You love barbecue. You love bourbon. But you aren’t DeAndre Jackson, beverage manager at Humble Baron, the bar and restaurant at Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville, Tennessee, who flat out beat you to combining the two in a cocktail that, once you wrap your head around it, seems perfect for tailgates or kicking back on the porch in fall.
“I wanted to create an interesting riff on the classic Bloody Mary that would stand out and pack a flavorful punch,” Jackson says. “And after tasting Humble Baron chef Yolonda Bostic’s habanero Uncle Nearest Whiskey BBQ Sauce, I was inspired to build around it.”
Jackson’s interpretation naturally trades a Bloody’s traditional vodka for Nearest Green Distillery’s award-winning Uncle Nearest 1884 bourbon, the better to stand up to the sauce. The resulting combination “is robust, with barbecue flavors and the perfect amount of spice from the habanero and Bloody Mary mix for a satisfying finish,” he says. “But it’s versatile too. It makes for a delicious brunch cocktail and also pairs well with good old-fashioned grilled foods.”