I don't know how this all got started, these National (fill in the blank) month/day, but if September is celebrating the joys of bourbon, who am I to stand in the way? Well, officially, it is National Bourbon Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the rich tradition of this golden caramel spirit. To me that simply means, drink more bourbon, but I know you're dying for the background story, right? Fine. Google to the rescue!
According to Wikipedia, The Wise One, Senator Bunning of Kentucky, sponsored the bill back in 2007. It passed unanimously (and they say the senate can't get work done). Much like sparkling wine must be produced in France to be champagne; the whiskey must be produced in the U.S. to be called bourbon. It also has to be made mostly from corn and aged in new oak barrels.
Traditionalists drink their bourbon straight up, sometimes with a cube of ice or a few drops of water; this allows them to truly appreciate the characteristics of the spirit. At our house, we like ours with plenty of ice and a splash of diet ginger ale. But there are a number of cocktails that list bourbon as their main ingredient. Check these out.
We all know about the Mint Julep: mint (to muddle or not), sugar, ice and bourbon. Stir and repeat.
You might've also heard about the Louisville Cooler: orange and lime juices, powdered sugar and bourbon.
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Kentucky Mule: this one is simple enough, ginger beer, lime juice and bourbon.
Most bourbon comes out of Kentucky, but recently we found one crafted right here in the Lone Star State. Garrison Brothers -- that's the empty bottle at the top, they're making some kickass-good bourbon in the Hill Country. We've not been able to find it in stores here in Houston, but look for it in Austin. Now, let's go make our senators proud and enjoy too much bourbon this month. How do you drink yours?