Tag Archive for Bourbon

Bacon Bourbon Butter

Bacon Bourbon Butter takes butter to a whole new level. My friend Jessica brought this for Baconfest – The Sequel and it was a huge hit. She was so sweet she made an extra one just for the family that we wouldn’t have to share with anyone!! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Chill Time – at least 2 hours


1 slice smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 tsp. bacon drippings
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter room temp
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tsp. brown sugar
Kosher salt to taste

Preparing Bacon Bourbon Butter:

Using a fork, vigorously whisk together all ingredients in medium bowl until well combined. Transfer to wax or parchment paper.  Fold over paper and roll into a cylinder. Chill until solid. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 3 months!


Bacon Bourbon Butter 

Meal Ideas:

Jessica served her Bacon Bourbon Butter with a warm baguette. I used it in baked potatoes and it was delicious! I think next I will try it in with pasta and see how it tastes. I’m sure it will be amazing!! 

Bourbon Tasting

If you are going to have bourbonfest, it seems appropriate to put together a bourbon tasting too. So, I did some research, bought a couple of bourbons and brought a couple more from home as my husband enjoys a sip of bourbon every now and again. It was fun and well received. I think we might have even learned a little something too.

how to have your own bourbon tasting

What is Bourbon?

Bourbon originally was created in Bourbon County, KY and has a higher concentration of corn than any other grain.

In America, bourbon must be made with at least 51% corn. Then it also has barley and either rye or wheat. It must not exceed 160 proof when added to the barrels to age. The barrels must be new charred oak barrels. Seriously, there is a law for this!

What is the difference between Whiskey and Bourbon?

Whiskey is just the generic name for Bourbon, Scotch, Irish Whiskey, Canadian Whisky (no, I didn’t misspell this, many whiskeys leave out the ‘e’), Tennessee Whiskey, and American Rye. That’s pretty much all ‘brown liquors’.

Scotch is whiskey made in Scotland with a greater concentration of barley instead of corn.

Tennessee Whiskey is bourbon filtered through sugar maple charcoal which gives it that ‘sweet’ taste.

Terminology used with Bourbon:

Straight = aged at least 2 years

Wheater = wheat instead of rye (softer flavor)

High Rye = made with higher concentration of rye than other bourbons. The rye is what gives it the ‘bite’.

Small Batch = little meaning, just smaller than something like Jim Beam

Single Barrel = entire bottle from a single barrel, no mixing

Bourbon Tasting Menu:

For the bourbon tasting, I brought 4 different bourbons with a decent amount of variation in them. I gave everyone who participated a sheet of paper for folks to take notes if they wanted. There was no competition although the tasting was a blind tasting. It was just to help find what flavors each individual liked and give some information to help them find other bourbons they might like in the future. No right or wrong answers, just a personal opinion.

Here are the 4 bourbons we tasted.

Maker’s Mark – TN –Wheater – Soft – Major Brand with Wild Turkey and Jim Beam

High West – UT – Blend – Straight

Wathen’s – KY – Single Barrel – Straight

Four Roses – KY – High Rye – Small Batch – Straight

Smells and Flavors Found in Bourbons:

For the tasting, I provided this list of potential smells and flavors to be on the look out for while tasting each bourbon. I’m no expert and have no idea which you might find in each of the 4 we tasted but this proved helpful to think about while tasting.

Sweet aromatic flavors, such as vanilla, caramel, honey and butterscotch

Fruit and floral flavors, such as apple, pear, dark fruit (figs, raisins, dates), citrus and rose

Spice flavors, including black pepper, tobacco leaf, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon

Wood flavors, such as oak, cedar, pine, almonds and pecans

Grain flavors, such as corn, malt and rye

What to look for when tasting bourbon?

Each piece of paper for the tasting had a letter for the bourbon we were tasting (A-D) and then a place to write down notes on the Appearance, Aroma, Taste, and Aftertaste.

After everyone tasted all 4, I placed the bottles out and had them guess which one was which. A couple of people got them all correct which was pretty cool.

The favorite of the group? Well that ended up being Four Roses!

