Steak and Bourbon

By Aaron Walters

A little while back we had a steak and bourbon pairing at the Tasting Bar.  It was such a hit that I decided I would post the recipe and bourbons for your viewing and culinary pleasure! 

First off, the bourbons.

We poured:

  • Woodford Reserve
  • Jefferson's Very Old Small Batch
  • Booker's latest release

The Woodford Reserve doesn't say, but it has a 7-year-age profile. It has a great nose of dried fruit, orange, vanilla and tobacco. The finish is pleasant with very little "burn."

The Jefferson's also doesn't state, but it has an 8-year-age profile. On the nose you will notice butterscotch, raisins and vanilla. The palate is filled with tobacco, oak, and brown sugar. It also finishes quite pleasantly with very little "burn."

The Booker's is a whole other story! Coming in at a "hot" 128 proof, Booker's is aggressive and in your face! A drop of water in this one really helps it open and soften a little bit.  The nose consists of sweet vanilla and toasty oak. These are confirmed on the palate and the finish is long and lingering. This one definitely warms you up on the way down!

We paired these fantastic bourbons with, what else but, a bourbon-marinated top sirloin. I marked them off on the grill and let them rest, chilling them down overnight. The result was a sweet and slightly spicy, perfectly medium-rare steak that paired wonderfully with the bourbons.

Here's the marinade recipe. Try it and let me know what you think!

Bourbon-Marinated Top Sirloin

  • 1.5 pounds Top Sirloin (1.5-2" thick)
  • 1 cup Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon
  • 1/3 cup Hoisin
  • 1/4 cup Applewood Smoked Bacon Mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Cayenne
  • 2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 2 tsp Ancho Chili Powder
  • 2 tbsp salt plus some for serving

Mix everything in a large bowl or lexan and add the steaks. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Take it out of the fridge about an hour before you’re ready to grill it. Once it's up to room temperature and your grill is hot, place them on the grill for 2 minutes. Then, rotate them 90 degrees on the same side for an additional 2 minutes.

Next, flip them over and cook them for 4 minutes on the other side. Remove to a sheet tray and let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When you are ready to serve them, take them out of the fridge and slice thinly on a wide diagonal. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and enjoy. 

Note: You can definitely serve this hot right off the grill. Just let your steaks rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing so they retain that juicy goodness!
Bon Appetite!

Strawberry Recipes with Champagne Pairings

We've got a couple of great recipe ideas to go along with our Guide to Hosting a Strawberries & Champagne Tasting. What a sweet celebration!


Sweet as honey cream

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Mix ingredients thoroughly in a mixing bowl and chill until ready to use. 


Pound cake with Basil Mascarpone and Strawberries

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 8 oz. Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 pound cake
  • 16 oz. fresh strawberries
  • 1/8 cup sugar

Slice Strawberries and place in a large bowl. Coat with sugar and let sit for at least 2 hours. 

In a pot of boiling water. Blanche the basil for about 30 seconds and immediately transfer to an ice bath. Once cooled, remove to a towel and dry throughly. Add Basil and Mascarpone to the bowl of a food processor and process a few turns. Add cream, little by little, while processing until well mixed. Remove the cream to a piping bag and chill. 

Slice and toast pound cake in a 350 degree oven until warmed throughout. For plating, place a piece of pound cake on a plate, pipe the Mascarpone cream on the cake and spoon strawberries on top. I also like to drizzle some of the strawberry juice on as well!

Celebrating 25 Years: Elegant Dinner Party

Colonial is celebrating 25 years! To go along with our Silver Celebration Party Planning Guide, we have the perfect recipes to serve for your elegant dinner anniversary party. Cheers and congratulations!

Elegant Dinner Party Recipes

Recommended for groups of 30 and under. 

On the Menu:

Skill Level: Above average and dedicated.

  • Spicy Ahi Tuna Tartare
  • Prosciutto with Melon Balls, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil
  • Simple Shrimp Cocktail with Colonial Wines & Spirits Cocktail Sauce
  • Grilled Beef Rolls with Scallion Soy Dipping Sauce
Spicy Tuna Tartare.jpg

Ahi Tuna Tartare

Prep time: 30 minutes
Servings: 30+-

  • 1½ pounds sushi-grade tuna steaks diced into ¼ inch cubes
  • 1 Tbs freshly grated ginger
  • 1 Tbs wasabi powder
  • 3 Tbs finely minced jalapeno (taste for heat and adjust to taste)
  • 1 cup ¼ inch diced seedless cucumber
  • ¼ cup minced chive
  • 3 Tbs minced cilantro
  • 1 lime, remove zest then juice, remove seeds
  • 2 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt and a few turns of freshly grated black pepper
  • *toasted sesame seeds and minced chives for garnish, optional


Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir gently to combine.
Serve on a crisp chicory or endive leaf or tortilla chips.

Simple Shrimp Cocktail with Colonial Wines & Spirits Cocktail Sauce

Preparation time: 30 minutes – Add additional time for chilling the shrimp.
Yields: 4 servings


  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 tbs black peppercorns
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • extra lemon wedges for garnish


  1.  Shell and devein shrimp.
  2. Heat water to boiling in a large pot.  Add bay leaf, lemon and black peppercorns. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 10 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp and cook (usually about 3 minutes) just until pink and slightly firm to the touch. Drain immediately.  Cool quickly in refrigerator or freezer.  Running cold water method is often used, but wastes most of the flavor down the drain.

