National Bourbon Day

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National Bourbon day is here! Not that you need an excuse to enjoy this amazing, wonderful, gift-from-the-gods spirit, but it is a good excuse. 

June 14th has the honor of hosting this holiday every year. Legend has it that the day is the anniversary of the very first time this famous drink was distilled in the late 1700s. It might just be a legend, however it sounds like it honors Bourbon very well so we’ll go with it. Plus we can’t find any other info on how this holiday started so before we tell the tale let’s discuss a bit about Bourbon itself.

Just as we’ve discussed with Scotch Whiskies, there are rules to making bourbon and calling it bourbon. To legally be a considered bourbon it must:

-Be made of 51% corn
-Stored in new (not aged) charred-oak barrels
-Distilled at no more than 160 proof and barreled at 125 proof.

There are many ways to enjoy bourbon on the holiday: straight up, with a mixer, or in a classic cocktail like and Old Fashioned. An Old Fashioned is bourbon, sugar and bitters. Easy!

A Brief History:

So as the legend we’re running with goes, Elijah Craig, a baptist minister turned distiller, is rumored to have birthed whiskey into the world in the 1780’s.

Craig was using old fish barrels to store his spirits. Fish-flavored wood did not enhance the whiskey’s taste- shocker. 

So Craig started purifying the white-oak barrels by charring the inside.

Then he stamped the barrels with their county of origin (Bourbon County, in his case) and sent them on a 90-day trip down to New Orleans.

The charred oak and three-month travel time combined to mellow the whiskey and give it a smooth, smoky, oaky flavor. 

When New Orleanians requested more of “that whiskey from Bourbon,” the name and the spirit were born. Supposedly.


Random Fact:

In 1964, a Congressional Resolution designated bourbon as America’s native spirit. Since then, there is nowhere else in the world that can make a whiskey and call it bourbon. Now that’s your government at work!

Hopefully, if you’re a bourbon lover you’re as excited for today as we are! If you’re on the fence hopefully a nice bourbon cocktail can change your mind and bring you into the fold. If you’ve never had bourbon at all we feel bad for you and whatever you’ve done with your life to this point.

Whatever category you fall into we want you to get out and try some bourbon today. Let us know in the comments if you were shooting, mixing or cock-tailing it.

Also let us know any out there recipes you find, there’s always something new to find when it comes to bourbon. Merry Christmas again, thanks for reading, and as always....

Cheers from,

Happy Hour City!