Muscardini Cellarsdeep red wines, from their Syrahs and Zinfandels to their Sangioveses and Barberas, sing alongside the big protein and bold flavors of this delicious dish. The folks at Muscardini took this classic American favorite and brought it to the next level with a few tablespoons of bourbon. Whip up a batch of these joes on a cold winter's night and pop a cork on one of their selections to warm you up!


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 to 3 cups of plain tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tbsp bourbon whiskey
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • Jar of pickled red onions


  • Put the ground beef in a skillet and break it up. Fry it over medium heat until the beef is 1/2 or 2/3s cooked and then drain the grease away. Some grease is needed for flavor and to help fry the garlic, onions, and peppers later.
  • Add the diced onions, peppers, and garlic to the ground beef, and cook until the onions and peppers soften, and the meat is browning.
  • Pour in the plain tomato sauce and stir it into the beef and vegetables. Add as much tomato sauce in terms of desired outcome of the sloppy joe texture.
  • For a “saucy” sloppy joe, use the full three cups. For something more solid and less stew-like, use two cups.
  • Add in all seasonings, stir them in, cook for about 10 minutes, then add the bourbon. Waiting to add the bourbon until now keeps as much of it as possible from evaporating in the cooking heat. After the bourbon is stirred in, add the raisins, and stir them in as well.
  • The raisins need no actual cooking, but a little heat plumps them up a bit.
  • Spoon out onto burger buns and serve with pickled red onion.