2255 Frankfort Avenue Louisville, KY 40206
On the eve of Mad Men’s season five premiere we stared blankly at our living room’s centerpiece, a cable-less 12 inch box atop an antique armoire. It became abundantly clear that we had failed to come up with a strategic plan to watch this new episode. The next best thing: go out and imbibe fancy cocktails in the spirit of our favorite show’s protagonist, Don Draper.
Enter Bourbon’s Bistro, an upscale restaurant with an extensive scope of Bourbons. We first heard about their new Sunday night happy hour after visiting our friend who serves there. We knew we had to try it out for, if nothing else, the fact that Bourbon’s bartender took it upon himself to pour affordable drinks during typical drinking hours (if not the typical day of the week). We were even more pleased to discover that their discounted status was not indicative of a lower calibre. With over 100 bourbons on the shelf, their collection ranges from the more commonly known Kentucky distilleries such as Maker’s Mark to smaller family owned ones like Willett.
While we didn’t order any of the appetizers offered, Bourbon’s does sell three select appetizers (rotating from the six available) during the Sunday happy hour even though the restaurant’s kitchen closes earlier. With the help of our friendly bartender, we were both delighted with our choices. With cocktails we’ve had elsewhere, we’ve found the “complexity” lies in the mixture of a variety of sweeteners and syrups. Drinks at Bourbon’s are not hidden under this cloak of sugar and pre-made mixers.
Bourbon’s is preparing to unleash a new drink menu for summer, which our bartender played a role in developing. He was was nice enough to share some of his talented creations with us that featured ingredients on the more innovative side, such as egg whites and bacon. In each drink we enjoyed, the flavors of not only the bourbons—but each well-paired component—emerged at different stages from first taste to finish.
A breakdown of our 4-star rating: Bourbon’s earns points for delivering on their namesake with the full experience. Not only do they offer fine bourbons but the bartender appears educated on the nuances of mixology. Attentiveness to all customers on his part is a distinguishing quality of this happy hour. While Bourbon’s cocktails are on the steeper end of our ideal happy hour price range ($2 off $8-$13), we recognize that the atmosphere and high drink quality is deserving of a few extra bucks.
Jasmine Ashton & Megan Feil, March 26, 2012
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