I have known the author, Heather Wibbels, for some time. She has been part of Bourbon Women for many years and has competed in their “Not Your Pink Drink” cocktail competition since its inception. She won this competition several times and Bourbon women decided to make her a judge at the event. She does make very good cocktails. I have had several of her creations at BARDS (Bourbon And Rye Drinkers Society) meetings where my friend and fellow BARDS member, Susan Reigler, has had her making cocktails. Heather recently became a member of BARDS, as well. Her book has just come out and I volunteered to review it on my website.

Bourbon Is My Comfort Food: The Bourbon Women Guide To Fantastic Cocktails At Home. Heather Wibblels, Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 2022. Contents, Preface, Introduction, Index, Illustrated, 265 pp.

This is a very interesting cocktail book. It starts, like many other cocktail books, with a chapter on stocking your bar and hints on making cocktails. It then has chapters on infusions, types of cocktails such as The Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sours, and Juleps. Then she writes about specialized subjects such as dessert cocktails, party cocktails and cocktail winners from the “Not Your Pink Drink” competition. The recipes are easy to follow and well written. 

The book is illustrated with color photographs and interesting sidebars with hints about making cocktails and how best to serve and garnish the cocktail. She has included the Manhattan recipe that Maggie Kimberl and Rosemary Miller created and wrote about for this web site in series of blogs titled  “Barefoot Manhattans”. For those wishing to read about their complete adventure, you can find it here if you wish further information.

The book is well designed and attractive. Each chapter starts with a brief history of the cocktail and its basic structure. The recipes that follow are easy to find in the index clearly and designated on the page so that the reader does not have to look hard to find a particular recipe. Many of the drinks are accompanied by a color photograph of the final product. The side bars are filled with professional tips such as how to make a photograph worthy garnish or how best to serve the cocktail. 

Heather Wibbels has written a cocktail book that will become a classic and should be part of everyone’s spirits library. It is full of many interesting and tasty recipes for Bourbon cocktails.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller