Toast Dad with Bourbon…our favorite amber fluid
–the only one native to the USA.
Made with corn, and named for a county in Kentucky, bourbon is distilled to exacting specifications. According to federal standards, bourbon, among other things, must:
- be made of a grain mixture that’s at least 51% corn
- be aged in new, charred oak barrels.
- not be bottled at less than 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume.)
- if an age is stated on the label, must be the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle.
- be produced only in the United States to be called bourbon.
To celebrate the spirit that made Kentucky great, here are some favorite bourbon recipes:
At least three different cocktails bear the name Derby, to commemorate the long bond between drinking and betting on horses. This version comes from the Bartender’s Guide by Trader Vic. It marries bourbon with sweet vermouth, orange curaçao or Grand Marnier, and lime juice, to produce a drink that’s dry, tart, peppery, and subtly herbal.
- 1 ounce bourbon whiskey
- 3/4 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
- 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier or orange curaçao
- Lime wedge or mint leaf, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add bourbon, lime, sweet vermouth, and Grand Marnier and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wedge or mint leaf.
- 8-10 mint leaves
- 1 tbsp. simple syrup
- 2 1/2 oz. bourbon whiskey
- crushed ice
- mint to garnish
- seltzer or club soda
Crush mint leaves with simple syrup at the bottom of a glass until the mint bruises slightly. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the bourbon. Stir gently, garnish with a mint sprig, and top with a splash of seltzer or club soda. Serve in a pewter cup or old-fashioned glass.
The Rebel Yell
- 2 oz. bourbon whiskey
- 1/2 oz. triple sec
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 1 egg white
Combine ingredients in a shaker half filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and pour into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange slice, and serve.
Bourbon Peach Smash
- 2 slices fresh peach
- handful fresh mint
- 1 slice fresh ginger
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 1 1/2 oz. fine bourbon
- sweet vermouth
- ginger ale
Add ingredients in a glass and muddle vigorously. Add bourbon and sweet vermouth. Pack with large chunks of ice, top with ginger ale and garnish. Serve in an old-fashioned glass with a mint sprig and ginger slice.