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Bourbon is lifestyle and business

Theresa Stanley owns Bourbon Belle Co. and runs the Bourbon Belle Society.

For Kentuckians, every month might as well be a bourbon celebration, but in September the commonwealth specifically celebrates Bourbon Heritage Month and the impact of the multibillion industry. But for people like Bourbon Belle Society founder Theresa Stanley, it’s all about bringing bourbon home. It’s also about business. 

A master at cooking with bourbon and mixing up cocktails, Stanley could talk about bourbon flavors all day, but what she loves most is the heritage of the spirit and how it’s carrying Kentucky’s future. She calls it her “kindred spirit” and said she loves its history, how it can help farmers thrive in the future, and how it has become an intricate part of her career.

Ultimately, it’s a big part of the state’s heritage, and it’s one that she wants to encourage others – especially women – to enjoy. She shares a treasure trove of mouth-watering bourbon-based food and drink recipes on her site as a way to get people excited to learn more. She also partners with Lexington’s social-cooking business Wild Thyme proprietor Allison Davis to host cooking with bourbon classes.

The Bourbon Belle Society provides members with opportunities to learn more about bourbon, network, participate in philanthropic activities and enjoy the bourbon lifestyle.

It is under the umbrella of her Bourbon Belle Co., which includes many food and drink-related public relations and marketing projects. Bourbon goes amazingly well with food, and Stanley uses her knowledge and expertise in that arena to help other businesses.

This fall she encourages men and women alike to the let the spirit warm the upcoming fall season.

“Bourbon is a four seasons kind of spirit,” Stanley said. “However, the flavors of fall pair especially well with bourbon. Harvest brings an abundance of apples and cider. Visit a local orchard to get freshly prepared cider and simmer it with complimentary tasting notes in bourbon, like cinnamon, cloves and citrus peels. It is the perfect cool-weather, tailgating beverage.”

Stanley’s Bourbon Mulled Cider recipe, and other information, can be found on bourbonbellesociety.com.

—Abby Laub