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National Bourbon Herritage Month

September 8, 2009

bourbonThis September marks the 2nd celebration of Nation Bourbon Herritage Month.  Congress unanimously passed the resolution proposed bu Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning in August 2007 and declared bourbon “America’s Native Spirit”.  September also  marks the 18th  Annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival held in Bardstown , Kentucky which I will be attending this year.

 If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that bourbon is my spirit of choice.  Although bourbon does not have to be made in Kentucky, most distilleries are practically side by side.  riverThis is one of the things I find fascinating about bourbon.  Water is the primary ingredient to any alcohol, and it influences the production and flavor from beginning to end.  But because most bourbon distilleries are neighbors, they share a similar water source.  That means that the creation  of each brand is completely up to the master distiller!! 

Bourbon goes with anything.  I love to make bourbon balls during the holiday season as gifts for friends.  I use it in variations of my family’s “secret” barbeque sauce when entertaining or needing a little Southern fare.  And though my go to drink is a Bourbon Manhattan, I have to say that the greatest celebration of this wonderful spirits lies in a drink that is consumed by most only once a year:  The Mint Julep.

DSC02282I have written about the Mint Julep previously ( check out the May 2009 archives if you want to see earlier posts), but nowhere have  I seen the beauty of this drink celebrated than in the hands of Chris McMillan.  Take a look here!!

So sit back, relax and pour yourself a little bourbon.And if you will be in Bardstown next week for the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, I hope see you there!

poster-sm2

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark permalink
    September 10, 2009 6:44 am

    I thought bourbon had to be made in Bourbon County, KY.

  2. September 10, 2009 11:10 pm

    Hey Mark

    Thank you for the comment.

    I’d have to say this is the biggest misconception about bourbon. And in all actuality there are no distilleries in Bourbon County. But the Standards of Idenity for distilled Spirits 27-CFR-5 circa 1964:

    Bourbon must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn.

    Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume).

    Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels.

    Bourbon may not be introduced to the barrel at higher than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume).

    Bourbon which meets the above requirements and has been aged for a minimum of two years, may (but is not required to) be called Straight Bourbon.

    Bourbon aged for a period less than four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging.

    If an age is stated on the label, it must be the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle.

    Hope tlears things up.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  3. September 24, 2009 5:25 am

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Tony Brown

  4. October 20, 2009 2:20 pm

    My recommendation for when making Mint Juleps is to muddle two flat, pith-less, lemon twists along with the syrup. This addition has been used before and is therefore historically justified.

    The lemon oil adds a great extra dimension to the Mint Julep.

    Makers Mark or Sazerac Rye are recommended.

  5. October 23, 2009 2:30 pm

    Thanks George!!

    Interesting addition that I cannot wait to try out. Lemon and mint are a classic combination and go hand in hand with each other.

    Where did you find this variation, if I may ask?

    Chris

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