5 Must-Taste Foods 

in the Bourbon, Horses & History Region

An overhead shot of a table filled with traditional foods of Kentucky's Bourbon, Horses & History region

The food you eat can give you a sense of place; both culturally and socially, it’s often connected to the land and the people who have lived on it for generations. Nowhere in Kentucky is this more evident than in the Bourbon, Horses & History region. The tasty offerings that you find in many of the restaurants throughout the region are symbolic of what’s been going on here for decades. From the Old Fashioned to the Hot Brown, here are five must-try dishes:

1. Old Fashioned Cocktail

An Old Fashioned, a bourbon cocktail that originated in LouisvilleThere are many stories about this legendary drink, including claims that it was the first mixed drink to be called a cocktail. Created in Louisville at the men’s-only Pendennis Club, the Old Fashioned is a glass of good ol’ Kentucky bourbon mixed with sugar, bitters and an orange slice. Cheers! 

Try this Recipe: Willett Old Fashioned

2. Kentucky Bibb Salad

A Kentucky Bibb Salad topped with Benedictine dressing makes a great appetizer for any meal in the region. This unique lettuce variety has a melt-in-your-mouth feel and candy-like sweetness. Bibb lettuce was first grown in the Bluegrass State by John Bibb, who was an officer in the War of 1812 and later settled in Frankfort as a lawyer. Cucumber and cream cheese-flavored Benedictine dressing, created by Miss Jennie Carter Benedict of Louisville in the early 1900s, is a classic topping for this regional salad. 

3. The Hot Brown

A Hot Brown sandwich in a skillet

Created in 1926 at the upscale Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville, this open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon topped with creamy Mornay sauce was devised in one of those “make do with what you have” situations. The story goes that guests at the hotel were looking for a late-night snack, and with traditional breakfast staples unavailable, the chef whipped up this masterpiece. You can try many variations on the Hot Brown at restaurants along the Hot Brown Hop, but for the original, the Brown Hotel is your go-to.

Try this Recipe: Kentucky Hot Brown

4. Succotash

Succotash is a side dish that brings the best of the garden to the table. We’re talking fresh corn and lima beans cooked together with butter, often spiked with tomatoes, red pepper and okra – another one of those “use what you have on hand” dishes. 

A freshly baked tray of bourbon biscuit pudding5. Bourbon Biscuit Pudding

The name of this dessert speaks for itself. Similar to a traditional bread pudding, leftover biscuits are crumbled up and tossed with eggs, sugar, vanilla, butter, maybe a few raisins – and definitely a healthy splash of Kentucky bourbon! 

Try this Recipe: Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

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