5@5 - Bourbon beyond the glass
January 6th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Bourbon is delicious. You should drink it ... often even, if that's your prerogative.

But you shouldn't confine the brown spirit to the rocks glass, says chef Lee Ann Whippen - not that we nor she condemn said action.

Whippen is the pitmaster of the aptly-named barbecue restaurant Chicago q.

Five Ways To Use Bourbon In The Kitchen: Lee Ann Whippen

1. Bourbon candied sweet potatoes
“When roasting sweet potatoes, using a splash of bourbon is a great way to cut through the sweetness of the potato and the brown sugar that is usually used when roasting sweet potatoes.

Another great way to incorporate bourbon is to make a bourbon butter, by combining 1/2 cup melted butter, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons of bourbon, a dash of nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan.

Bring to a boil, then remove and beat one egg into the hot mixture. Return to the heat and bring to a boil again.

After 1 to 2 minutes on the stove, remove from the heat and drizzle over your diced sweet potatoes before roasting.”

2. Bourbon whipped cream
“Bourbon whipped cream is easy to make. If you’re making your own whipped cream, whip up 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until there are stiff peaks, then gradually add 1 tablespoon of your favorite bourbon and 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Use the cream to top pies, cakes or even put it in between two oatmeal raisin cookies for a bourbon cream cookie sandwich.”

3. Bourbon mopping/BBQ sauces
“Mopping sauces generally have a lighter viscosity than your average BBQ sauce because of the thinner texture of the ingredients that are used - i.e. water, vinegar (apple cider vinegar is also a great option), oil, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and of course, my special ingredient, bourbon.

If you want to skip the hassle of whipping up a new sauce, give your favorite premade BBQ sauce a kick by adding 2 tablespoons of bourbon to every 1 cup of sauce.”

4. Bourbon crème glaze (best with bread pudding)
“Bread pudding is generally made in two parts (the bread and the sauce), which allows you to spice up the sauce with the ingredients and flavors of your choice. A bourbon crème glaze can be made with four simple ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs and bourbon.

In a saucepan at medium heat, melt 1 stick of butter, then whisk in 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg until mixture is thick.

Next, mix in your favorite type of bourbon to taste, and drizzle over your bread pudding before serving - or serve on the side for dipping.”

5. Bourbon braising
“This time of year is the perfect time for slow cooking, which lends for another easy way to use bourbon in your kitchen.

After seasoning your meat and searing it on the grill (depending on the type of meat), prepare your braising liquid for the slow cooker.

Again, using your favorite type of bourbon, combine 1/2 cup of bourbon, 2 cups of chicken, vegetable or beef broth, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 thinly sliced yellow onions, 3 cloves garlic and 1/8 teaspoon cumin.

Place your meat and braising liquid in the slow cooker and allow to cook for 6 to 8 hours.”

[Editor's Note: If you're looking for another idea, take a page out of Dean Martin's book and add a shot of Kentucky's finest to your burger.]

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Sip • Spirits • Think

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Greg

    Alcohol kills, and should be illegal.

    March 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
  2. 2bnfl

    Its the law that tells you what meets the requirements of bourbon:

    Only whiskey produced in the United States can be called bourbon.[3] The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits (27 C.F.R. 5) state that bourbon made for U.S. consumption[2] must be:

    made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn;[4]
    aged in new, charred-oak barrels;[4]
    distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume);[4]
    entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume);[4] and be
    bottled (like other whiskeys) at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume).[5]
    Bourbon has no minimum specified duration for its aging period, but it must be aged at least briefly.[6]

    Bourbon that meets the above requirements, has been aged for a minimum of two years, and does not have added coloring, flavoring, or other spirits may (but is not required to) be called straight bourbon.[7]

    Bourbon that is labeled as straight that has been aged under four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging.[8]
    Bourbon that has an age stated on its label must be labeled with the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle (not counting the age of any added neutral grain spirits in a bourbon that is labeled as blended, as neutral-grain spirits are not considered whiskey under the regulations and are not required to be aged at all).[9]
    Bourbon that is labeled blended (or as ‘a blend’) may contain added coloring, flavoring, and other spirits (such as un-aged neutral grain spirits); but at least 51% of the product must be straight bourbon.[10][11]

