Two weeks down with bronchitis–I couldn’t think of a better welcome back post than one about my favorite medicinal libation: bourbon. I like bourbon for the same reasons I like wine: the nuance.
Lately when I decide to imbibe I usually only have one drink, so I like to make it something that I can sip for a while–enjoying all the little notes of flavor. That, mixed with the fact that I’m a Southern girl, is why bourbon is my go-to.
First things first: Let’s clear up some definitions…
Distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Mash could include corn, rye, wheat, or barley. Whiskey is aged in wooden casks, usually made of charred white oak. Also, please note the “e” in “whiskey” and remember you’re an American.
Whiskey made up of a primarily corn mash (at least 51%). Legally “bourbon” must be Made in the USA, and it’s mainly associated with the Southern United States because of its Kentucky origins.
Whiskey with a mash made up of at least 51% rye.
Now, for a few of our favorites…
The daily drinker. The handle you have in the back of the liquor cabinet for when the display bottle out on the shelf starts running low. It’s not crazy expensive and nice to sip after a long day.
Other Options: Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace
*A Note On Jack Daniels: I’ll leave it at saying we always have a bottle on hand. 1) If there’s one thing we are not short on in this house it’s Tennessee pride! and 2) Guests love, and sometimes demand, their Jack+Coke.
Looking for something unique? Put Smoke Gets in Your Eyes on the record player and pour yourself a glass of this stuff. It’s my favorite “I want bourbon but it’s really cold outside so I also want to feel like I’m sitting by a bonfire” bourbon.
Other options for a little experimenting: Blantons, Basil Hayden’s, Hudson Baby Bourbon
*Like to literally mix things up? While I usually prefer my whiskey neat, we always have juleps on Derby Day and at our Cocktails & Carols party this year, we served Jingle Juleps. More on point for my week, how about trying a hot toddy?
Ah, the thrill of the hunt! Want something for your top shelf that will come with a great story? Take a little cash from savings and bribe your local liquor store in September to find out the October release date.
Now tell me, what’s your favorite bourbon? Anything we should check out?