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    Ruffenach is founder of the Whisky Chicks bourbon group and author of the recently released How to Be a Bourbon Badass. She lives in Crestwood.

    Describe the space you’re in right now.

    “Sitting by my fireplace, enjoying a cup of coffee, watching the sunrise.”

    What song has been stuck in your head lately?

    “‘Meant to Be,’ by Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line.”

    Earliest childhood memory?

    “Saturday mornings with my dad. We’d get doughnuts at the old Ehrmann’s Bakery in Mid-City Mall and then stop by my grandfather’s body shop on Barret Avenue.”

    When/where are you most creative?

    “The kitchen. I like to peruse cookbooks and cooking magazines for inspiration, then come up with my own creations.”

    How’d you make your first dollar?

    “Sorting bingo cards for the American Legion at age six.”

    If you could be mayor of Louisville for a day, what would you do?

    “Host a bourbon tasting for the city.”

    Your most noticeable quirk?

    “At events, I like things to be set up a certain way — symmetrical and lined up.”

    The most unusual benefit of your job?

    “Meeting the unsung heroes of the bourbon industry. Catherine Platz, whiskey ambassador for Brown-Forman, knows her stuff and has been instrumental in introducing thousands to America’s native spirit.”

    Favorite possession?

    “An antique powder box that was my mother’s. She recently passed away, and it brings back memories of sitting on her bed watching her get ready to go out for the evening with my dad.”

    Favorite thing hanging on the wall at home?

    “A painting my husband and I bought in Paris when we first started dating. It is an image of a woman sitting at a table in a cafe with a happy couple in the background. We were dating long-distance, and it captured the way I felt every time we were together, as well as when we were apart.”

    What brings you the greatest joy?

    “My two boys, ages 10 and 13. They make life interesting!”

    What’s on your credit-card statement?

    “Charges from spring break in Florida, where we moved my sister to live closer to our brother. Checking out local bakeries is my family’s road-trip tradition, so we stopped at Duck Donuts on Tybee Island near Savannah, Georgia, Dessert First Bistro (killer croissants) in St. Augustine and Jupiter Donuts in Palm Beach.”

    Where do you go to be alone?

    “Alone? What’s that? I have two boys.”

    The weirdest place somebody has recognized you in public?

    “At the doctor’s office getting my annual mammogram.”

    What/who makes you laugh?

    “My husband. When I have a bad day, he knows how to say or do something that makes me laugh and melts the tension away.”

    What three people (living or dead) would be on the guest list to your ideal dinner party?

    “My dad and two sons. My boys never got a chance to meet him.”

    What Louisville dish have you eaten more than any other?

    “Sushi from hiko-A-mon. Rainbow roll or New Orleans roll.”

    One thing Louisville is missing?

    “A culinary school that offers a class or two at a time.”

    If Actors Theatre staged a production about your life, what would the performance be called?

    “A Ruff Life.”

    What three things must out-of-town guests do in Louisville?

    “Stop by Westport Whiskey & Wine to sample bourbons, visit one of the local distilleries downtown like Kentucky Peerless or the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, and swing by Louisville Stoneware/grab lunch at the Cafe.”

    The first thing on your bucket list?

    “To host a series of bourbon tastings across the globe, including London, Paris and Tokyo.”


    Favorite album?
    “Bruce Springsteen, The River.”

    Last online purchase?
    “Herbs and spices for homemade bitters.”

    What should every person try once?
    “A highball made with bourbon.”

    What dish do you make at home most often?
    “Roasted chicken with potatoes.”

    Favorite Kentucky Derby winner?
    “Winning Colors.”

    Can’t-miss TV show?

    What’s always in your refrigerator?
    “Milk, wine and homemade candied jalapeños.”

    If forced to get a tattoo today, what would you get?
    “Bourbon Badass.”

    This originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

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