bourbon and S'mores with fire

Idea for Pairing Bourbon with S’mores

Your next campfire is about to get even hotter. As you pack supplies needed to make s’mores in the great outdoors, don’t forget to stash a bottle or two of bourbon. Bourbon and chocolate are a match made in gastronomic heaven, and the smokey tasting notes of the fire will turn up the flavors found in this delicious combination.

Bourbon can present tasting notes that range from charred oak to sweet vanilla and spicy brown sugar — some of the flavors you’ll experience while biting into a warm, gooey treat made up of graham crackers, chocolate, and toasted marshmallows. Even a spread of peanut butter will take on new dimensions when matched with a bourbon that offers layers of malty cereal or warming cinnamon spice. The best part? You won’t have to worry about mixing up fancy cocktails to maximize this mature pairing. Coopers’ Craft brand ambassador Fitz Bailey recommends serving bourbon on the rocks. “That’s going to help open it up, and you should really be able to nail down some of those wonderful flavors,” he told Wine Enthusiast.

A treat meant for adults

group of friends around fire

If you’ve taken it upon yourself to experiment with some new ideas for the classic s’mores recipe by adding tahini sauce or crispy bacon slices, you can pair your choice of bourbon strategically to play up flavors. Reach for bottles that offer smoother notes of vanilla, caramel, or toasted nuts to complement the smoky flavors from the roaring campfire. Satiny, toffee-flavored Bulleit bourbon will pair well with s’mores made with melty milk chocolate squares, while s’mores made with chocolate pieces and drizzles of almond butter can come to life when enjoyed with a dram of Old Elk Straight wheated bourbon. Regardless of the brand of bourbon and type of s’mores recipe you try, you’ll have plenty of fun sampling the different varieties, and the sweet and savory treats you make beside the fire can bring out the more subtle notes found in your flask.

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Bourbon also pairs well with smoked bacon and grilled fruit, so feel free to run wild once your campfire is stoked. Don’t forget to pack flaky sea salt to help turn up the flavor dials on your sweet creations, or try using a variety of chocolates to make your s’mores. Salted chocolate, chocolates with hints of chili, or chocolate pieces with bits of dried fruit like blueberries or raspberries can help you create the adult version of the childhood s’mores recipe you know and love as you sip your favorite golden libations.

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