Magazine article Black Enterprise

Versatile Bourbon: From Cocktails to the Kitchen, Bluegrass Country's Favorite Drink Is an All-Around Classic

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Versatile Bourbon: From Cocktails to the Kitchen, Bluegrass Country's Favorite Drink Is an All-Around Classic

Article excerpt

BOURBON, AN AMERICAN original with a satin-smooth texture, mellow flavor, fruity bouquet and golden amber shade, has long been known for the way it enhances a drink. But too often bourbon's versatility goes unnoticed.

Not so in Kentucky, the state where bourbon was born. Whether it's the primary ingredient of a favorite drink or a flavor enhancer in cooking, folks in Bluegrass Country know that bourbon is a classic.

Spring, when fresh mint is in bloom, is the only time any self-respecting bartender in Kentucky will mix up a MINT JULEP. To make, dissolve one teaspoon of sugar into one-half teaspoon of water, rub two or three mint sprigs with your fingers to bruise them and rim a glass with them. Next, fill three-fourths of the glass with shaved ice and add three ounces of bourbon plus the sugar mixture and stir gently; add ice to fill and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Another bourbon classic is the MANHATTAN: 1 1/2 ounces of bourbon, 1/2 ounce each of dry and sweet vermouth and a dash of Angostura bitters. Stir well with ice and strain into a glass. Or if you enjoy a WHISKEY SOUR, be sure the whiskey is bourbon: In a shaker, add three ounces of bourbon, the juice of one-half lemon and a half teaspoon of sugar. Shake well with ice, pour into a whiskey sour glass and garnish with an orange slice and cherry. If your choice is an OLD-FASHIONED, put a lump of sugar in a glass, sprinkle it with a light dash of Angostura bitters, add ice cubes and a twist of lemon peel and fill with bourbon.

In chilly months, warm up with a HOT TODDY: Place one ounce of bourbon, one teaspoon of sugar, two cloves and one slice of lemon in an Old-Fashioned glass with a silver spoon (to absorb the heat) and fill with boiling water; add a small piece of cinnamon.

A whiskey distilled from mostly corn grain, then aged in charred, new oak containers for at least two years, bourbon improves with age. …

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