Bourbon’s Perfect Pairings

Kentucky-based chef Jonathan Lundy sounds off on this spirit's ultimate food mates.


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Jonathan Lundy, a Kentucky native and chef/owner of Jonathan at Gratz Park in Lexington, Kentucky, knows a thing or two about Bourbon and food. He was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast (2010). Jonathan’s restaurant offers bluegrass cuisine redefined, a concept that’s showcased in drinks like his Bourbon Alexander cocktail and dishes like his Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale-Braised Bison Brisket. Here are Lundy’s tips for enjoying Bourbon with just about anything.

HOW TO PAIR BOURBON WITH…

Seafood. “Basil Hayden’s high rye content goes well with smoked salmon.”
Chicken. “The Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old Single Barrel has high levels of smoke and oak, which go great with grilled meats, especially chicken and beef.”
Red Meat: “Woodford Reserve Double Oaked makes the best mint julep because of its drier finish. I enjoy pairing it with roasted lamb and a mint julep jelly.”
Vegetables: “The Old Charter 8-Year-Old pairs with vegetables because of its corn content and pepper and honey-vanilla notes.”
Dessert: “Try Four Roses Limited Edition 2011 with a warm chocolate cake,” says Lundy. “Its strong cocoa scent is perfect.”


Try this cocktail by chef Lundy:

Bourbon Alexander
2 ounces Maker’s Mark Bourbon
2 ounces Godiva Liqueur
2½ scoops vanilla bean ice cream (approximately 5 ounces)
A dash of fresh grated nutmeg

Combine the Bourbon, Godiva Liqueur and ice cream in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour the mixture into an 8-ounce brandy snifter. Dust the top of the drink with freshly-grated nutmeg.

For Lundy’s tips on pairing Bourbon with bites, visit winemag.com next month.

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