Must try: Gourmet burgers, more than 400 types of bourbon at Spears Bourbon, Burgers & Beer in north suburbs

WHEELING, Ill. (WLS) -- Spears Bourbon, Burgers & Beer is a gourmet burger eatery in Wheeling with a sophisticated bourbon and craft beer specialty bar.

Sip your way through their carefully selected bourbons or an eclectic craft beer collection with the opportunity to specifically pair your drinks with an all American natural gourmet burger that comes in many different varieties.

Chef Kris Salvador from Spears Bourbon, Burgers & Beer joined ABC7 to create his Irishman Burger, which is on special for the month of March.

To learn more, visit

The Irishman
Serves: 4 burgers

For the burgers:
2 pounds Angus ground beef (or ground brisket works really well too)
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper, to taste
crumbled bleu cheese, about 4 Tablespoons worth
4 brioche bun, toasted
handful of arugula lettuce
4 slices of Cheddar cheese
3 Strips of Bacon Diced up
2 Tablespoons of Spears Smoke Seasoning
1 strip cooked bacon

For the whiskey glaze:
1/4 Cup Irish whiskey
1/4 Cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of hot sauce
black pepper, to taste
For Guinness carmalized onions:
2 yellow onions, peeled and sliced thinly
1 1/2 Tablespoons Bacon Fat
1 Cup Guinness beer
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper, to taste

Make The Onions:
1. Heat Bacon Fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onions and stir to coat in Bacon Fat. Sprinkle in salt, pepper, and thyme and stir to combine. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 7 to 10 minutes, until onions are soft and golden brown at the edges.
2. Pour in half the Guinness, cover, and cook until liquid is about 3/4 of the way evaporated. Repeat with remaining Guinness. This time, cook until liquid is nearly all evaporated. Remove onions from pan and set aside.
Make The Glaze:
1. To a small saucepan, add whiskey and bring to a low boil. Continue to boil for about 2 minutes, then add remaining glaze ingredients and whisk to combine.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until glaze is slightly thickened.
3. Remove from heat and set aside.

Make The Burgers:
1. To a large mixing bowl, add ground beef, salt, pepper, onion powder, dice bacon, bleu cheeses and spears smoke seasoning. Use your hands to mix it all together. Separate the meat mixture into 4 equal portions (8 oz each).
2. Heat a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the pan. Cook burgers about 6 minutes per side, or until desired doneness. The last minute of cooking, brush burgers with prepared whiskey glaze, bacon and place a slice of cheese on the burgers, then cover pan loosely with foil.
3. Remove burgers to a plate and cover with foil for 3 minutes.

To Serve:
1. Line bottom bun with arugula lettuce, then top with burger. Place a generous helping of caramelized onions on top of the burger, then drizzle with additional glaze. Top with top bun and enjoy!
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