Beginner’s Guide to Appreciating Bourbon Whiskey


Bourbon is the ultimate American spirit, considering the barrel-aged distilled spirit was initially produced in an space known as Bourbon County, Kentucky. To meet the legal definition of bourbon, it must be produced within the United States, should be created with at least 51% corn, and aged in new oak barrels. There are types of bourbon whiskeys—straight and blended. Straight bourbon implies that the bourbon has been aged for no less than 2 years, and has no other coloring or flavoring added. Blended bourbon whiskey can include other flavoring or spirits, but have to be at the least 51% straight bourbon.

How one can Drink Bourbon: Straight or Blended

If you wish to respect bourbon whiskey on its own, there are typically ways to do it. Purists like to drink it neat, which signifies that the bourbon is at room temperature, and without ice. Some like to add a couple of drops of water to the whiskey, to “open up” the aroma of the bourbon. When you go this route, it’s possible you’ll appreciate drinking your bourbon in a brandy snifter. The shape of the glass will assist concentrate the aroma. It’s best not to use brandy snifters for high proof bourbons.

When you’re a newbie, you would possibly want to try bourbon whiskey on the rocks, or with a number of cubes of ice. Pour yourself a finger or two of whiskey over ice. A finger is an informal measure, and is generally considered to be about three quarters of an inch or so.

Classic Bourbon Whiskey Cocktails

Bourbon works really well in cocktails. From the Mint Julep to the Manhattan, the bourbon cocktail is sophisticated, robust, and flavorful. You should utilize any model of bourbon you prefer—I’ve recently enjoyed the new Wild Turkey 81 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which was created specifically for mixing cocktails.

Mint Julep

The Mint Julep has been the drink of selection for the Kentucky Derby for practically a century. Although the earliest cocktails used rum or rye whiskey, bourbon has turn into the spirit of alternative for this candy and easy cocktail.

This recipe yields 10 to 12 servings. You will need:

4 cups bourbon

2 bunches fresh spearmint

1 cup distilled water

1 cup granulated sugar

Powdered sugar

The Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is created by muddling sugar with bitters, and then adding an alcohol like bourbon. A citrus rind completes the drink.

This recipe keeps it easy and lets the bourbon shine. You may want:

2 ounces whiskey, rye or bourbon

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon sugar

ice cubes

1 lemon twist

1 orange slice

1 maraschino cherry

The Manhattan

If you happen to fancy yourself a devotee of the Mad Males-period, the Manhattan is for you. It was one of many first cocktails to incorporate vermouth, and it’s rounded out with a dash of bitters.

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