Spring Entertaining

We've got new recipes with fresh and vibrant spring flavors perfect for entertaining the season!

Distilled: Spring Recipes: Country Ham Biscuits, Sweet Skillet Carrots, Spanish Gazpacho, Spring Queen Salad

Spring time entertaining is some of the best! When we begin to slip away from the doldrums of winter and the days get a little longer, when the kids run around outside but there is still a spring chill in the air. Flowers are in bloom and abundant creating a natural outdoor ambiance so impromptu gatherings are effortless. 

Spring means Mother’s Day, baby showers, bridal luncheons, graduation parties, and of course, the seminal Kentucky holiday designed around entertaining, Derby Day! Derby is more of a weeks-long celebration of history, tradition and entertaining. Amazing how we can stretch out a two minute horse race isn’t it? It boils down to the fact that we will take any excuse to celebrate with good food, drinks and company! 

We’ve been busy creating recipes that incorporate the vibrant and freshness of spring abundance with our Pappy-Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged flavor for a round up of recipes you can serve as meal, alongside your other spring favorites,  as appetizers or brought to a gathering. Up first and ready to serve, share and travel to a get-together are our Country Ham Biscuits, Sweet Skillet Blistered Carrots, Spring Queen Salad and Gazpacho Shooters!

Just as Derby is synonymous with Kentucky, so too are country ham biscuits for spring celebrations. While everyone seems to have their own twist on this simple recipe, these are an effortless go to that never fails. Even for those of us who aren't necessarily as skilled in the kitchen and with endless variations - these are always a hit. If you are Louisville based, you will know that one secret to our ham biscuits is ham from Plehn's Bakery. Our favorite local bakery, Plehn's is a family owned local treasure that has in business for 99 years. Famous for many things, including their original deli counter where you will find nutty, dry country ham that will make your ham biscuits disappear in seconds. While you are there, make sure to grab a dozen of their seasonal iced cookies for dessert!

The other secret to our ham biscuits? Maple Rosemary Butter. Yes, that's right, we slather the rich and salty Mary B.'s Tea Biscuits (come frozen) with a homemade butter infused with the fragrant and complementary combination of rosemary and our Pappy Van Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged  Pure Maple Syrup. Feeling like taking things up a notch? Make the rosemary butter with our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Spicy Syrup. Our only other recommendation is to make sure you get one before you pass these, as they will go fast! Of course, biscuits can be homemade too, and we've got a traditional recipe for you here, but if you want to throw together a wildly delicious, bite-sized appetizer quickly, Mary B.s Tea Biscuits are the way to go, or order our favorites from Callie's Hot Little Biscuit in Charleston, SC. 

You know those recipes that can make your mouth water just by hearing the name? Well,  brace yourself for one of those with our Sweet Skillet Blistered Carrots with Cracked Pepper Ricotta. The natural sweetness of roasted carrots is amplified by a hot out of the oven drizzle of  our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Pure Maple Syrup. Served atop a creamy cloud of ricotta flecked with spicy cracked peppercorn and finished with a sprinkle of chopped pistachios for a salty crunch and a sweet sprig of mint for a fresh finish for a surprising and unique side dish full of texture and incredible flavor combinations. 

Kick things off with a Gazpacho Shooter! This cold and refreshing soup is a traditional Spanish dish made from fresh tomatoes, vegetables, and spices that is commonly served in the warm months. Just like the gazpacho you would find in the Andalucía region of Spain where it originated, ours has an extra dose of creaminess from blanched almonds and fresh spring herbs. Of course, don't forget the punch of spice and acidity from our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel Aged Pepper Sauce for the final flourish of flavor. This is one of those versatile recipes that can be served as an appetizer or as a meal, in a bowl, cup or for an extra dose of fun and an easily passed hors d' oeuvre - in a shot glass! We recommend our Signature Keys Shot Glasses!

This spring salad is no wallflower. Our Spring Queen Spring Salad with cornbread croutons is an absolute knockout. Tender, peppery watercress and micro greens should be the new salad standard in our book. A bright citrusy vinaigrette, sweet spring time standout asparagus tips, hidden bites of fresh mint throughout, crisp and crunchy radish, and nutty parmesan? It almost seems indulgent to tell you about the lightly sweetened cornbread croutons sprinkled on top, but of course we would never say that. 

Featuring a dressing bursting with fresh spring flavors of mint and basil, fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard with a dash of natural oaky sweetness of our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon-Barrel Aged Pure Maple Syrup. The last touch - cornbread croutons. Two little words, so much flavor! Made using our new Pappy Van Winkle Cornbread Mix that combines heirloom corn with our syrup for a buttery and crunchy, yet tender, cornbread with perfectly golden brown crust. 

Chef's Recommendation: Our new chef's knife, hand crafted by master artisan Quintin Middleton, of Middleton Made Knives, for perfect slicing, dicing and chopping and featuring a custom Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel Stave handle beautiful enough to leave on display!

