National Bourbon Heritage Month
Sep 04, 2019
By Brandon Bartlett, WW Spirits Director
If you are a fan of bourbon, then you probably celebrate the beautiful spirit every month. Well, there actually is a month dedicated to bourbon. In 2007, the United States Senate declared September as ‘National Bourbon Heritage Month.’ The bill was sponsored by Senator Jim Bunning of, you guessed it, Kentucky. A little more than 90% of all bourbon is made in the state of Kentucky, but bourbon can be made anywhere in the U.S. of A. The bill not only helps Senator Bunning’s constituents bring money into the state with sales and tourism, but also reinforces the designation of bourbon as “America’s Native Spirit”—recognized in 1964 by an act of Congress declaring bourbon a “distinctive product” of the U.S. Just as tequila can only be made in Mexico and Scotch whiskey in Scotland, Congress made bourbon exclusive to America. And thus, a source of pride for Americans.
Bourbon is booming right now, and producers (like Michter’s) are building distilleries in Downtown Louisville and looking to the future. In fact, Four Roses is installing new stills that will double their production in the next five years. Bourbon’s popularity is leaking into other months as well. October is Manhattan Month, and during Negroni Week every June, people celebrate the popular gin and vermouth cocktail but occasionally slip in a Boulevardier or two. A Boulevardier is a Negroni made with bourbon instead of gin.
There are specific rules that must be followed in order for a whiskey to be classified as a Bourbon. As we already know, it must be made in the U.S. But, it must also be made of at least 51% corn and aged in new white oak. There are a few other regulations—some of which were included to protect farmers and logging industries—but mostly to show that when you see “Bourbon” on a bottle, you know that it meets a certain level of standards and quality. Whether you’re drinking an old school brand in an old fashioned or something “new school” like Savage & Cooke’s Burning Chair Bourbon in a Paper Plane, you can’t go wrong with bourbon. You can’t go wrong with “America’s Native Spirit.”
BOURBON COCKTAILS TO TRY
1½ oz Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
1 oz Vya Sweet Vermouth
1oz Select Apertivo
Dash of Dashfire Old Fashioned
Stir Ingredients in a mixing glass, and strain over ice, or stir to the appropriate temperature and dilution and strain into a chilled, stemmed glass. Garnish with an orange peel expressed and set along the top of the cocktail.
1½ oz Michter’s Small Batch Bourbon
1½ oz Amaro Francoli
1½ oz Select Apertivo
1½ oz fresh lemon juice, strained
Combine amaro, Aperol, bourbon, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is frosty, about 20 seconds. Strain into 2 coupe glasses
2 oz. Burning Chair Bourbon
1 sugar cube or ½ tsp. sugar
2 dashes Dashfire Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
Garnish: lemon or orange twist
In an old fashioned or short rocks glass, add sugar, bitters, and half a splash of water. Muddle with a spoon until sugar is dissolved. Add whiskey and one large ice cube and stir well. Twist the citrus peel to release the oils and run it around the rim of the glass, then drop it into the cocktail.