    Bourbon bottle, 19th century.In practice, almost all bourbons marketed today contain more than two-thirds corn, have been aged at least four years, and do qualify as "straight bourbon"—with or without the "straight-bourbon" label.[citation needed] The exceptions are inexpensive commodity bourbon brands (aged only three years) and premixed cocktails made with straight bourbon aged for two years. But at least one small distillery markets bourbon aged for as little as three months.[12]

    Whiskey sold as Tennessee whiskey is also defined as bourbon under NAFTA[13] and at least one other international trade agreement,[14] and is required to meet the legal definition of bourbon under Canadian law,[15] but some Tennessee whiskey makers do not label their product as bourbon and insist that it is a different type of whiskey when marketing their product.

    Here's to ya!!!

    January 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  3. Leo

    Sheesh, people here are arguing over whether cooking with bourbon is sacrilege? Give me a break.

    I'm a confirmed top-shelf bourbon drinker. I usually keep at least five or six varieties in the cupboard, indulging in whichever one suits my fancy on any given evening. I feel that mixing good bourbon with soda is a travesty. HOWEVER... cooking with decent bourbon elevates good food to a whole new level.

    For example, this past Thanksgiving, my wife made bourbon-pecan baklava. We've made bourbon pecan pie, too. INCREDIBLE STUFF. I've used bourbon in sauces and marinades. Don't think of it as desecrating the bourbon. Think of it as elevating the food.

    Bottoms up!

    January 9, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • SherwoodOR

      Mr. Leo is very correct.

      Yes, it would be shame to misuse an excellent bourbon in any way that doesn't take full advantage of its potential. But it certainly is possible to cook with an excellent bourbon that do take full advantage of the bourbon, that celebrate it and elevate it. It's always up to the chef to be a good steward of the ingredients

      January 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Just don't do this with Blanton's or Wathen's... That would be sacrilegious. If you want to cook with Jack Daniels, have at it.

    January 7, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Frank Capillo

      Um, Jack Daniels is NOT bourbon

      January 11, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  5. Tr1Xen

    Bourbon beyond the glass? Pshhh... I'll settle for the glass, thank you! :)

    January 7, 2012 at 2:38 am |
  6. Bryant

    Jack Daniels isn't a bourbon because after it is aged in barrels it is filtered before it is put into bottles. A bourbon has to be bottled straight from the barrel, no filtering, no additives...

    January 7, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Ct

      Must also be made in Kentucky. Anything else is just whiskey.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:18 am |
  7. splendour

    braunsbrew is 100% correct!

    Jack Daniels is a bourbon by every legal definition. JD chooses not to market themselves as one, but it is.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Rick

      Jack Daniels' is not made within the legal confines of Bourbon County, KY. Therefore, it is not legally bourbon, by any definition.

      January 7, 2012 at 2:27 am |
      • Mike from Kentucky

        Distilled spirits catergorized as Bourbon doesn't have to produced in Bourbon County, Kentucky to be called Bourbon. However, most Bourbon, not all, but most is made in Kentucky. In fact, Bourbon is not made in Bourbon County anymore and Bourbon County is a dry county... the irony.

        The actual difference between Bourbon and whiskey is the amount of corn used in the production process. For Bourbon, it must be made from at least 51% and no more than 79% Indian corn, and aged for at least two years. (Most bourbon is aged for four years or more.)

        January 7, 2012 at 2:59 am |
      • Erik KY

        Acutally. In order to legally be called bourbon, the spirit has to be fermented from corn and aged in new, charred oak barrels for at least 2 years. That is all.

        January 7, 2012 at 7:02 am |
      • GeeEmCee

        Some of my ancestors.
        Kentucky is no House of Bourbon. Most are car thieves that worship a low life homey in Hollywood.

        January 7, 2012 at 8:08 am |
      • Walter

        Is there some kind of protection for bourbon like there is for champagne?

        January 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Necrosis

      Bourbon does not have to be made in Kentucky to be bourbon. However, Jack Daniel's is NOT a bourbon because it is charcoal filtered, which is not permitted for a spirit to be called a bourbon. It is a whiskey.

