Cheers, y'all!


{Photo © 2014, Glenda McCoy}

National Bourbon Day

National Bourbon Day is Saturday, June 14. How are you celebrating?

{Image © 2014, Glenda McCoy}

The HerKentucky Valentine's Day Wish List

Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and we've been shopping a lot! This week, we've given you our Valentine's Day Wish Lists for guys and for t-shirt lovers. Today, here are a few great, Kentucky-made pieces for the woman on your shopping list, or some great ways to treat yourself!

W & M Custom Jewelry Silver Tulip Earrings

I went out to dinner with a dear friend the other night, and I found myself looking at her earrings repeatedly. Finally, I just came out with "Those are W & M, right?"  Well, of course they were! These delicate silver flowers go with anything, and make a great gift!


Louisville Stoneware Garden Boot Birdhouse
This gorgeous piece combines so many of my very favorite things: Wellies, Louisville Stoneware, and Kentucky-based celebrity gardener Jon Carloftis. It would be a fantastic keepsake for a Stoneware collector or garden lover!

Elva Fields Luck Abounds Necklace

I just cannot stop staring at this necklace. How perfect is it for a day at the track, a Derby party or, you know, anywhere?  Another thoughtfully-constructed, vintage-inspired piece from Kentucky's own Elva Fields jewelry.

A Bourbon Women Membership

If you really love her, say it with bourbon. Membership in the Bourbon Women association is a great opportunity for professional networking, and a unique chance to learn all about Kentucky's signature spirit.

Kentucky Cutting Board


This cutting board from Two Chicks & Co is a great way to display your Bluegrass pride! Wouldn't this make the most darling cheese tray ever?






The 2014 HerKentucky Valentine's Day Wish List for the Guy in Your Life

The other day, I ran across the perfect little Valentine's Day present for my beau. I mean, how cute is this Hadley Pottery coaster? It's collectible, it's something we can use year after year...


...And it would totally be a gift from me to me. My fiancé doesn't exactly share my affinity for Louisville's artisanal blue-and-white pottery.  So, I started thinking of gifts that he'd actually like. And thus, the 2014 HerKentucky Valentine's Day Wish List for the Guy in Your Life was born. Here are some presents that are as quirky, fantastic, and uniquely Kentucky as the guy in your life.


Balls of Steel Whiskey Coolers
A few weeks ago, I got an email from the Balls of Steel company. Yes, that's the product's actual name. I mentioned it to my fiancé, and his immediate response was: "We must have some of those. Now." It turns out that Balls of Steel are stainless steel whiskey coolers that allow you to enjoy your beverage at the perfect temperature without diluting it.  Not only do they have a name you can't forget, but they fund a great cause.

15% of the purchase price of every set of Balls of Steel will go to testicular cancer research. What a great idea! The name will certainly catch your guy's attention, the donation is much needed, and the coolers can chill a variety of beverages, from a run-of-the-mill soda to the finest glass of Pappy.

Pappy & Co Flask
Speaking of the finest glass of Pappy, this Smathers & Branson flask will wow any bourbon drinker on your list. It's just gorgeous, and it sends the message that your guy only drinks the best.

Kentucky for Kentucky Ball Cap

Of course, I could just list "Everything in the Kentucky for Kentucky collection" as a must-have, but this vintage-style cap is just so fun!

Maker's Mark Label Upcycled Bow Tie
I saw this bow tie in a gift basket at a silent auction this weekend, and was just smitten. How fun for the Maker's lover or bow tie aficionado in your life! It's by artist Melissa Sinkovic and available via her Etsy store or at Revelry Boutique in Louisville.

J. Peterman 1903 Badger Hair Shaving Brush


A morning shave seems like the most miserable enterprise a man must undertake. Peterman's shaving brush adds elegance to the proceedings.

What are y'all getting your beaux for Valentine's Day?


National Hot Toddy Day

Today is National Hot Toddy Day!



The Hot Toddy is my go-to cold-weather cocktail and fix-everything cold medicine.

The recipe is pretty simple. Use the bourbon of your choice (I prefer Maker's Mark!)


  • 1 oz bourbon 
  • 1 oz steaming-hot water 
  • honey 
  • 1 lemon 

    Put a kettle of water on to boil. Drizzle honey in the bottom of coffee mug. Pour in one ounce bourbon, or to taste. Squeeze juice of 1/4 lemon into mug. Pour in hot water. Add additional bourbon and/or hot water to taste.  Warm up. Feel better.

The Christmas Repeal

We don't drink in my hometown. 

Well, people do drink alcohol, of course, but it's never been as socially acceptable to go out and have a glass of wine or a cocktail in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky as it is in the Commonwealth's bigger cities. Part of it is a religious distinction; there's a whole lot of Baptists in our neck of the woods. Part of it is economic; there isn't a lot of extra income for frivolous things like drinkin'. And, more than a little of it comes down to the booze we produce. The Appalachian end of the state doesn't produce Kentucky's storied bourbon. We don't have limestone in our water, nor do we have oak barrels charred to exacting specifications. We have a proud -- or perhaps infamous -- history of moonshine stills. Most of us have a 'shiner or two on our family tree, whether we want to admit it or not. When your spirits are less than legal, you generally don't announce them with pride.

via Maker's Mark

That all changes, come the holidays. Now, it's never been any surprise to me that the 21st Amendment was repealed on December 5th. You need to break out the good stuff for the Christmas baking. And, we may need a little nip in the house, because you never know if company will want some. Even the most devout Baptist grandmas suddenly know their liquor store order when it comes time to make holiday confections. They want Maker's Mark or Early Times. Or rum for the cake. It's not like we drink the rest of the year. It's simply a month-long lift on the Prohibition, in the name of good cheer.

My grandma Margaret would never touch a drop, but she sure would soak her fruitcake. My great-aunt Marie made these weird little cookies with raisins and cherries and a whole lot of rum; they were strangely addictive, and the whole family loved 'em. And then, there are the bourbon balls. My family's recipe. I can't make enough of them during the holidays; everybody wants some. It doesn't matter if you touch bourbon the rest of the year.

This week, we celebrate the 80th anniversary of Prohibition's repeal, and the far longer-standing tradition of the Christmas Repeal. Here's my family's bourbon ball recipe, if you find yourself in the mood for drinking or baking.



  • 1 to 2 cups good bourbon whisky (preferably Maker's Mark) 
  • 1 cup chopped pecans 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup whole pecan halves (optional) 
  • 1 two-pound bag of powdered sugar 
  • 1 stick butter, softened 
  • 1-2 bags semisweet chocolate chips (preferably Ghiradelli)
  •  paraffin wax 


  1. Place 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped pecans in shallow bowl. 
  2. Pour bourbon over nuts, immersing completely. Cover and let soak 12 hours to overnight. 
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecan halves in shallow pan and toast lightly for about ten minutes. Cream butter in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. 
  4. Combine bourbon-pecan mixture with just enough powdered sugar to form a stiff ball. Refrigerate to let stiffen slightly. Roll dough into small balls. 
  5. In double-boiler (or a sauce pan placed over a cooker full of boiling water), add a third to a half a bag of semisweet chocolate chips and a small shaving of paraffin wax (no more than 1/4 cup). Heat until just smooth. Dip dough balls into the chocolate mixture. The key is to coat them quickly and make small, frequent batches of melted chocolate. 
  6. Place bourbon balls on wax paper to cool. 
  7. Top each ball with a toasted pecan half, if desired. Results are better if you leave them to cool at room temperature rather than in the refrigerator.