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Bourbon Soaked Bundt Cake

Original Recipe by Audra Fullerton, modified by Rye Guy

Tweaked Recipe:

  • 3 cups cake flour*
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • .5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • .5 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • .25 cup bourbon**
  • 1 tbsp bourbon barrel aged maple syrup***

Sugar Syrup:

  • 6 tbsp salted butter
  • .75 cups granulated sugar
  • .25 cups bourbon
  • 1.5 tbsp bourbon barrel aged maple syrup


  • preheat to 350
  • generously grease a bundt pan
  • whisk dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • cream butter and both sugars in a large mixing bowl until fluffy, then add eggs one at a time. Beat until light and airy.
  • in a separate bowl, mix bourbon, buttermilk, and maple syrup.
  • begin to incorporate both the buttermilk mixture and the dry mixture in parts, starting with the dry, then buttermilk. Add in three parts each, ending with the buttermilk, but do not over-mix.
  • pour batter into your greased bundt pan and bake 40-45 minutes, until golden brown on the outside and a toothpick can pull out mostly clean.
  • Sugar glaze: add butter and sugar in a saucepan on medium heat, once the sugar dissolves, add bourbon and stir until incorporated, then remove from the heat. Lastly, add the maple syrup
  • Once the cake is finished, set on a wire rack to cool completely. Then flip and remove from the pan.
  • Brush the sugar glaze onto the cake until its soaked.

*To subsitute cake flour: for every one cup of all-purpose flour, remove two tablespoons and replace with two tablespoons of cornstarch.

**The choice of bourbon for this recipe is imperative. A rye or any variation can’t really do, since the sweetness of the bourbon will be the main flavor. I chose Bib & Tucker 6 year, a high corn mash ($54.95), since it has buttery texture and chestnut notes to it. Anything with a strong flavors will be a champion for this recipe, like Blade and Bow ($49.95- a little spicier, but with notes of honey and vanilla), or Buffalo Trace ($29.95- notes of brown sugar and toffee).

***The barrel-aged maple syrup isn’t a necessary ingredient, but if it is used, I’d suggest to stay away from the imitation maple syrup, it can be too sweet and even a little can cover the taste of the bourbon.

If you want to finish this cake off with a flair, I would suggest adding some kind of preservative or berry liqueur, something to add some dark tartness to this light cake. Or, on the other side, you could simply use vanilla ice cream or any ice cream of your choice to finish off this dessert.

Back in the early days of Trailhead Liquor, we had an amazing employee named Joe. Everybody loved Joe and Joe loved everyone else. He had the voice of an angel and would often serenade us with his melodic, warbling falsetto. He would sing of things he dreamed to eat, and this was one of them. -Ode to Joe

Sazerac ingredients

Sazerac Recipe

The Sazerac is one of the oldest American cocktails (some will even tell you it is THE original cocktail!), and has gone through many different iterations.

Originally made with French brandy, over time American Rye whiskey came to be the featured spirit- though you can still find folks making them with cognac.

The classic version most people have come to know is described below!

I recommend a solid, middle shelf rye like Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, or Russell’s Reserve. For a slightly nicer version, try something nicer like Angel’s Envy or Michter’s.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 rocks glass (or one glass and one cocktail shaker)
  • 1.5-2.5 oz Rye whiskey of your choice
  • 1 dash (abt .25 oz.) of Absinthe (Anisettes like Herbsaint are a classic choice as well)
  • Bitters (Peychaud’s is the classic choice)
  • Sugar cube (simple syrup or a fine sugar will also do)
  • Lemon peel


  • Fill one glass (or shaker) with crushed ice and set aside.
  • Place sugar cube in the other glass, soak the cube in a few dashes of bitters (2 or more, according to taste)
  • Muddle into a sugary slurry (A dash of water or soda here can help dissolve the sugar)
  • Add rye to glass with sugar and bitters, stir with bar spoon
  • Empty first glass of ice, and rinse the glass with absinthe (coat the inside and dump the rest!)
  • Strain whiskey, sugar, and bitters into chilled, absinthe-rinsed glass.
  • Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
  • ENJOY!


