S5, E6: Bourbon Country | A Chef's Life | PBS Food

Season 5, Episode 6: Bourbon Country



Premieres November 11 on PBS. Check your local listings.

What begins as a dinner at Maker’s Mark in Vivian’s honor ends as an American history lesson. A tour of Maker’s Mark and Jefferson’s distilleries illuminates the differences between whiskey, scotch, and bourbon for Vivian who also learns how Frank and Jesse James fit into Kentucky’s boozy biography.


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Featured Ingredient: Bourbon



Featured Recipe

Peanut, Pepsi and Bourbon Float

Vivian declares that this foaming spectacle of sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy, and boozy is the gold standard of ice cream floats. Now you know why she couldn’t stop drinking it on the Rachael Ray Show. From “Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South,” by Vivian Howard (Little Brown, 2016).



  • 2 cups Peanut Ice Cream (recipe below)
  • 16 ounces Pepsi
  • 4 ounces bourbon (optional)
  • Peanut Ice Cream (makes 1 quart)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups salt-roasted peanuts, divided
  • 8 egg yolks
  • A tiny pinch salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Make ice cream: In a 1-quart container with a lid, stir together the milk, heavy cream, and 1 ½ cups peanuts. Tuck this in the refrigerator overnight. Roughly chop the remaining peanuts and set aside.
  2. The next day, whisk together the egg yolks, salt, sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the heavy cream and peanut mixture to just under a boil. Slowly whisk half of this mixture into the yolks, taking care not to scramble them. Transfer the tempered yolks to the saucepan, and, stirring the whole time, cook until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Strain it all through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the tired peanuts. Chill the ice cream base thoroughly—ideally overnight. Freeze the ice cream in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last few minutes of freezing, pour in the chopped peanuts. Let this ice cream spend at least 3 hours in your freezer before serving.
  4. To serve, chill 4 glasses. Drop a nice scoop of Peanut Ice Cream in the bottom of the glass, top with roughly ½ cup Pepsi, and finish with bourbon to your liking.

Yield: 4 servings


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