April is a special time of year here in the Bluegrass for several reasons. Keeneland, a favorite in UPK’s hometown of Lexington, is finally open for their Spring Meet. The Derby is right around the corner. That vicious winter has hopefully been permanently laid to rest. Tailgate season isn’t too far away.
All of these reasons culminate in the heartwarming truth that it is once again acceptable to drink bourbon before 5 o’clock (thanks in part to Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson). We at UPK are fortunate enough to have dozens of bourbon recipes at our disposal from some of our most talented authors and their various works.
In The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book, Joy Perrine and Susan Reigler provide a reader-friendly handbook featuring more than 100 recipes including seasonal drinks, after-dinner bourbon cocktails, Derby cocktails, and even medicinal toddies. See below for a fun twist on an old classic!
Dark & Bloody Bourbon Mary
This is the perfect drink for a Derby brunch. I relished rising to the challenge from those who said a bloody Mary couldn’t be made with bourbon. Ha!
1 teaspoon salt/pepper/paprika mix
2 ounces Woodford Reserve
2 large lemon wedges
1 tablespoon Bourbon Barrel Aged Worcestershire Sauce
1 can (6 ounces) Campbell’s tomato juice
To prepare the seasoning mix, combine in a mortar one part each smoked sea salt and smoked pepper and two parts smoked paprika, all from Bourbon Barrel Foods (www.bourbonbarrelfoods.com). Finely crush with a pestle and shake together in a jar.
To a pint glass or large mason jar filled with ice, add the bourbon, squeeze and drop in the lemon wedges, and add the teaspoon of seasoning mix and the Worcestershire sauce. Shake. Add more ice and the can of tomato juice. Shake again. Garnish with a long straw, baby corn, a large pitted black olive, and a cherry pepper, all on a stick.
If you’re interested in this recipe and more like it, head over to our website to buy the book.
Stay tuned to our blog for posts about all things bourbon for the next couple weeks!