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How to drink bourbon properly.

Whiskey has always been an integral part of farmers' lives. It is not just alcohol, but a faithful comrade who has gone through war with them. It was often used as a disinfectant to treat cuts or bullet wounds.

What is bourbon

Bourbon is a distinct type of whiskey that is a truly American product. Its main part is made in Kentucky, but it can also be produced in any other city. This drink, like other whiskeys, is a product of distillation and its strength is usually 40 degrees. All whisky is made from grain and then left to mature for a length of time in oak barrels. It is then bottled.

How to Drink Bourbon

Bourbon differs from other whiskeys in that it is made from corn, which makes up about half of the raw material. The rest is made of oats or rye. Bourbon is necessarily aged in new casks which have never been used before. The minimum ageing period for this drink is two years. Other whiskies often contain dyes, but bourbon does not contain dyes at all.

However, in order to become bourbon, the whiskey has to undergo another procedure. Some say it was an intervention from a higher power, as it was the priest who first guessed to put the whiskey in a scorched cask. In fact, it was an incredible accident. He got his hands on the fish barrels. To get rid of germs and remove the fishy smell, straw was put inside and set on fire. This way of treating the barrels made it possible to store any products after the fish. After pouring the whiskey into the barrels, the traders went to the nearest market, which would take at least three months to reach. They sealed the barrels tightly and hit the road, hoping to preserve the product in its pristine condition. But when they arrived, they found that the drink had acquired not only a wonderful aroma, but also an unusual taste.

Nowadays bourbon tastes mild, but back then it was very different. People called it firewater and didn't go for mildness. It was important to them that the drink help them get through another day of battle with the native Indian tribes. People's lives couldn't be called easy, so this drink fit perfectly into that setting.

Famous Brands

There are several of the most popular manufacturers of this drink:

  1. Jim Beam. This is probably the most famous manufacturer of bourbon. The first batch was made in 1795, and the manufacturer could not even think that in the future it would be such a resounding success. Many experts believe that the main secret of success of this drink is the yeast, cooked according to a special recipe. This recipe is still used in production today.
  2. Maker's Mark. This bourbon is a premium drink. It is produced in a limited edition of no more than 19 barrels each year. The bourbon factory was built in 1840, but the first bottle was not sold until 1958. The producers guarantee the quality and have come up with a special mark of authenticity in the form of wax dripping from the cap of the bottle.
  3. Blanton's. This beverage is created with almost no additives. There are no additives in it, it is immediately poured in barrels and once it is matured it is bottled directly. Only the best varieties of grains are used to make this drink. The bottling is done only after the master personally checks that the drink is ready. Around 250 bottles are poured from a single barrel.
  4. Wild Turkey. This drink contains no less than 51% corn. The rest is made with other grains. This gives the drink a unique taste. This bourbon is aged in barrels for at least 6 years, with a strength of 50 degrees. However such a strength is found only in the USA, exported products contain no more than 43% alcohol. Production began in 1869, and within 20 years was a colossal success.
  5. Woodford Reserve. This drink started to be produced in 1812 in limited quantities, but something didn't work out with the previous owners and after the dizzying success they suffered a decline. Brown-Forman bought the company in 1995, and since then the production has been resumed using the old recipe. This bourbon belongs to the premium class and is aged for at least six years.
  6. Four Roses. Despite the fact that this drink is made in the U.S., the locals hardly know about it. The fact is that it is bottled in Scotland. Around the middle of last century, the product was mostly exported. It was first produced back in 1860, but the brand name was registered only 30 years later. The current owner is trying his best to make this drink popular again in the U.S..

What is the difference between bourbon and whiskey and scotch

Alcohol products are not easy to understand. The sheer number of names and producers can confuse anyone. In fact, bourbon and scotch are also whiskey, but a slightly different kind. Whiskey is made by distilling grain alcohol. Producers take grains, then add sugar and yeast to them. Then a chemical reaction takes place, which results in a kind of broth. It is then distilled and, depending on the variety, the product is diluted with water and poured into barrels to age the drink.

Bourbon is an American type of whiskey which is made from corn kernels. Their amount should not be less than 51%. At the same time the alcohol content in the finished drink varies from 40 to 45%. The drink matures in barrels burnt from the inside for at least two years. Such cooking technology gives the product a unique flavor and aroma. According to the law, only a drink made in the United States can be called bourbon, although in Russian the word refers to any drink made from corn kernels.

