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Jack Daniel’s Honey Panna Cotta

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Jack Daniel's Honey Panna Cotta
Whether you drink it regularly or not, just about everyone recognizes the name Jack Daniel’s, which is one the best selling whiskies in the world. It can be drunk straight, mixed into a cocktail or – it might surprise you to know – incorporated into a dessert. This Jack Daniel’s Honey Panna Cotta is a light and easy dessert that get its unique – and delicious – flavor from a splash of Jack.

A few years ago, I took a trip to see the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchberg Tennessee after a visit to Nashville. The distillery is steeped in history and the tour is a fun experience, even if you’re not a big whiskey drinker, so I recommend it to everyone who might be visiting the area.

Original Jack Daniel’s is very low in rye, which means that it has a smooth, rather than spicy, flavor profile that makes it very easy to drink. When it is incorporated into a recipe like this one, some of the more subtle flavors in the whiskey will come through. What flavors, you might ask? Bananas, maple-caramel, yeast bread and nutty, toasted wood are just some of the flavors you’ll find in Jack – and once you see the sweeter ingredients on that list, it’s not hard to see how it could easily be incorporated into a dessert.

These panna cottas are easy to make. The custards are set with gelatin, not with eggs, so they don’t need to be baked in the oven or even cooked on the stovetop. They are sweetened with both sugar and honey, as well as spiked with a generous splash of Jack Daniels, but they are neither overly sweet or overly boozy. They’re creamy and balanced, so you can taste both the sweet honey and surprisingly banana-y flavor of Jack Daniels in every single bite. They’re delicious – and the unique flavor combination will have you coming back for taste after taste!

The panna cottas need to chill before they are served, but set up fairly quickly. They are best within a day or two of making them. This recipe will yield 4 or 6 servings, depending on how big the custard cups you have for serving them are. Feel free to double it if you have to serve a crowd. Drizzle the custards with a little honey before serving.

Jack Daniel’s Honey Panna Cottas
3 tbsp Jack Daniels
2 1/2 tsp gelatin (1 envelope)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp honey
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine Jack Daniels and gelatin. Allow gelatin to soften for 5 minutes. Add sugar and honey to the bowl with the gelatin.
In a microwave-safe measuring cup, heat heavy cream until it comes to a simmer in the microwave. Pour hot cream over the gelatin mixture and stir until both gelatin and sugar have dissolved. Pour in whole milk and vanilla extract.
Strain mixture into a measuring cup with a spout. Pour into four or six small (2-4 oz) custard cups. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
To serve, drizzle with a little honey.

Serves 4-6

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