03 June 2009

Jack Daniels The Spirit Of Tennessee Cookbook

In my kitchen there is salt, sea and kosher, and there is pepper, black and red and then there is Jack Daniel’s. In addition to my favorite libation, Old No. 7 is one of my favorite seasonings. So you can imagine how much I might like a cookbook filled with Jack Daniel’s recipes.

Jack Daniel's Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook by Lynne Tolley and Pat Mitchamore is a “twofer” both Southern and Jack Daniel’s. There is often a problem with cookbooks that features a single ingredient, such as Jack Daniel’s. With this type of cookbook the recipes tend to fall into three types -- well thought out recipes that use the ingredient as an integral part, recipes that tend to simply have the ingredient thrown into the recipes as an after thought and recipes that don’t include the ingredient at all.

Whiskey Sour Salad and Soused Onions feature Jack Daniel’s as defined part of the recipe. There is no Whiskey Sour Salad without Old No. 7.

Onion Soup with a shot of Jack Daniel’s is just that, onion soup with a dash of whiskey. Then there is Jack’s Black Bean Soup that is nothing more than canned soup with a shot! Actually, if you are going to cook canned soup, nothing might make it better than a little Jack. If you are going to eat canned soup, several shots of Jack Daniel’s BEFORE the soup would do more to improve it than adding it to the can. Finally, there are just filer recipes to round out the cookbook, like Potato Salad. There is really no way to add Jack Daniel’s to potato salad, well there is a way, but not in this cookbook.

The downfall of books like this are the second type of recipes. Seasoning black beans soup with Jack Daniel’s is a fine idea, but only if you actually cook the black bean soup. The best recipes in the book are for the sauces and desserts. Here is a dessert sauce and one of the best uses for Jack Daniel’s outside of a glass.

Plastered Hot Fudge Sauce

1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
Dash of salt
2 tablespoons Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter

Combine sugar, cocoa, coffee and salt in saucepan. Mix Jack Daniel’s whiskey with the cream; add to sauce and stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When sugar has dissolved, add butter and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Once you have a big bowl of fudge sauce, you can make any dessert a Jack Daniel’s dessert! Ignore what I said about those recipes that just have some whiskey thrown in. While I wouldn’t recommend adding this sauce to black bean soup, feel free to grab Twinkies and cover them in sauce!


  1. The next time you visit me(?), we'll take in Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House in Lynchburg. Do you have Miss Mary's cookbook?

  2. Alas, Miss Mary Bobo is gone but the boarding house remains. And I hear they serve a great dinner.


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