6 smart ways to use bourbon and beer when you barbecue
Nothing says tailgate like beer and barbecue. Add bourbon to the mix and you have a recipe for all-American fun on game day.
Well, aside from being the sweetest member of the whiskey family (that’s because of the corn it’s made from), bourbon also holds the distinct honor of being made only in the United States. There are a few kinds of whiskey, but for whiskey to be considered bourbon, it has to be made in America.
So, bring along a bottle and a six-pack, but remember, these brews aren’t just for sipping. Your favorite refreshing beverages don’t have to stay confined to a cup. Beer and bourbon also make delicious additions to marinades and sauces, and can greatly enhance the aroma and the flavor of your dishes.
If bourbon is “America’s Native Spirit,” then Kentucky is its home state. As the Georgia Bulldogs prepare to take on the Wildcats from the home of bourbon, use these six tips to add a little more spirit to your game-day barbecue.
1. Don’t cook with beer you wouldn’t drink
The beer you love to drink is a good place to start when deciding to add zing to your meal. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but remember, if you don’t like it in a can, chances are you won’t like it in your food. Grilled poached brats with beer calls for a couple of cold ones, so you can go with the suggested brand or use what you have in your cooler.
2. The same goes for bourbon
When it comes to cooking with bourbon, the kind you like to drink on the rocks or with a splash of soda is fine. Save the expensive stuff for sipping, but the bourbon you put in your food should be a brand you don’t mind drinking. Bourbon pork tenderloin sliders take advantage of the sweet undertones of a regular bourbon to complement the smokiness of the pork.
3. Everything is better with bacon
You already know that beer and burgers are a match made in barbecue heaven. But is there anything that bacon doesn’t make better? Beer and bacon go together so well, they have their own festival. Experience the best of both worlds with these grilled beer and bacon burgers.
4. Don’t overdo it
If you can’t taste the bourbon in your marinade, you’re probably not using enough. But using too much, while it may not get you drunk, might break down the proteins and change the texture of the meat. Avoid this by adding a little at a time. That way, the booze won’t overpower the flavor or ruin the consistency of your dish. Try something easy and delicious like this bourbon marinated steak to get you started.
5. Light beer with white meat, dark beer with dark meat
Much like wines, different kinds of beers have distinct personalities and preferred pairings. Dark beers pair best with pork, beef and lamb. A dark beer, like a stout, would be perfect to create the bold flavor for this mustard-beer marinated steak. The best part is, you can make a savory homemade steak sauce from the leftover marinade.’
6. Bourbon goes well with savory and sweet
With its rich, spicy sweetness, there’s not a lot of tastes that bourbon doesn’t complement – particularly marinades, barbecue sauces and even desserts. The home of Bourbon meets the Peach State in this recipe for peach-bourbon barbecue chicken with grilled peaches that combines all three.
Whether your crowd is cheering for the Georgia Bulldogs or the Kentucky Wildcats, you’ll please even the pickiest football fans if you follow these tips at your tailgate or game-day party.