After a year-long wait thanks to the pandemic, Doris Metropolitan has finally released its collaboration with Maker’s Mark bourbon. It is a private barrel selection from the distillery, and Doris Metropolitan has created a $25 Doris Old Fashioned cocktail to showcase the limited-availability spirit.

The Maker’s Mark private barrel selection program allows purchasers to select barrels where the staves, or wooden slats that make up the walls, are customized and replaced for finishing purposes. The staves impart unique finishing and flavor profiles while liquor is aging.

Doris Metropolitan, an Israeli bar and restaurant, started in New Orleans before opening a Houston location in 2018.  It’s is known for a decadent menu that benefits from an in-house butcher shop and its hand-cut steak selections. A thoughtful and elegant bar serves a wide selection of wines — nine pages’ worth — and a dozen house cocktails, including daiquiris and a classic New Orleans Sazerac.

The $25 Doris Old Fashioned made with exclusive Maker’s Mark whisky. Photo by Ryan Baker.

Guests can taste the private selection Maker’s Mark either made into the $25 Old Fashioned or simply order a pour of it, neat, to taste the unadulterated spirit. Maker’s Mark is known for its sweeter-than-average flavor, soft finish and a signature red wax seal on the bottle.

Houston Food Finder was invited to try the special-selection Maker’s Mark both neat and in the Old Fashioned. At nearly 112-proof, the Doris selection is “hot”, with an alcohol burn that packs a much larger punch than the 90-proof of the standard Maker’s Mark whisky. It’s also less sweet and projects a spicier profile.

It works well as part of an Old Fashioned cocktail, which lends just enough sweetness and dilution to make the bourbon a little easier to handle without losing much of the taste. (If $25 sounds steep, there’s actually a cocktail on the list that is 5 times the price. It’s made with Macallan Rare Cask and costs $125.)

Bar manager Mauro and his team provide great service to guests at Doris Metropolitan. Photo by Ryan Baker.

By the way: the hospitality provided by bar manager Mauro Cisneros and his team is top-notch. When visiting for cocktails, request a seat at the bar for a special experience that is difficult to replicate at a traditional table.

Doris Metropolitan is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations are encouraged and can be made online.

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