It’s Time to Celebrate: National Bourbon Day!
Known as the official spirit of America since 1964 when Congress claimed it as a “distinctive product of the US”, Bourbon is a sweetened amber spirits with vanilla notes. It hails from Kentucky and has seen a strong resurgence, capturing global attention.
Some say the rise is due to the growth of small batch and single-barrel bourbon that began in the 90’s. However, others believe it’s due to the popularity of primetime shows like Mad Men or movies like Gatsby.
Now, if you’re not familiar with Bourbon here’s a quick rundown. Bourbon is a type of whiskey however not all whiskey can stake claim as bourbon. There are strict guidelines that need to be met. The whiskey must be made in America and aged for at least two years (usually 4) in new charred oak barrels. In addition, it must be made from a mash of fermented grains that’s at least 51% corn and not exceed 160 proof in the distillate. As the whiskey ages, the charred oak from the barrels flavors the whiskey with caramelized sugars; giving it is amber color and vanilla flavor.
Bourbon-based cocktails include the classic Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Mint Julep, though purists believe that bourbon shouldn't be mixed. Bourbon is my spirit of choice and I prefer it with a splash of water or ginger ale.
However, without a doubt I will be raising my glass full of bourbon today June 14, National Bourbon Day, and the 223rd anniversary of the day Reverend Elijah Craig first distilled whiskey from corn in Bourbon County, Kentucky.