      All bourbon's are whiskey, but not all whiskies are bourbon. Jack Daniel's and Scotch whisky provide examples of whiskies that are not bourbons.

      January 8, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
      • SherwoodOR

        Mr. Necrosis has put his finger on the exactly correct point, "Jack Daniel's is NOT a bourbon because it is charcoal filtered, which is not permitted for a spirit to be called a bourbon. It is a whiskey." Jack Daniel's is made using the Tennessee Method which calls for charcoal filtering. Charcoal filtering is actually legally required in Tennessee and illegal in Kentucky. If it's made in Tennessee with the Tennessee Method, then it is legally Tennessee Whiskey. If it's made in Kentucky, then it's legally Kentucky Bourbon, also known as Bourbon Whiskey... or just Bourbon for short.

        January 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  8. Robert

    I make sweet potatoes with cream sherry. I never thought of using bourbon. Could be good. That drizzle sauce looks good too. Beats melted marshmallows.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  9. Rod

    I want bourbon, I want scotch, I want beeeeeer! No, really. I've been on the wagon for five miserable years. I want bourbon, and lots of it!

    January 6, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • james

      Dont do it...

      January 7, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • Aweg

      Do it.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:21 am |
    • amomma

      if this is true you shouldn't torture yourself by reading articles like this- staying sober is hard enough

      January 7, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • Tom

      Go ahead, get a drink. What could one little drink do? Just think of the satisfaction it will bring!! :)

      January 7, 2012 at 8:17 am |
      • Walter

        Shut up!!! You are not funny at all!

        January 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  10. SoSueMe

    When I cook steaks, I saute mushrooms in butter and a little good bourbon and serve them on the steak. Seriously delicious. The bourbon makes it. And my husband doesn't mind me stealing a shot of his good stuff.

    January 6, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • SherwoodOR

      This is an excellent suggestion. I often do similar things. You may wish to add a finely-diced shallot too. And you can thicken it up a bit with a dab of heavy cream for another variation. Bourbon flambe's very well too.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  11. Nate

    I soooo want to meet this woman so I can ask her to marry me. She's beautiful, open minded about hard liquor, and knows how to cook...really really well. Anything else about her I can learn to work around. Done!

    January 6, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  12. JRH

    Waste of good bourbon!

    January 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  13. MedicMax

    I love it when my wife cooks with bourdon.

    It means she didn't find my Scotch.

    January 6, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • MedicMax


      January 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  14. Wilmer

    A waste of perfectly good Bourbon. Bourbon is made for drinking. Cooking with it burns off the alcohol. What a waste of perfectly good alcohol. Cooking is the bane of the drinking class.

    January 6, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Pointless1

      Good god ya hillbilly, just relax and try it, you might like it...

      January 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
      • Wilmer

        Excuse me. I'm not a hillbilly. I'm a well educated drunk. Please get your terms correct.

        January 6, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Murphy

      You got that right cowboy!

      January 6, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Hryan

      I agree to an extent. I use the cheap, strong stuff for cooking and anything better for drinking

      January 7, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • NODAT1

      all depends on the brand . some are good for mixed drinks or cooking and others should only be enjoyed in a brandy sniffer

      January 9, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • AleeD®

      Use the same guideline for whiskey/bourbon as you would when cooking with wine: if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it.

      January 9, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • SherwoodOR

      I love to cook with Burbon... sometime, I even put some in the food.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  15. SherwoodOR

    What a nice little article with some good ideas.

    If you have an ISIWhip, bourbon whipped cream is easy to make... and just wonderful on chocolate brownies.

    January 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  16. B

    Going to use her slow cooker recipe with a pot roast this weekend. Sounds delicious!

    January 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  17. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    I'd drink that.

    January 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • RichardHead

      I likez Jack Daniels and she can Light My Fire at any time. BBQ Meat, It's whats for dinner.

      January 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
      • Manbearpig

        Jack Daniels isn't bourbon

        January 6, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
      • braunsbrew

        Jack Daniels is a bourbon by every legal definition. JD chooses not to market themselves as one, but it is

        January 6, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
      • Amy

        Jack Daniel is actually by historical and legal definitions a Tennessee Whiskey. It was not made within the original confines of Bourbon county Kentucky making it impossible for it to be a bourbon.

        January 6, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
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