Cooking with Bourbon: Angel’s Share Biscuits


I love, love, love breakfast food, southern cooking and of course booze. So you can image how excited I was to learn about Angel’s Share Biscuits. It doesn’t get more southern than biscuits, which are a breakfast food and these feature bourbon – a tasty trifecta. Yay!

The “Angel’s Share” is the portion of a wine or spirit that evaporates during the distilling process. A perfect name for a biscuit recipe that calls for bourbon; the name “Devil’s Share Biscuits” would probably work too, as the Devil’s Share is the volume lost in the distilling process because it was absorbed into the liquid’s oak barrel. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have angels in my oven than devils, so we’ll stick with the latter.

For the most part I’m not a fan of bourbon, regardless of the mixer. So I was unsure of whether I would like these breakfast breads. I feared they would pop out of the oven tasting like Jack and coke — yuck.

So, if you’re a non-whisky drinker thinking about passing on this recipe, I completely understand. But give it a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed – especially if you like biscuits.

Not only did I really like how these turned out, next time I think I’ll use a little less half-and-half and a little more bourbon. The liquor gives the biscuits a hint of sweetness, as opposed to an over-powering “there’s booze in this” taste. I think I could handle a little more of that sweet, oaky taste.

Cooking with Bourbon at Thru The Cooking Glass. Angel's Share Biscuit recipe

Angel’s Share Biscuits: Jim vs. Jack. The winner …

Since the recipe calls for bourbon, the biggest decision of the baking session was Jack or Jim. When my husband and I got married almost a year ago, we stocked the bar. So, thanks to leftovers from The Big Day we had both Jack Daniels and Jim Beam on hand.  I chose Jack – because, while the Jim Beam bottle was nearly full, there wasn’t much left of the Jack. I figured why not finish it off.

As for this batch. I served them with honey, which was wonderful but the honey was all I really tasted. So if you’re looking to appreciate the light flavor the bourbon adds, I recommend just a little butter as opposed to the honey.

Cooking with Bourbon at Thru The Cooking Glass. Angel's Share Biscuit recipe

As I mentioned before, whisky isn’t my drink of choice, so I haven’t tried the Jim Beam’s Maple version, but I bet it would be a wonderful substitute in the recipe. I’m thinking Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Jim Beam’s Red Stag Honey Tea might be worthwhile variations to try as well. If you experiment with any of these flavors, let me know which you used and how it turned out.

In the process of creating this post, I discovered that September National Bourbon Heritage month. Yes, while the country was on the verge of a financial meltdown in 2007 our elected officials in the Senate were able to agree that, since the spirit is distinctive to the United States, it should be elevated with a special designation (S.Res. 294). It was presented by Kentucky Senator Jim Burning and agreed upon unanimously. All members of a congressional house agreeing upon and accomplishing something – well that’s something worth toasting in and of itself. But I digress – this isn’t a political blog. So, if in addition to making Angel’s Share Biscuits, you’d like to celebrate with a new cocktail, check out these five recipes at Imbibe Magazine.

One of my favorite publications, Garden & Gun is up for the celebration as well. Check out the magazine’s blog and a get a boozipie for Bourbon Baked Ham.

Happy cooking and cheers!

What You’ll Need:

Angel's Share Biscuit Ingredients. Cooking with Bourbon at Thru the Cooking Glass.

1/2 Cup warm water

3 Tbsp. Honey

1 Tbsp. yeast

5 Cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 Cup butter

1/2 Cup shortening

1 1/2 Cups buttermilk

1/4 Cup bourbon (Jack Daniels was used for this post)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mix the warm water and honey together and dissolve the yeast in the water-honey mixture.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and shorting and mix with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles cornmeal.Cooking with Bourbon at Thru The Cooking Glass. Angel's Share Biscuit recipe.
  3. Mix the buttermilk and bourbon with the yeast mixture; add these ingredients to the flour mixture. Combine lightly until ingredients are mixed together. I switched the blending attachment here from the whisk to the hook as the mixture becomes doughy and difficult for the whisk to manage.Cooking with Bourbon at Thru The Cooking Glass. Angel's Share Biscuit recipe

    Cooking with Bourbon at Thru The Cooking Glass. Angel's Share Biscuit recipe.

    Shortly after pouring in the liquid I switched to the paddle/dough attachment.

  4. Grease the baking sheet and drop mounds of dough onto it. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

** I like biscuits that are golden-brown on the top. After cooking for 10 minutes, the biscuits didn’t have the desired coloring. I took half the batch out of the oven and left the others in. It took them about 25 minutes to develop a very light golden color. I was worried the second batch would be hard, but the consistency of both batches was pretty much the same.