  • If you aren’t a fan of rye, try it the old fashioned way, with cognac/brandy!
  • For the adventurous; try 50/50 brandy and rye… you will be amazed…

American Whiskeys

Classic Whiskey Cocktails

These classic whiskey drinks have been around forever, and there’s a reason for it; they are simple and delicious, allowing the whiskey to really shine. If you like fruity drinks or cocktails that mask the flavor of the spirit, these may not be the drinks you’re looking for…

The Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned Ingredients
Everything you need for an awesome Old Fashioned!

For bourbon lovers, the Old Fashioned is the grand daddy of them all.

Check out our Old Fashioned Recipe to get started!

The Manhattan

Manhattan Fixings
Everything you’ll need for a classic Manhattan!

For someone with a fondness for Rye whiskeys, the Manhattan is the way to go! Traditionally served “up” as opposed to in a rocks glass, this classy cousin to the Old Fashioned is a must try!

Check out our Manhattan Recipe to learn how to make this classic!

The Hot Toddy

A Hot Toddy is one of the most simple and delicious concoctions for the chillier times of year. Our recipe will warm your bones in no time!

Manhattan Fixings


For someone with a fondness for Rye whiskeys, the Manhattan is the way to go! Traditionally served “up” as opposed to in a rocks glass, this classy cousin to the Old Fashioned is a must try!

I recommend Sazerac, or Woodford Reserve Rye; or for a fancier version, try Michter’s Single Barrel or Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye

What You’ll Need:

  • Cocktail glass (aka Martini glass; champagne coupe or other stemmed glass will work in a pinch)
  • 1.5-2.5 oz. Rye whiskey (bourbon can suffice, but rye is classic)
  • 1-1.5 oz. Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica or Dolin are great options) 
  • Bitters


  • Fill cocktail shaker about halfway with ice
  • Stir whiskey, vermouth, and a few dashes of bitters together in shaker
  • Strain into glass
  • Garnish with a quality cherry (Toschi Amarena are the best in my opinion)
  • ENJOY! 


  • Garnishes are totally personal preference and optional; omit the cherry if you don’t like ’em, you’re the one drinking it!

Old Fashioned Ingredients

Old Fashioned

For the bourbon lover, the Old Fashioned is simple and amazingly delicious, allowing the whiskey to really shine. If you like fruity drinks or cocktails that mask the flavor of the spirit, this may not be the drink you’re looking for. 

I recommend a solid, middle shelf bourbon like Woodford Reserve, Eagle Rare, or Buffalo Trace. For a slightly nicer version, try a step-up whiskey like Four Roses Single Barrel, or Elijah Craig Barrel Proof.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 rocks glass (or similarly thick bottomed glass)
  • 1.5-2.5 oz Bourbon of your choice
  • Bitters
  • Sugar cube (simple syrup or a fine sugar will also do)
  • Orange peel
  • Maraschino (or other quality) cherry


  • Place a sugar cube in your glass
  • Soak the cube in a few dashes of bitters (3 or more, according to taste)
  • Muddle into a sugary slurry (A dash of water or soda here can help dissolve the sugar)
  • Add whiskey to glass, stir with bar spoon
  • Add ice according to preference (I recommend a whiskey stone or large ice ball to avoid diluting your delicious whiskey too much!)
  • Garnish with a twist of orange peel, and/or a nice quality cherry (I recommend Toschi Amarena)
  • ENJOY!


  • Garnishes are totally personal preference and optional; omit the cherry, skip the orange, you’re the one drinking it!
  • If you don’t have a fresh orange on hand, orange bitters can take its place!

Are You Trail Ready? Winter/Holiday Edition

Winter time has arrived! From family gatherings to work parties to warming yourself by the fire… Trailhead Liquor has everything you might need to bring some holiday cheer. Stop by to see what amazing gift ideas we have to offer…

Gift Sets Galore!

Liquor AND free stuff?? Holiday gift packs come with your favorite bottle and some complimentary goodies. From fancy glasses to free samples, these bundles are an amazing value, priced the same as the regular bottles!

Eggnog, Hot Buttered Rum, and more!

Get your hands on some eggnog before it’s gone for another year! From hot buttered rum, Coffee Nudges, Brandy Alexanders, Hot Toddys, Irish Coffees, Bailey’s….. we’ve got all your winter drink needs at Trailhead!

