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BOURBON NEWS & NOTES – for 18 December 2020, by Susan Reigler

Christmas Cheer To-Go from the Mayan Café and Bourbons Bistro

While holiday partying is limited this year, there’s no reason to sacrifice quality of your refreshments even if quantity of your guests is small. Two very different Louisville restaurants have you covered.

The Mayan Café is offering two Holiday Party Packs available for delivery or curbside pickup for four or six revelers. It includes cochinita pibil (slow roasted pork in achiote), winter vegetable chilaquiles, guacamole & chips, Tok-Sel lima beans, and Mexican chocolate cookies. For an extra $10 per person, you can add The Mayan Café’s seasonal libation, the Sleigh Crasher. True to its cautionary name, it is a potent winter margarita made with tequila, bourbon, triple sec, rosemary-ginger syrup, white peach, and fresh lime.

To take care of your sweet tooth, Bourbons Bistro has a trio of cakes to go – red velvet (pictured), mocha with peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache, and mocha with chocolate icing and chocolate ganache. To cap your evening, serve the cake with proprietor Jason Brauner’s dangerously drinkable (and delicious) egg nog made with Knob Creek bourbon and fresh vanilla beans. It’s available as a single serving or in a 750 ml bottle.

Make Your Own Spiked Nog

More than a decade ago, I had the honor and pleasure to work with the late Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame mixologist Joy Perrine of Equus and Jack’s Lounge to write The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book. Joy was one of the very first bartenders in America to go beyond bourbon cocktail classic such as the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned (though she made great ones) and use bourbon in more creative ways. She even had her own riffs on egg nog.

Being eminently practical, she didn’t make egg nog from scratch, but used good quality store-bought nog. Here are her takes on the holiday classic, excerpted from our book. For the traditional version, just add an ounce of bourbon to three ounces of ready-to-drink egg nog. Garnish each with a miniature candy cane.

Joy Perrine’s Egg Nog Variations

Candy Cane Egg Nog

1 ounce candy cane-infused bourbon
3 ounces ready-to-drink egg nog

Combine and shake. (No ice.) Pour into a white wine glass.  Optional: Top with whipped cream and grated nutmeg.

To make the infusion, add 12 broken up 5-inch red and white canes to a bottle of bourbon and steep for one day. (Obviously, do not do this to a premium bourbon, or Santa will leave coal -or Everclear- in your stocking.)

Chocolate Egg Nog

1 ounce spice-infused egg nog
½ ounce Copper & Kings Intense Chocolate Liqueur
3 ounces ready-to-drink egg nog

Combine and shake. (No ice.) Pour into a white wine glass.  Optional: Top with whipped cream and grated nutmeg.

Pistachio Egg Nog

1 ounce spice-infused bourbon
½ ounce Dumante Verdenoce Pistachio Liqueur
3 ounces ready-to-drink egg nog
2-3 drops green food coloring

Combine and shake. (No ice.) Pour into a white wine glass.  Optional: Top with whipped cream and grated nutmeg.

To make the spice-infused bourbon, combine a teaspoon each of ground allspice, ground cloves, ground mace, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon. Add a tablespoon to a covered glass container that will hold 750 ml of bourbon. Shake and let steep for three days. Strain into an empty bourbon bottle. Refrigerate.

This week’s photo credits: Mayan Café and Bourbons Bistro; for the trio of egg nogs, University Press of Kentucky.

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F&D Bourbon Columnist Susan Reigler is the author of several whiskey books, the most recent being Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide, 3rd edition.

Autographed copies are available from Carmichael’s Bookstore. It can also be purchased on Amazon, or directly from the publisher at https://www.kentuckypress.com/9780813180311/kentucky-bourbon-country/