On June 14th, National Bourbon Day recognizes the Official Spirit of America. It’s a day on which people can pay homage to one of the most iconic alcoholic beverages in the world.
You may have heard the saying that all bourbons are whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbon. Like Scotch, Cognac, and some other spirits, bourbon must meet certain standards and be produced in a specific geographical region to earn its name. Bourbon is a whiskey that can only be called by the word when it is distilled in the United States. For a distiller to legally label their whiskey as “Bourbon,” they must meet specific criteria.
- The whiskey must be 51 percent corn.
- The distiller must store the whiskey in new (not aged) charred-oak barrels,
- They also must distill the whiskey at no more than 160 proof.
- Finally, distillers must ensure the bourbon is barreled at 125 proof.
In 1964, a Congressional Resolution designated bourbon as “America’s Native Spirit”. Since then, nowhere else in the world can whiskey be made and called bourbon.
How to Observe National Bourbon Day
The best way to enjoy this holiday is by drinking your favorite brand of bourbon. It can be drunk neat, over ice, diluted, or in mixed drinks, such as the Manhattan, Old Fashioned, whiskey sour, mint julep or our newly discovered favorite New York Sour (see recipe below).
NEW YORK SOUR
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 1 oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 1 oz. red wine
1 lemon twist
- Fill a cocktail shaker full of ice. Add the bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup into shaker and shake 15 seconds until well-chilled. Strain into a rock glass (Americaware Whiskey Glasses are perfect for this) filled with ice.
- Slowly pour the red wine over the back of a bar spoon so that the wine floats on top of the drink. Add lemon twist to rim of glass as a garnish. Serve immediately.