We have been promising a couple of things on the podcast and we thought we would try and honor those promises. The first time bringing on our wives as guests. The second was having biscuits and ham. The third was giving you some bourbon cocktails for breakfast or brunch. Welcome to the 2022 Bourbon and biscuits Challenge.

So we laid out a plan. We would buy biscuits from four restaurants in Shelbyville that can be bought nationwide, pair those biscuits with ham from famous Kentucky ham farms and make cocktails that one could serve with a brunch or a breakfast. All those task weren’t that hard. The task that we thought would be difficult was getting our wives to come on as guest.

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To our amazement Mel and Viv both seemed excited about brunch with cocktails, biscuits and ham. Neither seemed overly excited about talking on a podcast, but the whiskey always helps ease those fears of talking to the public and just like that they both turned out to be spectacular guest. The four places in Shelbyville that we could get biscuits from on a Sunday morning where Bojangles, McDonalds, Cracker Barrel and Hardee’s. Bojangles is more of a Southeast and Midwest chain but their biscuits have won us over.

The thing we did learn in researching hams in Kentucky was that there is actually a Country Ham Trail in Kentucky. I’m sure you’re wondering what the difference in ham and country ham is.  Most basically, city hams are wet-cured, and country hams are dry-cured. Country hams are older, drier and saltier, while city hams have a milder, juicier consistency. You have heard Jim mention Benton Hams several times on the podcast but we wanted some country ham from Kentucky. If you want to know more about country hams and bourbon pairings checkout our friend Steve Coomes’ book, COUNTRY HAM: A SOUTHERN TRADITION OF HOGS, SALT & SMOKE.

We chose Finchville Farms country ham which is halfway between our two farms in Finchville, KY and Father’s Country Ham’s from Bremen, Kentucky. Both of these farms started curing hams in the 1940’s about the same time as Benton’s and both have been featured in several articles about the best country ham in America.  Two of these articles are https://www.bonappetit.com/columns/the-foodist/article/5-of-the-best-country-hams-in-america and https://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/16/5-american-country-ham-producers/ . In both these articles you find more than one Kentucky country ham mentioned which is testament to the heritage of the bluegrass state when it comes to cured meats.

The four cocktails  which we used Wild Turkey 101 Rye and Old Grand Dad Bottled in Bond to make are listed below. Mel’s as you will hear was the fan favorite and should be added to any brunch menu. Mine was almost like drinking a desert. Viv’s was truly an apple pie in a glass and Jim’s was a refreshing palate cleanser. The biscuit that won the day was the Hardee’s buttered biscuit. All the others were good but when Hardee’s slathers that butter on it adds something magical. The ham that we choose from the two was our local Shelby County Finchville Ham that was a little less salty then the Father’s. If you get a chance and are at Bulleit Distillery or Jeptha Creed Distillery swing by and grab some of their delicious ham to take home with you.

So with that grab a bottle of bourbon or rye whiskey and make your favorite brunch cocktail or one of ours. Listen as Jim and I take you down The Bourbon Road with our beautiful wives enjoying a  Big Brunch with Biscuits, Bourbon cocktails and Kentucky country ham. Cheers

Mike (Big Chief)

Mel’s Mulemosa

2oz lite ginger beer

2 oz. orange juice

1.5oz Old Granddad BinB

Combine all the ingredients in a rocks glass, Stir with ice and serve.

Big Chiefs Bourbon Cold Brew Coffee

¾ oz. Seldom Seen Farm Maple Syrup (bourbon barrel aged)

¾ oz. Triple Sec

2.5 oz. Cold Brew Coffee

1.5 oz. Bourbon (I used Wild Turkey 101 Rye)

1.5 oz. Heavy Cream

Combine coffee, bourbon, triple sec and maple syrup with ice in a shaker. Shake to mix. Strain into a rocks glass over ice, and top with cream.

Add orange peel for garnish. Serve.

Vivian’s Apple Bourbon Fizz

Orange Wedge for the glass

½ cinnamon + 1 tablespoon sugar for the rim

3 tablespoons apple butter

2 oz Old Granddad BinB

Pinch o cinnamon

4 to 6 oz chilled gingerale or ginger beer

Fresh figs for garnish

Rim your glass with a wedge of citrus. I like orange but lemon or lime work too! Stir together the cinnamon and sugar on a plate. Dip the rim in the cinnamon sugar.

Fill a shaker glass with ice. Add the apple butter, bourbon and a pinch of cinnamon. Shake well for 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into the glass. Fill the glass with ginger ale or ginger beer and serve!


Jim’s Rye Paloma

2 oz. grapefruit juice

2 oz. sparkling water

½  oz. lime juice

2 oz. Wild Turkey 101 Rye Whiskey

Combine all the ingredients in a rocks glass, Stir with ice and serve.