How do the experts in our city’s thriving bourbon industry celebrate the season? Kristie Hicks Crenshaw caught up with Tim Laird, Chief Entertainment Officer at Brown-Forman, for some relaxed mixing and mingling advice.

What type of holiday entertaining you do?

We love casual entertaining with appetizers and cocktails and brunch is a favorite on the weekends. We set up self-serve stations which makes it easier on you as the host. The highlight at brunch is a mimosa station where guests can build and garnish their own sparkling creations. We use Korbel Brut California Champagne as it is on the drier side and is a great base for any juice combination. We also set out club soda for alcohol-free sparkling options.

Can you share some favorite traditions?

When serving champagne, we like to set out whipped cream with strawberries. Guests love dipping the strawberries in the whipped cream and then sipping the Korbel, it’s a perfect combination.

For more elaborate gatherings, we serve caviar and toast points with champagne. You can now get sustainable Spoonfish Caviar that is much less expensive than the traditional Sturgeon Caviar but with the same flavor profile and quality. In Louisville you can buy this at Shuckman’s Fish Company or order it online.

Any non-traditional traditions?

We always serve champagne in a white wine glass instead of a flute. The flute is too narrow to drink from, breaks easily when being washed (ask any bartender), does not hold much when making a mimosa and overall is a bad glass. On the other hand, the white wine glass is a perfect multi-tasker. With its wider opening it is easier to pour into, easier to drink from, offers plenty of room for added juices and is easy to wash. We are on a mission to “Ban the flute!”

Most people only serve champagne when celebrating. We “toast life” every day with champagne because it truly pairs well with every type of cuisine from Indian to Italian and Argentinian to American. Serve it as you would a still wine. 

Posted on 2018-12-07 by Kristie Hicks Crenshaw