Info in short:
Here we give you all he info you need to know about Bourbon Whiskey. We share our knowledge about the history of the spirit, fun facts and which cocktails you should make with it.
Please get in touch if any info giving is incorrect or can be improved. We do listen to your feedback and we will edit the article!
Bottles we recommend in flavored Cocktails:
Four Roses, Makers Mark, Jim Beam etc.
Bottles we recommend having neat or in a Old Fashioned:
Four Roses Small Batch, Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve
Bourbon Whiskey Q & A
- When was it invented?
Exactly like many of the other basis spirits Bourbon’s invention if full of rumors and not many facts. One goes that the religious minister Elijah Craig was the first distiller in Kentucky who distilled through oak casks in the early 18oo’s. Oak casks is very important making bourbon and is one of the rules in order for it to be called bourbon. Aged in the oak will give the flavour, taste and color of the spirit.
- Where is it from?
Since 1964 Bourbons has to be made in the US. In 1964 Congress declared it “Americas Native Spirit”. 95 % of all Bourbons are made in the state Kentucky in the US. Locally the father of the spirit is known to be Jacob Spears who was the first to officially put the term “Bourbon Whiskey” on his products.
- What is the base ingredient?
Bourbon Whiskey has to be made from 51 % corn. The rest 49 % being Rye, Wheat and Barley. If you ask a master distiller about what is the most important in the distillation you’ll get the answer that the grain and how much love it has received, the yeast strains, the combination of the grain types, the new oak barrels and the storage of the oak barrels.
That answer is given because many of the brands of course have the same climate and the same level of equipment. Therefore the taste difference of the products is given by the mentioned reasons.
- Which Cocktails are made with this spirit?
The great and well known classics being Old Fashioned, Manhattan and Whiskey Sour. Those you are probably familiar with. All of them heavy on alcohol and you can definitely taste the flavors of the Bourbon that you use. Other great tasting classics are Mint Julep and Boulevardier.
- How to use it in Cocktails?
Bourbon Whiskey should be used in cocktails where you can taste all the flavors and nuances from the spirit. All the classics made with the spirit are not fruity or sweet. You want to be able to taste that it’s a Bourbon based cocktail and not a Rum/Vodka based cocktail.
If you are new to whiskey we recommend a Mint Julep or a Whiskey Sour. It’s a great way to learn to drink it.
If you are a fan of the spirit then why not make a twist on some classic craft cocktails such as: Mule, Fizz or a Daiquiri. You just substitute the base spirit with Bourbon Whiskey. Easy peasy!
- Fun fact #1:
The name of the spirit is surrounded by many rumors. One goes that it comes from the Bourbon County which is an area in Kentucky. Another one goes that two brothers coming from Cognac in France started selling local Kentucky whiskies to New Orleans citizens. The citizens liked this brandy tasting spirit. The street where the two Tarascan brothers sold the whiskies was named Bourbon street and that’s how it got it’s name.
- Fun fact #2:
The lovely spirit doesn’t need to be aged for a specific range of years. However to be called straight bourbon it must have been aged for at least 2 years and can’t have any added colors or flavors added to it. Many rums add caramel etc. for making a sweeter taste and a beautiful color.
- Fun fact #3:
Bourbon that haven’t been aged is called white dog. Before it’s aged in the new oak barrels the fresh harsh and clear spirit is called white dog. Some distilleries bottle it and sell it at this early stage. Look for the term White Dog for finding the spirit.