The Jack Daniel’s secret to seasonal dining

Dress it up or dress it down, your bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey has plenty of surprises for every Cayman Islands occasion. Toasting with a shot or pairing a tasty glass of JD on the rocks with Christmas dinner is a fool proof way to complement or contrast with the flavours you are serving. Zesty foods need complex drink companions. Jack Daniel’s Old No.7, Jack Daniel’s Single Select and Gentleman Jack each give you a whiskey with layers of aromatics and tastes that combine to elevate your festive foods. Try with everything from light and lean chicken and seafood starters to heavier charcuterie and cheeseboard selections. Pairing whiskey with deserts and chocolates is simplest of all. A shot of Jack Daniels has many layers such as almond, vanilla, honey or toffee that work beautifully with rich and creamy or fruity deserts; takes cakes to another level and is a natural companion for chocolate.

But that’s just for starters. Here at Jacques Scott we’ve learned from clever cooks that Jack Daniels whiskey is sure-fire way to accentuate those warm, sweet-spicy Christmas aromatics that make seasonal dining so special. Take your trusty bottle of Jack Daniels into the kitchen for easy and flavourful ways to give your dishes deeper taste sensations.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve chosen some easy to follow suggestions that can take you from cocktails through to desert to get you started.

  1. Start with the Jack ‘n’ Jingle cocktail.
  2. Make a showstopping Jack Daniels glazed turkey with Jack Daniels deglazed gravy.
  3. Add Jack Daniel’s Brussels Sprouts.
  4. Serve Jack Daniel’s Chocolate Chip-Praline Cake for dessert.

Jack’n’Jingle

This year, the tribe in Tennessee have created a fabulous cocktail for the season that you’ll be drinking well into the New Year. Grab a tumbler and add:

  • 1 oz Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
  • 4 oz Sprite Winter Spiced Cranberry (try adding a dash of cinnamon and extra cranberry to Sprite if you can’t find)
  • ½ oz Aperol
  • Splash of cranberry
  • Add Cranberries & Lemon Twist for garnish

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee glazed turkey with Jack Daniel’s deglazed gravy

Will be tackling the turkey this season?  We’ve found this easy to follow Turkey and gravy prep that works with Jack Daniels or Jack Daniels Honey. Get started well before Christmas with some make-ahead elements:

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey glaze

  • 100ml Jack Daniel’s or Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey cooked down to 50ml
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 20ml soy sauce
  • 40ml runny honey
  • 10-15ml hot sauce (Tabasco or Louisiana)
  • 1 tbsp dark marmalade
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar

Jack Daniel’s gravy

  • 120ml Jack Daniel’s or Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
  • 57g (4 tbsp) turkey drippings fat or butter
  • 50g (4 tbsp) flour
  • 600ml of stock for gravy

Turkey Ingredients:

  • 5-6 kilo fresh turkey, giblets and neck removed to make a stock (see next recipe)
  • 2 sprigs each of fresh thyme, rosemary and sage
  • Head of garlic, cut in half – if not using the stuffing
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper for skin and cavity (about 2 tbsp sea salt and 1 tbsp pepper)

Instructions for Turkey giblet stock for the gravy

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yields: 500ml roughly

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Giblets and neck patted dry, discard liver
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery rib, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic clove smashed
  • 1 ltr unsalted chicken stock

Method:

  1. Place oil in a large and heavy gauge sauce pan, sauté the neck, giblets and vegetables and cook 5 minutes.
  2. Add stock and simmer for one hour, skimming off fat as it simmers.
  3. Strain the stock and hold in sauce pan until needed for gravy. Should have 500ml, if not add some water.

Christmas Day Cooking:

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 3 – 3 ½ hrs approximately, stuffed

Serves: 8

  1. Preheat oven to 180C, 160 fan-assisted, with the rack on lowest position.
  2. Bring turkey out of the fridge, one hour before roasting, to reach room temperature. Pat dry and stuff the cavity with garlic and herbs if not using stuffing. Stuff it loosely in the cavity as well as neck cavity and fold skin down under bird. Bake any remaining stuffing in buttered dish.
  3. Place the turkey on the rack in a large roasting tin. Oil and season the turkey generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Tie the legs together and tuck the wing tips under the body.
  5. Add 500ml water to bottom of pan, if it dries out in beginning, you may need to add more water. Tent the turkey loosely with foil if it browns too quickly.
  6. Baste with pan liquid every 30 minutes. You may need to top up with water. Towards the last 30 minutes of roasting brush the turkey every 10 minutes with glaze.
  7. Remove turkey and tip the juices from cavity in pan. Pour the juices into a fat separator. Set turkey aside on a board to rest for 30 minutes loosely tented by foil.
  8. Place the turkey roaster over two burners and add 150ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, scraping to get all the good brown bits, cook for about 1 minute and tip into your gravy fat separator along with the other pan liquid. You should have 100ml golden liquid. Strain to remove any bits. Reserve the fat from the stock. Add the pan juices to your 500ml giblet stock.
  9. Add the fat (should have if not use butter) and flour in roasting tin and whisk cooking about 1 minute and gradually add your stock to pan, cook for about 5 minutes then adjust seasoning.
  10. Yield is 1 pint of gravy roughly.
  11. Remove stuffing and place turkey on platter, garnish as you like.

  
Jack Daniels Brussels Sprouts

A brilliant Brussels Sprouts recipe, taken and tweaked from Chef Esin deCarion, in Danville, San Francisco.
Ingredients

  • 1 pound of brussels sprouts, cut in half and roasted for 10 minutes in a 350° oven
  • ¼ pound of diced butternut squash, roasted in the oven at 350° for 15 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon of finely diced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of diced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 ounces of Jack Daniel’s whiskey
  • Generous tablespoon honey, combined in hot water, cooled.

In a sauté pan, add the butter, shallots and garlic, and wait about one minute until they start browning. Add the brussels sprouts and butternut squash, about three minutes until they get hot, add the Jack Daniel’s and honey syrup and burn off the alcohol (takes about two minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Jack Daniel’s Chocolate Chip-Praline Cake Recipe

Here in the Cayman Islands we often find Christmas pud too a little too heavy after lunch. Keep desert toothsome and light with an easy to make and Jack Daniels Cake, taken from 

Prep Time: 30 minutes plus cooling
Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Serving Size: 16

Ingredients for the cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

For the buttered whiskey glaze

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°.
  2. Grease a 10-inch tube pan. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. 
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar, eggs, flour mixture, and whiskey, stirring well after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Sprinkle evenly with the pecans and chocolate chips. Bake about 1 hour, until the center of the cake is firm and the edges begin to pull away from the side of the pan.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Drizzle with the glaze.

For the glaze: 

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. While still on the burner, stir in the sugar, whiskey, and vanilla. 
  2. Whisk until well blended and heated through.