Editor’s note: Like many in Kentucky right now, Michael does not have internet access. Matt has stepped in to share a blog post for today. We hope all of you are safe and well after the storms on Friday!

Kentucky has received a beating by recent windy weather and while I’m cutting up tree limbs I’m thinking ahead to the hazy hot summertime. It will soon be that time of year to start breaking out those smokers, grab some wood, pour a glass of whiskey and watch a fire for 6 hours! I’ve been asked quite often by friends what whiskey or cocktail pairs well with what smoked meat. I usually just say “whatever you’re pouring.” Honestly, I do believe this is an interesting topic of exploration which is worth the time to write about. So, I’ll be dedicating this Summer to blog posts regarding just this question. 

Here’s my first entry:


Costco Brand St. Louis style Spareribs

Dry Rub and other ingredients:

Yellow mustard (used for binder only)

Momma’s Mustard and Pickles Hot Rub


Maple Syrup

Apple Cider Vinegar



Paired with:

Old Forester 100 Whiskey Sour

For my first entry, I went with my favorite meat for smoking—pork spareribs paired with the whiskey sour cocktail. I find that hickory gives the meat a strong smoked, savory bacon flavor. I wrap with maple syrup and butter to sweeten it up a touch and give it almost a bacon and pancakes vibe. The whiskey sour cocktail compliments this recipe well. 

I make my sour cocktails more on the sweet side (for taste and heartburn reasons) which really highlights the more savory, smoke-forward hickory bacon flavor of the meat. Here’s how I make a whiskey sour

Also tasting the Old Forester neat, I was hoping the banana notes from the whiskey would magically turn the meat into a bacon and banana pancakes, but the banana didn’t quite cut through. 

Overall, we’re off to a winning start to what will be a continuous blog throughout the smoking season. If anyone has any ideas (wood, meat, rub/recipe combos) they’d like to suggest shoot us a comment and I’ll give it a shot. Cheers!

Photos courtesy of Matthew Kohorst