World Bourbon Day: recipes for a suitable menu

Petra Milde |

Maker's Mark, Booker's, Basil Hayden and Knob Creek flavours integrated


For today's World Bourbon Day, Suntory Global Spirits (formerly Beam Suntory) presents recipes for a multi-course menu. The current press release explains that it is all about the perfect interplay of exquisite drinks and delicious food. Four bourbons were selected to flavour the dishes in keeping with the character of the whiskeys.

Maker's Mark, with its mild and soft flavour of vanilla and caramel, aromates an amuse-bouche, a small welcome snack, and is used to glaze pecan nuts.

The full-bodied, strongly flavoured Booker's with notes of tobacco, spicy oak, vanilla, mocha and coffee enriches the marinade for beef steaks, which make a tempting starter as bites.

Basil Hayden, with its subtle spice and sweetness, notes of smoked oak, brown sugar, black pepper and dried fruit, flavours a buttermilk sauce that is served with roasted aubergines.

Finally, Knob Creek, with its nutty and spicy aroma of oak and grain and the rich, sweet flavour of wild berries, makes a chocolate mousse a dreamy temptation.


Here are the recipes from Suntory Global Spirits. We hope you enjoy cooking and savouring them!


Amuse-bouche: Bourbon glazed pecans on cheese crackers with honey and vanilla cream


  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 2 tbsp Maker's Mark Bourbon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100 g cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Cheese crackers (e.g. parmesan crackers or cheddar crackers)
  • Fresh sprigs of thyme for decoration


1. glaze the pecans: toast the pecans in a pan over a medium heat until lightly browned and aromatic. Add Maker's Mark Bourbon and brown sugar. Stir well until the pecans are evenly coated with the mixture. Add a pinch of salt and place the pecans on baking paper to cool.

2. prepare the honey and vanilla cream: place the cream cheese in a bowl and beat until smooth. Add the honey and vanilla extract and mix well until you have a smooth cream.

3. assemble the amuse-bouche: place a small dollop of honey and vanilla cream on each cheese cracker. Place a glazed pecan on top of the cream. Decorate with a small sprig of fresh thyme.

Serving suggestion: Arrange the amuse-bouches on an elegant serving dish and serve.

Appetiser: Bourbon marinated steak bites


  • 450 g beef steak, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 60 ml Booker's Bourbon
  • 60 ml soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


1. prepare the marinade: in a bowl, combine Booker's Bourbon, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, Worcester sauce, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and mix well.

2. marinate the steak: add the steak pieces to the marinade, mix well and cover. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight so that the meat absorbs the flavours.

3. fry the steak: heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. Remove the steak pieces from the marinade and fry in the hot pan until cooked to your liking (about 2-3 minutes per side for medium-rare). While frying, add the remaining marinade to the pan and allow to reduce.

Serving suggestion: Arrange the steak bites on a serving platter and drizzle with the reduced marinade. Optional: Garnish with chopped spring onions or fresh herbs.

Main course: Roasted aubergines with buttermilk sauce and pomegranate


  • 2 large aubergines
  • 80 ml olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp thyme leaves, plus whole sprigs for garnish
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tsp za'atar
  • Maldon sea salt and black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 15 ml Basil Hayden Bourbon
  • 140 ml buttermilk
  • 100 g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil, plus a dash for garnish
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
  • Pinch of salt


1. prepare the aubergines: preheat the oven to 200 °C. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and make several parallel cuts in the flesh without cutting through the skin, then repeat at a 45-degree angle to create a diamond pattern. Place the aubergine halves on a baking tray lined with baking paper, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes until the flesh is soft and golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

2 Prepare the pomegranate and sauce: cut the pomegranate in half and tap out the seeds. For the sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste.

Serving suggestion: pour the buttermilk sauce generously over the cooled aubergine halves without covering the stems. Sprinkle with za'atar, pomegranate seeds and thyme and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Dessert: Bourbon chocolate mousse


  • 170 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Knob Creek Bourbon
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Chocolate chips for decoration


1. melt the chocolate: melt the chopped chocolate over a bain-marie until smooth. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Stir in the bourbon.

2. separate the eggs: separate egg yolks and egg whites. Lightly whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually stir into the melted chocolate.

3. beat the egg whites: in a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is glossy and stiff.

4. whip the cream: in another bowl, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until it forms stiff peaks.

5. combine the mousse: gently fold the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture first, then fold in the whipped cream until everything is well combined.

6. chill: pour the mousse into dessert glasses or bowls and leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Serving suggestion: Garnish with chocolate shavings and enjoy. This classy dessert brings out the deep flavours of Knob Creek Bourbon and is the perfect end to an elegant dinner.


Images and recipes: Suntory Global Spirits

Petra Milde is a freelance author of books and specialist writing about spirits and food. She has been supporting the editorial team since 2015 and creates informative and entertaining articles in the news section.

Besides her writing work, she moderates tastings and can be met at spirits fairs, both behind the stands and in front of them, looking for new products and interesting people to talk to.