CWS Cocktail Sauce


  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • 1 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp prepared horseradish
  • ¼ tsp hot red pepper sauce
  • ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 – 3 tsp St Brendan French Brandy


  1. Combine chili sauce, lime juice, horseradish, hot red pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in bowl.  Whisk together until all ingredients have married together. Taste and adjust lime, horseradish, pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to taste.
  2. Add the brandy and whisk briskly until the cocktail sauce is well blended.

Presentation: Place a ramekin of cocktail sauce in the middle of four 6 – 8 inch salad plates.  Divide the shrimp between the four plates.  Garnish with extra lemon wedges. Optionaldress up your presentation with fresh parsley or cilantro.  


Prosciutto with Melon Balls, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

Preparation time: 10 minutes    
Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 – 6


  • 1 cantaloupe, halved and seeded
  • 1 8-ounce container mozzarella balls in pearl onion size
  • 8-10 slices prosciutto, shredded into large pieces
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Use a melon baller to scoop balls from the cantaloupe halves and add to a large bowl. Add the mozzarella balls and the torn prosciutto. Sprinkle with the basil and mint leaves.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, honey and white balsamic vinegar together and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over the cantaloupe and toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper and additional herbs to taste.



Grilled Beef Rolls with Scallion Soy Dipping Sauce


  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 scallions, green tops, cut into 3-inch lengths and sliced lengthwise; whites sliced into 1/8-inch rings
  • 3 bell peppers (one each of green, red and yellow), trimmed, seeded, and cut into long, thin matchsticks
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce and brown sugar until dissolved; set aside. Cut tenderloin crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Trim off any fat or connective tissue. Place 1 slice between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, evenly pound out the slice, keeping it roughly in a rectangular shape, until it is 1/8 inch thick. Do not over-pound slices or they will begin to disintegrate. Remove plastic wrap, and transfer to a large plate. Repeat process with remaining meat.
  2. Dip 1 slice beef in the soy sauce mixture, and place it on a clean surface. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 2 pieces of scallion green and 1 piece of each pepper across the shorter length of the beef, so that the vegetables extend over both edges by about 3/4-inch. Roll up lengthwise, and skewer near the edges with 2 toothpicks. Set aside. Repeat with remaining beef and vegetables.
  3. Lightly brush a grill pan with olive oil, and heat until hot, or heat the oven broiler. Grill or broil beef rolls, brushing with sauce and turning, until medium rare, 2 to 4 minutes. Cut each roll in half, or cut any longer rolls into 3 pieces. In a small saucepan bring remaining sauce to a boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour into a small bowl, and add scallion rings. Transfer beef rolls to a serving platter, and serve with sauce on the side.

Celebrating 25 Years: Large Cocktail Party


Colonial is celebrating 25 years! To go along with our Silver Celebration Party Planning Guide, we have the perfect recipes to serve for your large cocktail anniversary party. Cheers and congratulations!

The Main Event Recipes

On the Menu:

Skill Level: Easy

  • Mozzarella Chili Dip with Tostada Chip Rounds
  • Shrimp Cocktail Caribbean Holiday Style
  • Seafood Bruschetta
  • Assorted Artisan Cheese Selection with local seasonal fruit
  • Charcuterie Assortment

Mozzarella Chili Dip with Tostada Chip Rounds

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
Total time: 12 minutes


  • 1-15-ounce can chili 
  • 18-ounce package cream cheese, cubed 
  • 28-ounce packages shredded mozzarella cheese garlic powder to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • tostada chips for serving


  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. In a shallow, medium baking dish, spread chili and mix in cream cheese. Microwave on high 1 minute, or until cheese is melted and creamy.
  3. Stir in 1/2 the mozzarella cheese, garlic powder and pepper. Microwave on high 1 minute, or until melted.
  4. Top the mixture with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  5. Broil 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
  6. Serve with tostada chips


Shrimp Cocktail Caribbean Holiday Style

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Refrigerate prior to serving time up to 4 hours


  • 1 tbs. vegetable oil 
  • 2 tbs. minced fresh ginger root 
  • 2 limes, juiced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 tbs. soy sauce 
  • 1/2 tsp. white sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 2 pounds large cooked shrimp, peeled, tails on
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


In large bowl combine oil, ginger, lime juice, garlic, soy sauce, sugar and red pepper; mix well. Stir in shrimp and cilantro. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 4 hours before serving. Stir occasionally while chilling.


Seafood Bruschetta-s.jpg

Seafood Bruschetta

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tbs. snipped fresh chives
  • 1 tbs. snipped fresh basil
  • 1 tbs. snipped fresh mint
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup crabmeat or one 6 1/2-ounce can crabmeat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed
  • 8 ounces peeled, deveined, cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped 3 medium Roma tomatoes
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 18-ounce loaf baguette-style French bread
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh mint (optional)


  1. In medium bowl combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, chives, basil, mint, and garlic. Add crabmeat, shrimp, tomatoes, and onion; toss to coat.
  2. Cut bread into 48 thin slices. Arrange bread slices on large baking sheet. Brush one side of each slice with some of the 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle lightly with pepper. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until toasted.
  3. To serve, spoon seafood mixture onto the oiled side of each toasted slice. If desired, garnish with fresh mint. Serve immediately. Makes 48 appetizer servings

Assorted Artisan Cheese Selection with local seasonal fruit

Use your imagination. Try to select local artisanal cheeses and pair them with fresh local fruits.  Arrange nicely on a wooden or other platter and enjoy.

Charcuterie Assortment

Select salami, ham from different regions of the world, roast beef, and other roasted or smoked meats. Add cherry tomatoes, vegetable slices (fresh or grilled), pickles and olives. Serve with assorted breads, crackers, and spreads. Enjoy and impress.