Cooking with Bourbon During National Bourbon Heritage Month

BlogHer Original Post

The end of the day started with bourbonI am a verified Whiskey Girl. I love brown liquor in all its forms: I’m a huge fan of rye, have been known to keep a variety of bottles of single malt scotch on hand, and simply adore bourbon. But until recently, I was laboring under an inaccurate assumption: I thought, like champagne, that the term “bourbon” was a regional term -- to be bourbon, it had to be made in Kentucky.

But recently, on a visit to Iowa, I picked up a couple of bottles of a relatively new Iowa bourbon whiskey made by a small winery and distiller, and will admit that I complained vehemently about the fact that this particular distiller was co-opting the good name of bourbon. “It’s not from Kentucky,” I asserted. “It canNOT be BOURBON.”

Well, it turns out I’m wrong. Bourbon is a brown spirit defined by Federal law to, among other things, be made from at least from 51 percent corn, and to have been aged for at least two years in new, charred oak barrels, and must be bottled at no less than 80 proof. There are other rules that define what is a bourbon and what is not, but to my dismay, none of those rules say “Must be made in Kentucky.”

Sorry, Bluegrass State. I have to stop being your ambassador.

But I won’t stop being an ambassador for this particular spirit, which, while it makes an excellent beverage, is also an excellent ingredient during a session in the kitchen. In honor of September, which has been named National Bourbon Heritage Month by the U.S. Senate, here are some recipes that celebrate this very American whiskey.

Appetizers

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Bourbon Sauce from Angie of Eclectic Recipes
Bourbon Cocktail Wieners by Lisa of My Own Sweet Thyme
Brie en Croute with Brown Sugar, Bourbon and Pecans by Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake

Main Courses

Bourbon Ham from Nancy of A Recipe a Day
Apple Bourbon Braised Pork from of Cooking... by the seat of my Pants!
Pulled Pork with Apricot Bourbon BBQ Sauce by Erin of The Skinny Gourmet
Bourbon Chicken by Meghan of You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Sweet and Spicy Asian Bourbon Chicken by Amanda and Tyler of What We’re Eating
Bourbon-Maple Seared Scallops by Ann of redacted recipes

Side Dishes

Bourbon Baked Sweet Potatoes from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks
Bourbon Cranberry Sauce from Theresa of The Craving Chronicles
Bourbon Bacon Baked Beans< by Annie of Phoo-D

Desserts/Sweets

Cherry Bourbon Ice Cream from Joy of Joy the Baker
Bourbon Sugar Cookie Crunch Ice Cream from Cathy of Not Eating Out in New York
Bourbon-Spiked Banana Bread from Olga Massov of Sassy Radish
Grilled Peaches with Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Cream from Elizabeth Passarella of The Kitchn
Bourbon Peach Hand Pies from Deb of The Smitten Kitchen

Do you have a favorite bourbon-based recipe? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Genie blogs about gardening and food at The Inadvertent Gardener, and tells very short tales at100 Proof Stories. She also tells stories with photos at5x52.

Photo credit: Genie Gratto

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