Drink of the Month: The Smoked, Pickled & Cured Bourbon Mary

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Theresa Stanley


Southsider Magazine’s Drink of the Month: The Smoked, Pickled & Cured Bourbon Mary

A brunch necessity, the Bloody Mary is a classic drink that pairs well with Southern food. Here in Lexington, it is certainly a staple for Keeneland, both for tailgating and box going. In the spirit of going local, the classic cocktail can be updated.

This Kentucky version, a Bourbon Mary, substitutes bourbon for vodka. The smoky notes of bourbon provide depth and richness to what some folks consider a meal in a glass. The Kentucky Bourbon Mary incorporates the traditional preservation methods of smoking, pickling, canning and curing, all explored in this issue of Southsider Magazine. With the full-bodied bourbon tones, the need for extra heat is reduced; however, adding the suggested amounts of fresh ground horseradish and Sav’s Piment Habanero Sauce provide layers that linger.

Diving into America’s only native spirit may be a stretch for some palates. Consider easing into Kentucky’s liquid pride with the Bourbon Mary for a familiar first step.

Smoked, Pickled & Cured Bourbon Mary

Serves 4-6

46 oz. tomato juice

6 oz. bourbon (optional)

2 tablespoons Bourbon Barrel Worcestershire Sauce

1 tablespoon raw horseradish

1 teaspoon Sav’s Piment Habanero Sauce (optional spice) http://www.savsgrill.com/

4 wooden skewers

4 small slices cured country ham

2 celery stalks, cut into eight pieces

1 lime, quartered

Quick pickles

Celery leaves or fennel fronds to garnish

Combine and stir tomato juice, bourbon, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and habanero sauce in large pitcher. Skew ham, celery, pickle and lime. Repeat to create four skewers.

Load 8 ounce glasses with ice. Pour Bourbon Mary mixture over ice.

Garnish with skewer and celery or fennel.

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