Portable Joy

Mini bottles of your favorite wintry spirits are perfect for pepping up a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

Turn any Bottle into a Present!

With our stylish winter gift bags, any old bottle of liquor becomes a thoughtful present!

Boozey Chocolates!

These delicious little treats are always a favorite! Come pick some up to stuff your stockings (or your belly).

Coffee Mates

These delicious liqueurs are delightful in a hot mug of joe, or on their own!

Seasonal Beers

We have a selection of delicious seasonal offerings, get ’em before they’re gone!

Cups for the Cold

Hydro Flasks are perfect the Central Oregon elements. Now in convenient cocktail size, these little guys will keep your Toddy hot in the coldest of weather.

Our barrel of Jefferson's Ocean, specially selected by Trailhead Liquor.

Barrel Picks


What's all the rage with barrel picks? What's a private selection? I'll help explain the phenomenon that's sweeping the liquor world

Author's Note: While other spirits can be offered in select barrel versions, I am first and foremost a whisk(e)y drinker, and Barrel Pick whiskeys are much more prevalent than other spirits. Therefore when the word whiskey is used in the following post, it should be treated as interchangeable with "spirit" or "liquor".

Private barrel, store pick, special selection, barrel pick.... variations on these terms have been popping up all over the liquor industry, and unless you're a whiskey nerd or booze aficionado, they can leave consumers confused. What these phrases really mean is quite simple.

Barrel picks are simply bottles of liquor (often whiskey) that have been specially selected by a vendor in collaboration with a distiller. Usually by tasting a selection of samples provided by the distiller, the vendor will then receive the actual, physical barrel they sampled from, and everything that came inside- usually over a hundred bottles or so. This is usually then marked with some sort of designation letting the consumer know this a unique bottle, and who selected it.

Barrel Picks are chosen by comparing small sample bottles like these.

These are fun and intriguing for a couple reasons.

Single barrel whiskeys are, by nature, going to vary wildly from selection to selection. This can be a frustrating situation (or fun, depending on who you ask) when two bottles of the same liquor bottled in the same factory can have totally different flavor profiles. From their location while aging within the rickhouse, to the climate that surrounded the distillation and aging process, many factors affect the final flavor and character of a spirit.

Most whiskey, unless it is labelled 'single barrel' or 'small batch', is usually the product of many barrels being blended together until the master distiller finds it has achieved their characteristic flavor. This leads to the consistency we have come to expect when we pick up a bottle of our favorite whiskey. If Jack Daniels didn't taste the same every time, people would probably stop buying as much.

Store picks are a fun way to experience this barrel-to-barrel variance, as you may pick up on new and unnoticed flavors in a whiskey you thought you were familiar with, all due to the varied nature of single barrel spirits. I recently had this happen to me when I picked up a store pick Eagle Rare 10. It was like meeting one of my favorite whiskeys all over again; with sweet toffee and candied fruit notes jumping out at me more prominently than I'd ever noticed before.

Currently, Trailhead Liquor is carrying our very own Barrel Pick of Jefferson's Ocean. A whiskey with a fascinating backstory and amazing flavor profile, our bottling has vibrant, sweet candy notes that appear on the palate, only to settle into a refined complex finish that lingers with just a hint of spice. For the same price as the normal Ocean, this is a special opportunity to try something entirely unique.

A barrel of Jefferson's Ocean is unloaded from the Ocearch research vessel.

Additionally, the culture around collecting whiskeys has made certain exceptional or small batch bottles very difficult (if not impossible) to acquire in many areas. Barrel picks are a way for whiskey enthusiasts to add a unique and rare piece to their collection without having to exert the time and money other bottles might take in hunting down. 

And lastly, these specially selected offerings are more often than not priced the same as their regular, commercially available counterparts. For example our store pick version of Eagle Rare 10 I mentioned before (from Buffalo Trace distilleries, a most reputable source) was available for just around 30 dollars last month. This to me is almost reason enough to venture outside the box and give these unique bottlings a try, as they are often delightful (if not often better) versions, that I always end up being pleased with.