Scotch is a type of Scotch whisky that is made according to their culture and traditions. It often has a hint of smoke, as the raw material for the drink is dried with the help of peat stoves. The finished product is aged for at least 3 years in oak barrels. According to the law, the product can be called Scotch if it meets a number of requirements. The most important of them states that the product must be made only in Scottish distilleries. Water, malted barley and whole grains of other cereals must be used to make the drink. Also, the law states that the storage capacity may not exceed 700 liters, and the addition of substances other than spirit caramel and water is not allowed.

The law also lays down requirements for the alcohol content of whiskey. For example, the finished product cannot contain less than 40% alcohol. In addition, the drink must retain not only the taste and aroma, but also the color of the raw material used in the creation of scotch.

There are many scotch producers in Scotland, but among all of them we can mention Highland with its special traditions of making this drink. This company is located in the mountains and is one of the most popular and recognizable scotch producers.

Video: What makes bourbon different from scotch Expand

Composition and Calories

Bourbon is considered a low-calorie product, with 200-250 kcal per 100 g, so it can be consumed even by people who watch their weight. In addition, the drink is rich in vitamins of different groups and minerals, adopting all useful substances from corn, which is the main ingredient. This drink contains vitamins B, PP, A. Bourbon is also rich in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, calcium, and potassium. It contains various antioxidants, which prevent the ingress of harmful substances in the body, it used to be used as an antiseptic, treating wounds.

How to drink bourbon properly

Not all people know how to drink alcoholic beverages correctly, especially the various varieties of whiskey, including bourbon. Before tasting the drink, it is recommended to pour it into a special transparent vessel. It has thin walls, which allows to appreciate the noble color of the drink, which it takes during a long aging in the cask. After that you may pour the drink into a glass.

How to drink bourbon

The classic ware for bourbon is a wide glass with a thick bottom. It can also be drunk from special Scottish pewter mugs. It is customary to fill the container 1/4 full, but you should not immediately proceed to the tasting. First, you need to hold the bourbon in your hand to warm it up. After that, shake it in order to allow the drink to open up as much as possible. Next, hold the container up to your nose to taste the aroma of the bourbon. After this brief ritual, you can drink the drink in small sips.

Each sip should be savored a little, after making a sip, exhale air through the nose. Because bourbon is famous for its aftertaste, you should make long pauses between sips, which will allow you to fully appreciate it.

It is not recommended to add ice to the drink, but in some cases it is necessary. There is a "white bourbon" which has been aged for less than 2 years, it has a harsh taste, so ice is added to soften it.

It is also justified to add ice to beverages that have been aged for 4 to 6 years. At this storage time, the drink already has the necessary flavor qualities, but some notes are difficult to catch in the overall bouquet. If you add ice, it will melt and the water will allow you to distinguish them more clearly.

What to drink

Drinking bourbon is not recommended, as this will not allow you to fully enjoy its flavors. But some people are put off by the strength of the drink. In such cases, you can wash it down with mineral water or natural juices. You can also mix one of these liquids with the drink. In the U.S., bourbon is sometimes infused with Coke. However, it is worth remembering that only inexpensive varieties of bourbon can be mixed with water or juice. In certain circles, it is considered ignorance to mix years-old bourbon.

What to Snack On

Since this drink has a high alcohol content, it gets you drunk very quickly. In order to slow down the intoxication process a little, you should snack on bourbon, although this is not always encouraged. In Kentucky, for example, they snack on chocolate. It's probably the best flavor combination. These products complement each other perfectly. However, there is a downside to this snack. Chocolate quickly kills the aftertaste of bourbon, so it is not recommended to snack on expensive varieties, otherwise it will be a waste of money. Another good snack would be crackers without additional flavors. They can soften the harsh taste of short-aged bourbon without drowning out the taste of the drink, so they can be eaten with long-aged varieties. They can also be topped with bourbon, meat, vegetables or nuts. The only requirement for the food is no salt or seasoning.

Very good combines this drink with fruit, especially sweet fruit. Strangely enough, but most bourbon cocktails require the addition of sugar. You can also soften the taste of the drink with a couple of sips of milk.

There are several foods that should not be eaten while drinking bourbon. First of all, these are spicy dishes that destroy the taste of the drink. It is also not recommended to eat cheese or fish.

Cocktails with bourbon: recipes

Of course, bourbon is good on its own, but because of the high strength, some people can not drink it in its pure form. Other people want variety, so cocktails will be a great option. Bartenders immediately fell in love with this drink because it has a distinct flavor and aroma, making it the perfect ingredient for cocktails.

