Tag Archives: Susan Reigler

The Bourbon Capital of the World

Whether you’re a lover of history or just a bourbon enthusiast, Bardstown, Kentucky is the perfect place to spend a weekend.  In the second edition of Kentucky Bourbon Country, The Essential Travel Guide, Susan Reigler points out the many historic and cultural attractions this small Kentucky town has to offer, including the annual six-day Kentucky Bourbon Festival which will be wrapping up this weekend.


The historic Old Talbott Tavern

Not only is it home to more than 300 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places — including Federal Hill, the inspiration for the state’s anthem residing at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, and the Old Talbot Tavern — Bardstown is also within a half hour of six famous  bourbon distilleries. The newest edition to these is the Bardstown Bourbon Company, which just opened its doors this summer.


The Bardstown Bourbon Company



Bring on the Bourbon

Delicious food, entertainment, as well as some great events will be offered in Bardstown this weekend during the festival, where bourbon will be savored, sampled, discussed and celebrated! In this excerpt from her travel guide, Reigler provides a detailed description of the event:

The Kentucky Bourbon Festival began in 1992 with a dinner and tastings. Today it has grown into a six-day event with concerts, races, a golf tournament, a cocktail contest, cooking and drink-mixing classes, expert panel discussions, an auction of bourbon memorabilia, a gala black-tie dinner, and more. In 2014 some 53,000 people attended the festival, traveling from forty-four states, the District of Columbia, and fourteen countries.

The center of the festival’s activities is the Spalding Hall lawn, just outside the entrance to the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History (114 North Fifth Street). Almost all the distilleries set up exhibits on the lawn, and merchants display and sell all kinds of bourbon-related items there, from books to foodstuffs. There are also demonstrations of barrel making, and the lawn is well within hearing range of the outdoor concerts taking place on a nearby stage. Not surprisingly, the Spirit Garden, where visitors can purchase bourbon drinks and beer, is one of the most popular sites.

[. . .] The festival is a good time to meet many of the people involved in the bourbon industry. All the master distillers are on hand for many of the events, and they will certainly be in attendance at Saturday night’s Great Kentucky Bourbon Tasting and Gala.

While at the festival, swing by the University Press of Kentucky booth, check out some of our fantastic book offerings, and say hello! native

A Toast to National Bourbon Heritage Month

September is a most wonderful time—when the weather starts to cool, leaves start to turn, and the world turns its attention to the Commonwealth for National Bourbon Heritage Month! We’ll be celebrating this genteel and genuinely Kentucky holiday with cocktail and food recipes, new books, and a trip to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival.

More Kentucky Bourbon Cocktails6.inddTo kick things off, enjoy a celebratory tipple of “The Rutledge Rebellion,” created by Jason Start of Martini Italian Bistro in Louisville, representing Four Roses Distillery. “The Rutledge Rebellion” took first prize at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival Mixed Drink Challenge in 2014 in the Bourbon Punch Category. Named for Four Roses master distiller emeritus, Jim Rutledge, “The Rutledge Rebellion” won the honor of being the official cocktail of the 2015 Kentucky Bourbon Festival.

Try your hand at this well-crafted recipe from Joy Perrine and Susan Reigler’s newest book, More Kentucky Bourbon Cocktails. Cheers!

The Rutledge Rebellion

Rutledge Rebellion via The Kentucky Standard

The overall winning drink, ‘The Rutledge Rebellion’ (photo by Kacie Goode. Used with permission from The Kentucky Standard.)

1 1/2 ounces Four Roses Small Batch bourbon
1/2 ounce ginger liqueur
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce pomegranate juice
1 ounce apple pureé
(3 apples, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 cup simple syrup, 1/2               cup water, and 1/2 cup lemon juice—blended and                 strained)
or 1 ounce apple juice
2 ounces dry champagne
1 syringe Bittermens Tiki bitters

Combine ingredients in a pint glass and stir. Fill with ice, garnish with an orange slice and a mint sprig and serve with a straw.

Blueberry Bourbon Beer Punch Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book University Press of Kentucky

We’re not ‘Blue’ about this Bourbon Punch

Yesterday, we brought you a suggested menu from The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook for your 4th of July cookout. Today, let’s talk signature cocktails! There’s no better place to turn than The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book for martinis, cocktails, and punches featuring every Kentuckian’s favorite spirit. For an on-theme 4th of July punch, we’re recommending the refreshing (and blue!) Blueberry Bourbon Beer Punch. Or, if you’re looking for a drink with more “sparkle,” check out last year’s recipe: The Kentucky Sparkler.

Blueberry Bourbon Beer Punch

From The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book by Joy Perrine and Susan Reigler.

Don’t chuckle over this seemingly unlikely combination of ingredients until you’ve tried it. It’s summer in a glass.

  • 2 bottles cold Wild Blue™ blueberry lager
  • 1 can (12-ounce) frozen Minute Maid™ pink lemonade (defrosted, but no water added)
  • 2 ounces blueberry-infused bourbon (Lightly crush 1/3 of a full pint of blueberries and combine with remaining whole berries and bourbon. Shake and let steep 3 days. Strain, label, date, and refrigerate.)
  • 10 ounces water
  • 2 lemons cut into wedges
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Into a 1 1/2 – 2 quart glass pitcher, pour the bottles of beer. Add lemonade, bourbon, and water; stir. After the foam subsides, squeeze and drop in the lemon wedges. Stir. Add ice and blueberries. Stir again. Serve over ice.

Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book University Press of Kentucky

Kentucky Bourbon Country

If you’re from the state of Kentucky, you know that bourbon is a part of our culture. Whether you’re sipping some Maker’s Mark at a tailgate or savoring a glass of Woodford Reserve at dinner, you’re contributing to Kentucky’s economy by enjoying one of our signature industries.

bourbon tasting

Kentucky, the birthplace of bourbon, produces 95 percent of the world’s supply of America’s only native spirit. According to the Kentucky Distiller’s Association, “There are more barrels of bourbon aging in the Bluegrass than there are people (4.3 million) and horses (242,000) living in the Commonwealth.” That’s a whole lotta bourbon!

KY bourbon

Susan Reigler discusses this and more in her book Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide. Reigler offers essential information and practical advice to anyone considering a trip to the state’s distilleries or to the restaurants and bars on the Urban Bourbon Trail. Featuring more than 150 full-color photographs and a bourbon glossary, the book is organized by region and provides valuable details about the Bluegrass—including attractions near each distillery and notes on restaurants, lodging, shopping, and seasonal events in Kentucky’s beautiful historic towns.

bourbon basrrels

This book is the perfect gift for not only bourbon-lovers, but also anyone who has a love of Kentucky and its many outstanding qualities. If you’re interested in buying the book, head on over to our website for details.


It’s 5 O’Clock in Kentucky

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.

'Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book' 30% OFF: $10.47

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!


Fact or Myth: You can get your daily dose of veggies from a cocktail?

Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway this week and congratulations to our winner! We’re still in the bourbon spirit, so we’ll leave you with two more bourbon cocktail recipes that are sure to surprise!

April 1st has come and gone, but we’re not trying to fool you with this one! In The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book, Joy Perrine and Susan Reigler offer a surprising and innovative way to get your daily dose of veggies—mixed with a little bit of Kentucky’s finest bourbon.

Check out the recipes for Sweet Potato Pie and Veggie Implosions!

Sweet Potato Pie

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • sorghum syrup
  • chopped, toasted pecans
  • 1 ounce spice-infused Kentucky bourbon
  • ½ ounce brown sugar syrup
  • ½ ounce pecan liqueur

Prepare the sweet potato as follows: Boil the potato until cooked but still firm. Cool and peel it and cut crosswise into three chunks. Scoop out the center of each piece, being careful not to scoop all the way through, making a “well” to hold the drink. Dip the potato rim in sorghum syrup and then in chopped, toasted pecans. Put ½ ounce sorghum in the bottom of a Martini glass and sprinkle with pecans. Place the three pieces of sweet potato into the Martini glass, hollowedout centers facing up. Shake the bourbon, brown sugar syrup, and pecan liqueur over ice and carefully pour into the sweet potato cups. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve with two small sip straws and a small spoon. Sip the cocktail and eat the sweet potato pieces.

Veggie Implosions

  • 1 recipe Dark & Bloody Bourbon Mary
  • assortment of vegetables, including: cherry tomatoes, cucumber pieces, zucchini (uncooked), summer squash (uncooked), new potatoes (cooked)

Carefully shave flesh from the base of the vegetable pieces so that they rest level on a tray or plate. Hollow out the inside of the vegetable pieces to make veggie “shot glasses.” Place small bowls of condiments such as those produced by Bourbon Barrel Foods (BBF)—Bourbon Barrel Aged Soy Sauce, Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sea Salt, and Bourbon Barrel Smoked Peppercorns—around the veggies. Dip the rim of the veggie shots into the soy sauce, salt, and peppercorns.

Shake the Bloody Bourbon Mary mix over ice, strain into a small plastic squirt bottle, and squirt the Bloody Bourbon Mary mix into the shots. To enjoy, sip the drink and munch on the “shot glasses.”

Become an Award-Winning Cocktail Mixologist!

Today, there are more brands of bourbon and more bourbon drinkers than ever before. But, with so many options you may find yourself wondering just how to prepare your own award-worthy bourbon cocktail.

In The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book , award-winning bartender Joy Perrine and former restaurant critic and drinks writer Susan Reigler assemble a complete how-to guide for concocting the perfect bourbon drink for any occasion. Impress your friends and family with your mixology skills using these prized bourbon cocktail recipes!

08 Reigler p 36

Manhattan Italiano

As summer rapidly approaches, Joy’s Manhattan Italiano is the perfect drink to accompany the warm weather. This summertime bourbon cocktail received the second place award in the 2008 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Contest.

“I wanted to do something different using bourbon, bitters, and wine to make a summer drink. Originally I used Stirrings’ Blood Orange Bitters, but that product has become hard to find, so I switched to Fee Brothers or Regan’s.” – Joy Perrine

  • 2 ounces Woodford Reserve
  • ½ ounce Tuaca
  • ½ ounce triple sec
  • 6 dashes Fee Brothers West Indian orange bitters or Regan’s No. 6 orange bitters
  • ½ ounce Cinzano Bianco (white sweet vermouth)

Combine, shake over ice, and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a large black pitted olive on a pick.


While the holiday season has come and gone, this Perrine creation takes you back to the winter months filled with holiday flavors and cheer! The Spiceberry won first place in the 2006 Woodford Reserve Infusion Contest.

“This is my drink for the holidays, Thanksgiving through Christmas, using the holiday flavors of spices and cranberries. The resulting color reminds me of the berries of the spiceberry tree, which are used throughout Kentucky in seasonal decorations.” – Joy Perrine

  • 05 Reigler p 371 part spice-infused Woodford Reserve
  • 1 part Tuaca
  • 1 part cranberry juice

Combine, shake over ice, and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with half an orange slice and three fresh cranberries on a pick.

Stay tuned for more bourbon cocktail recipes throughout the week and remember to sign up by 1 pm Friday, April 12 for this week’s giveaway of The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book!