Popular spirits outlet opens at SDF

Fried Green Tomato Benedict is a popular breakfast offering

The characteristics of a legendary American drink are teamed with a menu and highlighted at Book & Bourbon - Southern Kitchen in Louisville International Airport.

“HMSHost has created an environment that blends these worlds and celebrates life’s great journeys. Book & Bourbon is a toast to Kentucky’s deep and rich bourbon heritage, making the airport not just a gateway to this historic region, but also a highly-visible platform for showcasing the state’s renowned bourbon distilling heritage and products for visitors from all over the world,” said a release from HMSHost.

Book & Bourbon offers a list of more than 80 bourbons including several rare labels. Among the offering are The mint julep at Book & Bourbon is made with Maker's Mark and mint syrupvarious ages of Pappy Van Winkle, Angel’s Envy Cask Strength, George T. Stagg, Jefferson’s Presidential Select, and other unique pours. The beverage menu is made up of a craft cocktail list paying homage to the classics. The Manhattan is made with Woodford Reserve rye, Carpano Antica Formula, Angostura bitters, and housemade brandied cherries. The Mint Julep is mixed using a simple but effectively refreshing mix of Maker’s Mark and mint syrup. Customers after sweetness will find the Peaches & Beam, made with Jim Beam, peaches, basil, and apple. A selection of craft beer is also available and includes local Kentucky brews such as Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.’s Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.

“Book & Bourbon is one of the many new additions to Louisville International as the terminal undergoes more than $17 million in improvements, which includes the airport’s concessions,” said C.T. “Skip” Miller, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. “These improvements aim to give travelers and other airport visitors an authentic feel of our community and state. We want them to know they’re in Louisville, and this restaurant really does that by celebrating the area’s bourbon heritage and offering of local brands.”

Woodford Reserve rye is used in Book & Bourbon's ManhattanBook & Bourbon is also focused on educating visitors about bourbon, spirits, and the distilling culture. Book & Bourbon’s interior design puts a bourbon tasting spin on a library atmosphere with rich leather seating and 1,700 vintage bound books displayed throughout the restaurant. The library theme goes a step further, with guests offered vintage style “library cards” that feature cocktail recipes to replicate at home.

Guests can learn from highly trained staff about different bourbons – tasting notes, the distilling process, history, and what makes each special, unique, or rare. Staff undergoes rigorous training from HMSHost’s expert adult beverage team and from local bourbon partners. Diners and drinkers can even scan through the menu on iPads, select the bourbons they like, and then email themselves the bourbons they tried or have a specific interest in. In addition to using the iPads, guests can also peruse books about bourbon and Kentucky history found on the coffee tables in the communal areas.

The food offering in Book & Bourbon was developed by HMSHost’s culinary team to pair well with the plethora of available beverages. Book & Bourbon’s tagline is Southern Kitchen and the menu offers upscale comfort dishes that are based on regional influences and big flavor. For breakfast, travelers can enjoy a fried green tomato benedict made with two poached hen eggs, béarnaise, country ham, crispy green tomatoes, and griddle hash. After the morning rush, servers might suggest appetizers like the short rib hush puppies or the sweet potato bravas made with caramelized local honey, jalapenos, and whipped avocado. The most popular sandwich has already proven to be the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich. It is made with aged white cheddar, chipotle ranch, lettuce, tomato, onion on a brioche bun and served with house made kettle chips and pickles. Big appetites can opt for entrées like the House Steak with fork smash potatoes or a Smoked Half Chicken. For dessert, there is a slice of warm pecan pie. The menu also has a cognac and liqueurs section.

There is also a small retail area for travelers to pick up items for great favors or gifts such as: bar equipment, a wide variety of shrubs and bitters, or logoed apparel. Book & Bourbon can be found in the airport’s Main Terminal. All HMSHost restaurants at Louisville International can be seen on the company’s location finder