ROMANCE ON A PLATE: A COFFEE-BOURBON COMBINATION

The French are ever so elegant in their ways. Trust them to name a beautiful cut of soft tenderloin meat ‘dainty beef’. For the uninitiated, that is what the French mean by fillet mignon. Fillet mignon (pronounced fee-layh mee-nion) as a term was first used by O. Henry in his 1906 book, The Four Million. The very same fillet mignon, fit to serve the kings and queens, the pièce de résistance of any dining experience has become synonymous with grand romance.

The richness of bourbon marries beautifully with the soft, buttery texture of the tenderloin. Pairing a fillet mignon with a wonderfully sticky, sweet bourbon sauce with just a hint of smoky coffee is a guaranteed trip to food heaven. You can use a Jefferson’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey as its spicy and sweet flavor profile echoes the umami taste of the fillet and the smokiness of the sauce. Let’s take a plunge into the divine realm of sensory delights and find out how to make our own.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp instant coffee
  • ½ tsp beef-flavored bouillon granules
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 120gm tenderloin steak cut into 1 inch thick fillets
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
  • Cooking spray

The Process

Combine water, sugar, bourbon, instant coffee granules and the bouillon granules together and set aside. Season your steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and coat with cooking spray. Cook the steak to your liking. Keep in mind that it’s best served medium rare, in which case cook your steak for 2 minutes on each side. Cover and set aside. Pour the sauce mixture into a saucepan and boil till it has reduced by 3/4th of its volume. Spoon the sauce over your steak and serve with a garnish of freshly chopped parsley.

This eccentric combination of gorgeous bourbon, with its hint of spice and a luxurious cut of tenderloin is delightfully sinful. Whip it up for your loved one and indulge your senses now!


Rejuvenate Your Spirit with Irish Coffee

When bad weather forced a transatlantic flight to return to Foynes Port, Limerick, in the winter of 1943, the passengers were in for a surprise. A strong yet creamy drink was waiting there to welcome them to safety. Joe Sheridan, a local chef, had created the first cups of Irish coffee – a rich blend of coffee, cream, and Irish whiskey. The drink became a specialty found at airports, and at the end of the war, made its way across the Atlantic when a journalist of the San Francisco Chronicle persuaded his local bar, the Buena Vista Café, of the drink’s merits.

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Alcock & Browne: Reviving the Irish Whiskey

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TALES OF THE CAPE FEAR PUNCH

As the name suggests, the Cape Fear Punch owes its christening to the rather ill-famed Southern US men’s club. The club was founded on 3 March 1866 in Wilmington and incorporated on 8 February 1872. It is generally recognized as the oldest social club of its kind in continuous existence in North Carolina and one of the oldest in Southeast US. According to its North Carolina highway historical marker (at Second and Chestnut streets, Wilmington), the Cape Fear Club is the “oldest gentleman’s club in the South in continuous existence.” The original club was largely made up of Confederate veterans, but includes a plethora of members now. The secret recipe of the Cape Fear punch comes from the gentleman’s club. Containing rye whiskey, Cognac and Jamaican rum, it packs quite a punch, but those who may be adverse to brown liquor will be in for a treat. Cut with green tea, seltzer, lemons and oranges, this punch lacks a boozy taste, and has just the right balance of sweet and sour.

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