Lexington Fall Visitors Ideas

In a little over a week, I have friends from out of state coming in town for the Tough Mudder in Maysville. They're staying with me in Lexington, and I have a very short amount of time to convince them how amazing this city is. Here are some of my initial ideas. Consider using them if you're trying to entertain guests this fall!

Keeneland

I mean, you know that'd be the first thing on anyone's list, right? Thankfully, the Fall Meet runs through October 26th on all days except Monday and Tuesday. First race post time is 1:05 pm daily.

Kelley Farms Corn Maze

photo credit: Kelley Farms

This year's corn maze at Kelley Farms just out Old Richmond Road in Lexington is a tribute to R.J. Corman. Corman was a Nicholasville native and backhoe operator turned railway magnate. He passed earlier this year, and this is a great tribute. Kelley Farms has the corn maze, goats, hayrides, yummy festival food, pumpkins, and more. The farm is open through October 26th. Hours and prices are on their website.

Ghost Tour at Buffalo Trace Distillery
photo credit: Buffalo Trace Distillery

Going on a tour of at least one distillery is a must-do for visitors and residents alike, but seasonally appropriate is the Ghost Tour at Buffalo Trace. These night time tours are equal parts spooky and interesting. The tours run Thurs-Sat at 7pm, and last 1 hour. Reservations must be made well in advance.

Food

photo credit: Shakespeare & Company

As much as I love my friends, I don't like cooking 3 meals a day for groups. A list of non-chain restaurants is always handy in these occasions. Maybe we'll stop by Nick Ryan's Saloon for The Stirrup Cup Hot Brown plus a little flavor of downtown. Or we could head to my favorite place for southern diner food plus a piece of Missy's Pies: Ramesy's. For a completely different environment, we might go to Shakespeare & Company (photo above) downtown. And if we want some of the best brunch around, a trip to Winchell's on Southland Drive will be on the agenda. Elvis Pancakes, perhaps?

What other fun visitors ideas do you have?

Why Not Throw a Bourbon Cocktail Party?

Don and Pete.  Mint Juleps. That is all. via AMC.
It's Friday, and it's Bourbon Heritage Month.  Why not celebrate the gloriously crisp autumn weather with the warm, smooth notes of a bourbon cocktail? This weekend, you should throw a bourbon cocktail party!

Now, here at HerKentucky, we're always looking for a reason to throw a good party. Kentucky's very own whisky is a better reason than most.  In just four simple steps, you can put together a fun and elegant bourbon cocktail party.
Bourbon tasting bar, via Garden & Gun
Step One: Choose Your Bourbon
I'd suggest picking up three whisky labels that fit the distinct mashbill profiles -- one high rye content brand, like Basil Hayden's, one high corn content like Buffalo Trace's Old Charter, and a wheated bourbon like Maker's Mark or Pappy Van WinkleThis article from Bluegrass Threads, and this one from Epicurious, do a great job of describing the different taste profiles.  Pick up one of the small batch labels for true sipping, and remember your beer-loving guests with Bourbon Barrel Ale.

Step 2: Choose Your Blend
Most Kentuckians are pretty easy to please.  We take our bourbon neat, with a splash of water or, heaven forbid, with a little Coca-Cola.  (Bourbon and Coke tastes good, but don't ever admit it!)  It seems that bourbon is nationally trendy again, with all these speakeasies popping up in major cities.  You get things like the Bacon Old Fashioned, from Nashville's Patterson House, or the Kentucky Rose from Atlanta's Southern Art and Bourbon BarIf you want to get that fancy, your guests will love a sip.  This bourbon and ginger sounds interesting. Of course, nothing beats a Maker's Manhattan. Nothing.

Step 3: Choose Your Glass
A variety of lowball glasses, Manhattan glasses and julep cups help you enjoy in style.  I love these stemless martini glasses from Maker's Mark and these Fleur de Lis julep cups from Louisville Stoneware


Step 4: Choose Your Friends
Make a few calls, pour a few drinks, and enjoy.

Cheers, y'all!

This is the first installment in a series of posts called "The Bourbon Files", which will showcase the history, culture, and distinct taste of Kentucky's signature spirit.