke Whearty (BYRDI) playing ball in Victoria.