Sorghum : Official Travel Source

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Kentucky's "Syrup"

Harvest Restaurant

Sorghum is grown all over the world but has a special place in Kentucky where it is used as a substitute for honey or molasses on everything from cornbread and biscuits to pies and cocktails.

Brought to the states by Africans, sorghum cane is harvested in the fall and celebrated with an entire festival in a handful of Kentucky towns.

Cane sorghum is the juice of a grass plant that is boiled down and clarified to make a syrup. It is a natural sweetener that is darker than honey and lighter than molasses. Sorghum has been harvested in Kentucky for generations as a hardy crop, thriving in even drought conditions. Kentucky and Tennessee lead the U.S. in sorghum production.

In Louisville, you’ll see sorghum used as an ingredient in everything from cocktails and salad dressings to butters and meat glazes. Local purveyors offer jars of sorghum at gift shops, bakeries and farmers markets throughout the city.

Where to purchase Sorghum in Louisville:

Paul’s Fruit Market

Bourbon Barrel Foods

Taste of Kentucky

Kentucky Sorghum Wings

  • 2 lbs. chicken wings
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular)
  • 1/2 tsp bourbon smoked sea salt ( or regular )
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Mix all and bake on a foil-lined baking sheet for 20 - 25 minutes at 425 degrees until golden brown.

  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 1/4 c Kentucky sorghum
  • 2 1/2 T Frank's hot sauce
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar ( or any )
  • 1 tsp garlic powder ( or 1 T fresh minced )

Simmer all for 5 minutes until reduced by half.

Toss over baked chicken and serve with Tailgate Sauce

Tailgate sauce

  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 1/4 c mayo
  • 4 oz. chopped pimentos, drained well
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1 T lemon juice

Blend all in blender or food processor.

Try pairing them with a Bitter Southerner

  • 2 ounces of Bourbon
  • ½ ounce Fernet Branca
  • 2 dashes of Fee’s Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters
  • ¾ ounce sorghum mix (simple syrup made of half water and half sorghum)

In a mixing glass combine the ingredients.

Add ice and stir until chilled.

Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.

Garnish with an orange peel.