Story Caroline Paulus
Photos Victor Sizemore
June 1st is National Donut Day, but here at The Bourbon Review we celebrating whiskey pairings year round. We took a selection of pastries from our favorite local donut shop, North Lime Coffee & Donuts, and matched them with the Bourbons we love best. While those outside of our hometown of Lexington, Kentucky may not be able to pick up these exact pairings, every pairing has a third option to recreate these flavors at home! Bourbon might not be the first thing that comes to mind with breakfast, but we think these taste delicious all day long.
1. Eagle Rare and Banana Caramel
Our first pair is a year round favorite – Eagle Rare and fried yeast donuts with banana caramel frosting. The round flavor of salted caramel and soft banana comes through nicely, even when backed with this 10 year juice. The finish of the bold Bourbon outlasts the sweetness and adds a hint of nuttiness to the banana without drowning it out. Banana bread with caramel drizzle is an easy substitute for readers at home who’d love to try this pairing!
2. Michter’s Rye and Iced Gingerbread
Michter’s Rye whiskey and gingerbread cake donuts drizzled with icing are the perfect treat for chilly months. The heat from the rye of this Michter’s expression paired perfectly with the ginger spice of this seasonal specialty. The rye lingered longer on the palate than the ginger, but was rounded out by the icing and cinnamon from the pastry. Gingerbread is easy to find this time of year in cakes, cookies, and more, and we loved the sweet and spicy combination.
3. Basil Hayden and Mint Chocolate
Our inspiration for this pairing has been two years in the making – Basil Hayden and mint chocolate anything are a match made in heaven. We can’t get enough of them together, and have paired the high rye and low proof whiskey with York Peppermint Patties and the original Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies. Get it with this chocolate cake, mint icing, and Oreo sprinkle donut if you can, but any of these pairs are flat out delicious.
4. Stagg Jr. and Spicy Cinnamon Sugar
Buffalo Trace’s Stagg Jr. is the perfect match for this spiced up cinnamon sugar cake donut. The classic cinnamon sugar topping has an extra kick in this case – a dusting of cayenne pepper. The sweet heat from the donut was stronger than most of the whiskey we tried, right up until this high proof bottle hit the table. Top any cinnamon sugar donut with ground cayenne to get this taste at home!
Got a favorite donut and Bourbon you want to pair? Tag @bourbonreview or use #drinkingwithdonuts on Instagram to show us your favorites!