Bourbon Recipes for Every Season

Most cookbooks are set up by courses: appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts. But, Albert Schmid’s The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook  tackles cooking with bourbon through the seasons. It already feels like summertime here in Lexington, so we’ll leave you with a few of Schmid’s Kentucky bourbon “summer” recipes to kick off your season of grilling and fun in the sun.

Kentucky Bibb Salad with a Sweet Kentucky Bourbon Vinaigrette, Crumbled Goat Cheese, and Toasted Pecans

The following salad is a great summer dish because of the cool, seasonal ingredients. The recipe calls for Bibb lettuce, also known as limestone lettuce, which was first cultivated in Kentucky by Jack Bibb in the late 1800s. Bibb lettuce is highly prized by chefs and gourmands. I based this recipe on one I found in the 2003 edition of Nancy Millers Secrets of Louisville Chefs. Schmid

Kentucky Bibb Salad


  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 3 heads Bibb lettuce, washed and patted dry
  • 12 heirloom tomatoes or two large tomatoes
  • 12 red grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound goat cheese
  • 1 red onion, diced

Sweet Kentucky Bourbon Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
  • ¼ cup brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic chili sauce
  1. Toast the pecans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, spread the pecans on a baking sheet, and toast them for about 5 minutes.
  2. To make the salad: Break the lettuce apart, cut all the tomatoes in half or in slices, and break or slice the goat cheese.
  3. To make the vinaigrette: Mix the vinegar, bourbon, mustard, honey, barbecue sauce, pepper, and chili sauce together.
  4. Arrange lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pecans, and cheese on four plates, and pour the vinaigrette over the salad.

Kentucky Bourbon-Q Sauce for Pork Tenderloin

1697Kentucky is known not only for its bourbon but also for its barbecues. The International Bar-B-Q Festival, held in Owensboro on the second weekend in May each year, draws crowds numbering eighty-five thousand. I based this barbecue recipe on one of Matt and Ted Lee’s in their book The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook.” – Albert Schmid.
  • 1⁄3 cup Kentucky bourbon
  • 1⁄3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 ½ pounds pork tenderloin
  • ¼ cup sorghum molasses
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  1. Combine the bourbon, water, vinegar, ginger, jalapeno, and garlic in a bowl. Add the pork tenderloin and turn it to coat. Marinate the pork at room temperature for 1 hour, turning it every 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the pork from the marinade and pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Boil it over high heat until it is reduced by one-third. Add the sorghum and ketchup and cook until thickened or about 20 minutes. Season with the kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Brush the pork with the olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Grill it over medium heat until the outside of the meat is well marked. Transfer the pork to a pan and place it in the oven at 350 degrees until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees, about 30 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Then slice it against the grain and serve it with the sauce made from the marinade.

Don’t forget to sign up by Friday, May 17 at 1 pm for your chance to win a copy of The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook!


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