Bourbon Cocktails

Cherry Bomb

Making this cocktail is very simple. You will need 40 ml of long-aged bourbon, 30 ml of cherry cocktail, 1-2 drops of egg white. Crush the ice, put it into a shaker, pour all the ingredients, cover tightly and stir for at least 10 seconds. Carefully separate the ice from the liquid, pour the mixture into a glass and garnish with a slice of lemon. You can also use a cherry sprig as decoration.

Mint Julep

This cocktail requires a glass of bourbon, a few mint leaves, and 1-2 tsp. of sugar syrup. Pour the sugar syrup into a metal glass, which is used for pre-mixing drinks. Add the mint leaves to it and grind them into a pulp with the syrup. Next, fill 1/2 of the glass with crushed ice, then pour half of the bourbon into it. Stir thoroughly, fill the glass to the top with ice, and pour in the remaining bourbon. One sprig of mint may be left for decoration.


This recipe is a classic. It is believed to have been invented in 1870 at a bar of the same name, where a gala event was held in honor of Tilden, one of the presidential candidates. However, there are mentions of earlier preparations of this cocktail, so it is just a beautiful legend.

You will need 50 ml of bourbon, 25 ml of red vermouth, one cherry and 2-3 drops of angostura. Mix all the ingredients in a shaker, add ice and mix thoroughly. Pour the cocktail into a chilled glass, before serving garnish with a berry.


This cocktail gives a maximum flavor of bourbon. To make it you need 60 ml of long-aged bourbon, ideally Maker's Mark, 15 ml of honey liqueur, 5 ml of lemon juice, one third of a teaspoon of bitter and ice. Put the ice in the glass. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients, stir thoroughly and strain into the glass. Serve with a spiral lemon zest garnish.

Milk and egg shake

To make it you will need a third of a glass of long-aged bourbon, 6 egg yolks, a third of a glass of sugar, a glass of milk, 15g of vanillin, a quarter of a teaspoon of nutmeg. Whisk the yolks thoroughly with the sugar in a water bath. Slowly pour a third of the milk into the mixture and stir until it becomes thick. Then remove the mixture from the water bath and pour into another container. Now you can pour the rest of the milk into the cocktail, add the vanillin and ground nutmeg. Stir the mixture well and leave it in the fridge for at least 8 hours. Garnish with grated chocolate or cinnamon sticks before serving.

Al Capone

This cocktail is perfect for house parties. To make it, you need to take 120 ml of bourbon, 60 ml of any vermouth, 40 ml of sugar syrup, and ice. Put all the ingredients into a shaker and whisk thoroughly, then strain into a glass and decorate the top with a slice of orange.

Orange Blast

This cocktail is the best orange drink. To make it, you need to take 100 ml of orange juice, 40 ml of bourbon, sugar, ice, a slice of orange, a few sprigs of mint. Put ice in the glass, then moisten the rim with a little water and sprinkle it with sugar. Mix the orange juice and bourbon in a shaker, add a few mint leaves and ice and stir well. Strain the liquid into a glass and garnish the drink with an orange slice and a mint branch. If you make a hole in the peel of an orange and place mint in it, the cocktail will look very beautiful.

Bourbon and Coke

This is a classic American recipe. You need 50 ml of bourbon, 100 ml of cola and ice. Fill a glass to the top with ice cubes, pour in bourbon and then Coke. Stir gently. No garnishing is usually required, but you could use a slice of lemon.

Rating the best bourbons

Every bourbon is good in its own way, but among all the brands there are a few of the best, which have long proven themselves and are constantly kept in the tops:

  • Jim Beam;
  • Knob Creek;
  • Maker's Mark;
  • Pappy Van Winkle;
  • Old Forester;
  • Old Crow.

How to make bourbon at home

Kentuckians believe that the best thing that ever happened to corn is bourbon. A home-made drink made from corn kernels cannot be called that, but if you try hard enough, it will be as good as the products made in the United States. You don't have to be a big business owner to make a good bourbon, because it is, in fact, a regular moonshine.

How to make bourbon

Since the main component of bourbon is corn, special attention should be paid to the choice of raw materials. In large quantities you can find whole kernels of corn at markets, but the quality of the products there leaves much to be desired, and the drink made from these raw materials can at most get a rating of "mediocre". Raw corn in supermarkets is much better, although they do not sell whole kernels, but there are corn grits and flour of the highest quality.

