I have known Susan Reigler for over 25 years. I first met her when she was a restaurant reviewer and spirits writer for the Courier-Journal newspaper here in Louisville and I have respected her writing ever since. I have known Peggy Noe Stevens for almost as long, having met her when she was a Master Taster for Brown-Forman. She has a fantastic palate for pairing food and whiskey. When they came together to write this book, I knew it was going to be an instant classic piece of literature that will be a must-have for any Bourbon library.
Which Fork Do I Use With My Bourbon? : Peggy Noe Stevens and Susan Reigler, Lexington, Ky.: South Limestone Press, 2020. Foreword, Contents, Introduction, Appendix, Glossary, Index, Illustrated, 203 pp.
This is a very well designed book with many excellent color photographs that will look good on any coffee table, but it will probably not rest there very long. It is filled with valuable information that will have you picking it up every time you want to entertain guests. The chapters include “Planning the Perfect Party”, “Setting Up the Perfect Bourbon Bar”, “How to Do a Bourbon Tasting”, “Food Pairings and Cooking With Bourbon: How-tos for Any Occasion”, “A Bourbon Cocktail Soirée” and “The Kentucky Derby Party”. You will find yourself referencing this book often as the book supplies a wealth of useful information such as how to arrange a room for best flow and what each type of glassware looks like and how they are used.
The information on food and Bourbon is excellent. If you have ever been to a presentation by Peggy Noe Stevens on the subject, you might have an idea on how useful these chapters will be when you are planning a party, but she outdoes herself in this book. Her knowledge and Susan’s experience and ability to organize have come together to create a very informative and easy to use guide on this subject. Susan’s knowledge of cocktails is apparent in the book as well. Combine this with Stevens’ ability to pair food and the perfect cocktail party guide is created.
The book is well designed. There are a multitude of color photographs to aid the reader creating the dishes and cocktails. There are plenty of recipes for food and cocktails. Scattered throughout the book are sidebars of information that provide valuable hints for making the party or tasting a success. There are many illustrations as well that includes glassware types, floor and table plans, flavor categories and other useful bits of information. The book has a glossary of terms in the back so if you are confused by a term, you can look in the glossary for more information. There is not one, but two indexes in the book. A general index and a separate index for recipes. The information needed is easy to find.
Which Fork Do I Use With My Bourbon? will be a “must have” for collectors of Bourbon related books and cookbooks. The information is useful to the Bourbon novice and the experienced party planner alike, with easy to find and clearly explained information. Every Bourbon library should have a copy – maybe even two, since you will find yourself referring to it so often.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller