Bourbon Shrimp in Cast Iron Skillet with Toast Pieces on the Side Next to Maker's Mark Bourbon Bottle
Bourbon Shrimp in Cast Iron Skillet with Toast Pieces on the Side Next to Maker's Mark Bourbon Bottle

Bourbon Shrimp

Serves: 2 entrees or 4 appetizers

Shrimp has long been a staple of Southern cuisine with classic dishes like Shrimp and Grits, Shrimp Creole and Seafood Gumbo. We've created a Kentucky spin on the diminutive crustacean by deglazing our pan with Maker's Mark® Bourbon. We then simmer the shrimp in the bourbon, along with cream and stock. Served on toasted French bread, this velvety shrimp dish works as an entrée or hearty appetizer. The smoky, mildly briny flavor is rounded out nicely by the notes of vanilla and caramel derived from the Maker's Mark® Bourbon.

Prep time
35 minutes
Cook time
25 minutes
Total time
1 hour

What to get

  • 1 lb. raw gulf or local-to-you shrimp
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 oz. (2 shots) Maker's Mark® Bourbon
  • 3 oz. heavy cream
  • 6 oz. shrimp stock (see step 1)
  • French or Italian loaf of bread, toasted
  • Steamed rice (optional)

What to do

  1. Peel shrimp and save the shells. Return shrimp to fridge and add the shells to a saucepan with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes. Strain stock from shells and reserve.
  2. In a heavy-bottom pan, combine bacon, red pepper, onion and garlic. Cook over low heat until bacon is cooked through and onion is softened.
  3. Carefully add Maker's Mark Bourbon to deglaze, and then add your heavy cream and shrimp stock. Bring to a boil and add shrimp. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2–3 minutes until shrimp is just cooked through. Remove from heat.
  4. To serve, divide toasted bread and rice. Then, top with bourbon shrimp. Add fresh parsley for garnish if desired.
Notes from Chef Newman
Fire bad
Leave the flambé to the professionals and play it safe. When adding alcohol to a pan, be sure to turn off or remove your pan from the heat.
Lighten up
For a lighter version of this dish, you can skip the cream and add more stock and a pat of butter. Serve over rice or pasta.
Stock up
Freeze shrimp, lobster and other crustacean shells to make stock at a later date. Seafood stock is awesome in fish stews and seafood pasta dishes.
Tips, tools & techniques
Once you've mastered this dish, try experimenting with the techniques used here on other recipes. Deglazing is a method you'll use over and over again. With recipes that call for a wine, brandy or sherry deglaze, Maker's Mark might make a nice enhancement. The caramel and vanilla flavors of your favorite bourbon add delicious nuance to savory and sweet dishes alike. Maker's Mark works particularly well with ingredients like brown sugar, pecans, vanilla, chocolate, mint, apples, pears and peaches ¬– and in meat dishes that use ham and pork. It's great in sauces, marinades, brines, glazes, cakes, pies, truffles and cookies