I love how these recipes are traditional yet creative and playful, and best of all, they are really delicious!
Louise Van Winkle Breen, Co-Founder

Country Ham Biscuits with Maple Rosemary Butter 

Ingredients For This Recipe:

  • 24 Mary B’s Tea Biscuits (you buy them frozen)
  •  1 pound shaved country ham (if you’re in Louisville, we like Plehn’s!)
    Maple Rosemary Butter or  Spicy Maple Rosemary Butter (recipe below)

  • Ingredients For Maple Butter:

¼ pound salted butter (1 stick), room temperature
2 Tablespoons Pappy Van Winkle Barrel-Aged Spicy Maple Syrup OR Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel Aged Pure Maple Syrup

1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary, finely minced 

Pinch of Kosher salt
Garnish: minced Rosemary, Maldon sea salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Arrange frozen tea biscuits on baking sheets and cook for 10-12 minutes. 

3. In the meantime, whip room temperature butter with Pappy Barrel Aged Spicy Maple Syrup, finely minced Rosemary and a pinch of Kosher salt until combined. 

4. Remove biscuits from the oven and cut each biscuit in half. While still warm, slather the insides of each biscuit with maple butter. 

5. Add country ham to each biscuit and replace top. Smear biscuit tops with more Spicy Maple Rosemary Butter and sprinkle with minced Rosemary and Maldon salt. 

6. Place back in the oven for 10-15 more minutes until warm and brown on top. 

Serve warm or room temperature.

Sweet Skillet Blistered Carrots with Cracked Pepper Ricotta

Ingredients For This Recipe:

  • 1 pound topped carrots
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil 
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper 
  • 2 Tablespoons Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup 
  • ½ cup whole milk Ricotta, room temperature 
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns, cracked 
  • ¼ teaspoon Maldon sea salt 
  • 1½ Tablespoons shelled pistachios, chopped 
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped 
  • Garnish: Syrup drizzle 


1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. 

2. Toss carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper and place in cast iron skillet in oven to roast for 25 minutes. 

3. Remove from oven and toss with Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup. 

4. Turn oven on broil and put skillet back in for 2-4 minutes until blistered. 

5. Serve over a smear of Ricotta sprinkled with cracked black pepper and Maldon salt. 

6. Top with chopped pistachios, mint and a healthy drizzle of Pappy Barrel Aged Maple Syrup.


Spanish Gazpacho Shooters

Ingredients For This Recipe:

  • ½ cup blanched slivered almonds 
  • ½ cup Spanish extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon Kosher salt
    2 cloves garlic
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    1 bunch scallions, chopped
    1 pound vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
    1 English cucumber, chopped
    5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
    5 fresh mint leaves, chopped
    ¼ cup Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Pepper Sauce
    Garnish: slivered almonds, herbs, Barrel-Aged Pepper Sauce 

  • Directions:

1. Add almonds, olive oil, salt and garlic to a food processor

2. Pulse and puree until mixture is a smooth paste. 

3. Chop pepper, cucumber, scallions (white and green parts) and tomatoes in large chunks. 

4. Add each vegetable, one at a time, to the food processor and pulse and puree until incorporated smoothly, no chunks! 

5. Add mint, basil and Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel Aged Pepper Sauce, pulsing and pureeing until smoothly blended in. 

6. Chill for at least four hours in the refrigerator. 

7. When ready to serve, make it a party! Pour into our Signature Keys Shot Glasses and garnish with chopped slivered almonds, herbs a splash of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel Aged Pepper Sauce. Your guests will be sippin’ like Spaniards.

Spring Queen Salad

Ingredients For This Recipe:

4 ounces watercress 

2 ounces microgreens 

1 pound asparagus, blanched and sliced 

¼ cup Edamame beans, shelled 

4 radishes, sliced 

¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved 

¼ teaspoon Kosher salt 

¼ teaspoon black pepper 

½ cup fresh mint leaves, whole 

2 cups Cornbread Croutons (recipe below) 

Basil Mint Vinaigrette (recipe below)  

Cornbread Croutons:
2 cups Pappy & Company Heirloom Cornbread (recipe here), cubed
Chef's Note:Prepare Pappy & Company Heirloom Cornbreadper our recipe. Your croutons will turn out even better if you make the cornbread a day in advance and let it get a little dry. Once cornbread is cool, dice into cubes. Place them on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until crisp. Set aside to cool. 

Basil Mint Vinaigrette: 

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 

1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated 

½ teaspoon Kosher salt 

¼ teaspoon black pepper 

¼ cup lemon juice 

½ cup extra virgin olive oil 

2 teaspoons Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup 

1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped 

1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped 


  • Directions:

1. Add washed asparagus to a skillet and cover with water. 

2. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes until bright green and tender. 

3. Remove asparagus from the water and place into a bowl of ice water to shock the asparagus, keeping the bright green color. Drain, dry and slice into one-inch pieces. 

4. Add watercress, and microgreens to a large bowl and top with cut asparagus, edamame, radishes, Parmigiano Reggiano, salt, pepper and mint leaves. 

5. Prepare Basil Mint Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, lemon zest, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in olive oil until combined. Stir in Pappy Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup, mint and basil.

6. Toss with enough Basil Mint Vinaigrette to moisten and finish with Pappy & Company Heirloom Cornbread croutons.