This website uses Cookies to offer you an enhanced browsing experience. Find out more about how we use Cookies.

USA Radio

Kentucky Holiday: Indulge in Southern Cuisine and Bourbon

By Jody Sidle Short

Amongst all of the wonderful elements that Kentucky is known for – horse riding, stunning countryside and outdoor adventures – the attribute that I was looking forward to exploring more of was the food and the bourbon, and I was intrigued by how much the delicious golden brown spirit has influenced the cooking, culture and even the sweets in Kentucky.

Bourbon at Buffalo Trace Distillery

Naturally, a good place to begin my journey in the study of bourbon was at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort. The award-winning distillery has been in the business of making bourbon for more than 200 years, and they certainly know what they’re doing! The one-hour, family-friendly tour is well worth it: The knowledge of the guides is phenomenal, and the story behind the making of the bourbon fascinating. The grounds that surround the distillery are beautiful and I wished that I’d packed a lunch to enjoy the lush grass and perfect temperature. For an added bonus, I did get to sample three of the bourbons they offered, and all I can say is, “Can I have another please?”

Chocolate Frenzy

My next stop was Rebecca Ruth Candies, also in Frankfort, where they make and sell chocolate onsite. Again, I took the tour and found out more about the history of Rebecca Ruth – a wonderfully delightful story – and saw the making of the candy from start to finish. As I mentioned, bourbon influences many things in Kentucky and the chocolate here is one of them. They are most famous for their bourbon balls, boasting a creamy centre with a bourbon flavour, coated in chocolate and topped with a pecan. In fact, for a truly unique flavour combo, try the bourbon cream from Buffalo Trace followed by a bourbon ball from Rebecca Ruth – pure heaven!

Another local and visitor favourite for incredible chocolate is Muth’s Candies in Louisville. Everything in there is delicious and you won’t want to leave, but I especially recommend the Modjeskas – a to-die-for combination of a soft deluxe marshmallow topped with butter and cream caramel.

Incredible Eateries

Also in Louisville, you will find the ‘urban bourbon trail’. The restaurants on this tour are superb and offer a high calibre of food and drinks. One of my favourite places was Harvest. The owner was very courteous, and his version of an Old Fashioned was one of the best. The restaurant only uses ingredients that are available within an 80-mile radius, and the selection of entrees was great. I had the buttermilk fried chicken, which I highly recommend!

Two of the other fantastic foodie stops on the trail that were highlights for me were Proof on Main and the Brown Hotel Lobby Bar. Proof on Main is super hip with a truly unique menu. My samples included a Woodland Farm hog chop, a country ham falafel and some smoked Kentucky catfish dip. At the Brown Hotel Lobby Bar, you will find an opulent bar and fine dining experience. Here, we tried out the Dover Soul and an escargot appetizer – both exquisite.

In contrast to the fine dining, two other local Kentucky favourites that soon became favourites of mine were Wallace Station in Versailles and her sister restaurant Windy Corner in Lexington. Both offer real Kentucky home cooking with menus that will delight your taste buds and fill up your belly!

Clearly, Kentucky is the place to be for true foodies and those wanting a unique twist on old recipes. Bourbon, chocolate and great food – I love it!

For more information, please visit us:

Kentucky Department of Tourism

When you go

Bourbon Tour

Buffalo Trace Distillery
Urban Bourbon Trail
Rebecca Ruth Candies

Food Choices

Wallace Station
Windy Corner
The Brown Hotel
Proof on Main

For more information

Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism

Welcome to Visit The USA!

Now that you have registered, you can save trip ideas to your suitcase.

Start exploring

Enter your email address and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.

Please check your email.

Start exploring

The password on your account has successfully been changed. Please use your new password to login.

Start exploring

This website is set to 'allow all cookies' for the best user experience. By continuing without changing this setting, you are consenting to this. You may change your settings at any time at the bottom of this page.

More information about cookies

Cookies are very small text files that are stored on your computer when you visit some websites.

We use cookies to make our website easier for you to use. You can remove any cookies already stored on your computer, but these may prevent you from using parts of our website.

If you choose to disable non-essential cookies, the website will:

  • Allow you to log in and remember you are logged in, while in session
  • Determine your country of origin in order to serve you the most relevant version of the site

This website will not:

  • Restrict welcome messaging to the first time you visit the site
  • Track any activity on the site for analytics purposes

More information about cookies