Baptist Spike

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
Bottles of the Baptist Spike infused spirits
Photo by Andrew Cebulka

Baptist Spike, a three-liquor infusion so named for its rollicking success with the supposed teetotaler set in a Louisville chef’s hometown. John Castro heads the kitchen of Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar, the open-air restaurant inside Bardstown Bourbon Company an hour outside of the city.

He grew up across the Ohio River from Louisville in Scottsburg, Indiana. Every year in anticipation of the holidays, his mother, Mary, would put up a batch of Baptist Spike: a potent combo of bourbon, brandy, and rum steeped with warming spices. 

Mary would start her holiday batch of Baptist Spike as early as June or July. Castro suggests starting no later than early November, and to expedite the steeping, stow it in a warm part of your house. When it comes to the types of liquor, use whatever brands you prefer, he says. “But as my mother would tell you, ‘don’t use anything really good.’”

recipe heading-plus-icon


Makes 3 pints

  • 1 pint bourbon
  • 1 pint brandy
  • 1 pint dark rum
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1 nutmeg seed, crushed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

In a large glass container, combine all ingredients. Cover and place away from direct sunlight. Let steep at least 2 months. Use in drinks like hot toddies, spiked ciders, and eggnog.

From Baptist Spike: The Cheeky History of a Boozy Infusion.

  • Recipe By
    John Castro of Bottle & Bond, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Contributing City
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