Today’s featured cocktail comes from the very talented Ms. Kimberly Patton-Bragg who heads the bar program at Tivoli and Lee. I went in the other night asking her for a new spin on the Old Fashioned and, with a gleam in her eye, she said “I know exactly what you need: Corn Money.” Mountain folks in Tennessee and Kentucky don’t put aside “corn money” to buy vegetables. No, they save up for corn in its most perfect form: whiskey. (I made a note to start my own “corn money” stash to fund this Old Fashioned project.)

Tivoli and Lee prides itself on the breadth and depth of its whiskey selection, so I wondered what direction she would take with the spirit. Kimberly reached up high, pulled down a bottle of Mellow Corn, and started mixing. In keeping with the Appalachian theme, she used sorghum as the sweetener instead of sugar. She also noted that since this liquor is 90% corn-based, its sweeter than most whiskeys, so this twist on the Old Fashioned doesn’t need much sugar. A few dashes of Bitterman’s Xoctl Mole Bitters and a flamed swath of orange peel finished the drink.


Mellow corn whiskey in, delicious Old Fashioned out.

It was delicious. The sorghum gave the drink a mildly grassy taste, and the oils from the orange balanced out the straight corn taste of the whiskey. Kimberly said the drink shares a name with a song by one of her favorite bands: The Defibulators. When I got home that night, I took a listen. Fun stuff. Kimberly was nice enough to provide the recipe for Corn Money and next time I get a hankering for some mountain music, I’ll mix up this drink to sip on as the Defibulator fiddle player saws away, and the banjo players wails in despair, “Where’s my Corn Money?”


Corn Money

  • 2.5 ounces Mellow Corn
  • .25 Sorghum Syrup 1:1 Sorghum/Water
  • 2 orange swatches
  • 4 drops Bitterman’s Xoctl Mole Bitters

Muddle orange peels in syrup. Add rest of ingredients, ice and stir. Serve on the rocks with an orange peel.