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake

bourbon cake

For Bourbonfest, I opted to bring this chocolate bourbon bundt cake I had made several years back. It is absolutely delicious and pretty easy to make even if it requires……BAKING!

I found it originally in Gourmet magazine in September 2005.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 40 minutes


1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus 3T for dusting bundt pan

1 1/2 cup brewed coffee

1/2 cup bourbon (something like Maker’s Mark)

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 cups sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

2 large eggs

1 t vanilla

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Bundt pan (10 inch, 3 1/4 inch deep, 3 qt capacity)

How to make chocolate bourbon bundt cake:

Put oven rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Butter bundt pan then dust with 3 T cocoa powder, extra powder can be removed.

Heat coffee, bourbon, butter and 1 cup cocoa powder in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add sugar and whisk until dissolved. Pour mixture in a large mixing bowl and let cool for about 5 minutes.

In separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a small bowl (see this is why baking is annoying, all these bowls!!), whisk eggs and vanilla together. Pour eggs into cooled chocolate mixture. Add the flour mixture and whisk until combined (it will be bubbly). Pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake for about 40 minutes. Insert a wooden pick to know when it is done (it will come out clean).

whiskey cake

Cool cake completely on a rack. When cool, loosen the cake from the pan with a knife (don’t forget the inner ring) and say a quick prayer. Then turn out the cake onto a plate.

chocolate cake

Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

bourbon cake

This cake does best when made a couple of days in advance.

Important Tips:

Butter and dusting the pan should not be rushed. This won’t work if it doesn’t come out of the pan.

Bourbon Cheese Ball

When we had Bourbonfest, meat dishes and desserts were the easiest to come by. Our friend Andrea dig some serious digging and found this amazing Bourbon Cheese Ball. She adapted the recipe from one she found on www.thekentuckyblog.com website. It really was fabulous. We all agreed that it would be PERFECT for the holidays!


  • 1 lb shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8oz of cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup Kentucky Bourbon
  • ½ cup chopped, toasted pecans, plus more (about 1 cup) for rolling
  • ¼ cup dry parsley flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Preparing Bourbon Cheese Ball:

Combine cream cheese, cheddar and bourbon in a mixing bowl, on slow speed.  Add a half cup chopped pecans, and parsley flakes. Add the rest of the ingredients. When the ingredients are thoroughly blended, form into a ball, roll in chopped pecans, wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Serve with wheat crackers.

Bourbon Meatballs

One of the biggest hits of Bourbonfest was Lynne’s Bourbon Meatballs. Even the kids loved them! She said they were easy but we didn’t really believe her. When she sent me the recipe, obviously I knew I was wrong!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 1 hour


1 bag frozen meatballs

1/2 c. ketchup

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. bourbon

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. worchestershire sauce

Preparing Bourbon Meatballs:

Put meatballs in crock pot. Mix other ingredients together. Pour over meatballs and cook on high for one hour!

Kentucky Derby Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Here is our friend Maria’s recipe for Kentucky Derby Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream. The pie was fabulous but I really could have just eaten the whipped cream by itself…or on strawberries…or put a dollop in my coffee in the morning. We ended up putting the whipped cream on every dessert at Bourbonferst! It was just that good!


Kentucky Derby Pie:

1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick/4 ounces)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bourbon Whipped Cream

1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon good bourbon (or 1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring)

Preparing Kentucky Derby Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream:

Spread chopped nuts over the bottom of the prepared (unbaked) pie shell; sprinkle with chocolate morsels. In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk in sugars, flour, salt, vanilla, and butter. Pour batter evenly over nuts and chocolate chips. Bake in a 325° oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

While the pie is baking, make the whipped cream. For best results, chill bowl and beaters. Beat cream until thickened; add sugar and flavoring, then beat until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Bourbon Brownies

Ok…so this is just genius. Our friend Richard brought over Bourbon Brownies for Bourbonfest. When I asked for the recipe, all he said was, ” I just used Ghiardelli brownie mix with pecans and added bourbon to taste before baking.” LOVE IT!!!

Brownies with Bourbon