Monday, August 16, 2010

KY bourbon super sipper

Southern cooks are known for finding more than one way to use an ingredient, especially one as revered as Kentucky bourbon. Every distillery along the Bourbon Trail has its own series of recipes, but it's hard to beat those of Woodford Reserve in Versailles, KY.

Long a proponent of matching beverage with food, Woodford has encouraged and supported the area's best chefs in creating recipes using its bourbon as an ingredient.

Invitations to a dinner at the distillery are highly coveted and I was fortunate enough to experience why. Chef Ouita Michel, who with her husband Chris established the elegant Holly Hill Inn and wildly popular Wallace Station Deli & Bakery in Midway, has become Woodford's go-to gal for spectacularly good food.

Following model Southern hospitality, I'll start with Chef Ouita's recipe for an adult refresher, a grand prize winner perfect for sitting and rocking and sipping on a big porch or a tiny backyard patio.

The Midway Front Porch Social Sip
2 servings

1 cup water
1 tea bag, any flavor
3 TBS sugar
4 large sprigs of mint
3 ounces Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
 2 TBS fresh lemon juice, about 1 lemon
1 TBS blond Lillet, optional

Combine the water, tea bag, sugar and two sprigs of mint in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Discard the tea bag and mint and stir in the bourbon, orange juice, lemon juice and Lillet. Pour over ice in two large ice tea glasses and garnish with the remaining two sprigs of mint.

Rocking chairs and lightning bugs are optional.

NOTE: To find out more about the chefs and other attractions in Lexington and the Bluegrass area of Kentucky check the August posts at my other site,  Travel on the Level.

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