The second most important component is malt. This is what turns the starch into sugar. Only unfermented types of malt can be used. There are no special claims to malt, it can be from any cereal crop, but you should choose only light varieties.

It is also undesirable to use the beer varieties of malt, because because of the drying technology, a small part of the enzymes are killed. For beer it is not critical, but for bourbon it is a problem. It is best to germinate the malt yourself.

Keep in mind that bourbon must have at least 51% corn. You can increase the figures, but not decrease them. The remainder does not have to be completely filled with malt. For example, you can add 24% wheat malt and 25% barley. Everyone will choose the ingredients to their taste, as this is what gives the whiskey its individuality. Once the composition is determined, you can begin cooking:

  1. First, release the starch from the corn cells. This is done simply by boiling the raw material at 72 degrees or more. The rest of the grains should also be poured together with the corn. Once the mass is heated to 72 degrees, you can add a small amount of malt, it will liquefy the mixture.
  2. Now pour the raw material with water and boil. Speaking of water, it is very important to choose the right amount of liquid. The ideal ratio is 1 part raw material to 4 parts water. So, pour the raw material with water and heat it to 72 degrees, and then add about 10% malt. It is desirable to grind the malt beforehand. Next, cook the mash for 120 minutes at 100 degrees. During the entire cooking it is important to stir the mash constantly.
  3. After 2 hours reduce the temperature of the liquid to 60 degrees, and then add the rest of the malt. At this stage, the temperature plays a very important role. If it is higher than indicated, the enzymes may die, lower - the malting process may be delayed. That is why it is recommended to use a precise thermometer. Now comes a very important stage in the preparation of the drink. Within 120 minutes, you must keep the temperature of the wort at 60 degrees. It is allowed to increase it by 5-7 degrees maximum. This period is necessary for the transformation of starch into sugar.
  4. Now add the yeast. It is important to remember that they work effectively at a temperature of 20 to 30 degrees, so it is important to cool the liquid to these values. For 10 liters of liquid, 100 grams of yeast will be enough, and if we are talking about dry yeast, then 20 grams will suffice. After adding the yeast will begin the fermentation process, which usually takes no more than 4 days. During this time you need to put the brew in a secluded place.
  5. For the next stage you will need a moonshine machine. Pour the liquid through a gauze filter into the distillation cube. This is done in order to remove lumps and impurities. A double distillation will be needed to get the right result. The first distillation does not require separation into fractions, the output should be a product with a strength of about 30%. The obtained broth should be diluted with water to a strength of 16-18%. It is important to use clean water, for ideal results it is recommended to additionally filter with activated carbon. The second distillation should take place on a slow fire. Here it is important to select "heads". The heads are the first 100-150 ml of the brew, and should under no circumstances be consumed, as they contain substances that are hazardous to health. Finish collecting the broth when the strength of the distilled liquid drops below 45%, these are the so-called "tails". As a result, after distillation you should get a liquid with a strength of 50-60 degrees, it must be diluted with water to the level of 40-45 and leave to infuse for 2-3 days. If in the future the drink will be aged in a raw cellar, you do not need to dilute it.
  6. Now comes the longest stage: aging in fired bourbon barrels. Manufacturers often conduct additional filtration with maple charcoal, and then pour the drink into barrels. The minimum length of aging is two years, but the longer they are, the richer and milder the taste becomes.

The barrels are burned from the inside, for this they are filled with straw and set on fire. Such a barrel gives the drink not only taste, but also color, so you do not need to put extra caramel. It is important to use only barrels made of oak.

The drink itself is unpretentious, some producers age it not in cellars, but in ordinary warehouses, where it is hot in summer and cold in winter. So you can age bourbon even in the apartment. Also do not forget that the industrial barrels have a volume of up to 2,000 liters, so it takes a long time for the drink to age in them. Home aging may require less time, as 5-15 liter barrels will be used.

The benefits and harms of bourbon

Bourbon has absorbed the best of the corn kernels, so this drink is beneficial. In small quantities, it can dilate blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. It also prevents the development of cardiovascular disease.

Health & Beauty of Bourbon

There is a large number of therapeutic tinctures, the basis of which is bourbon. Such tinctures are good to cope with insomnia, arrhythmia and even tachycardia. The substances it contains will be useful for people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, they can treat upset stomach and constipation. Bourbon relieves nervous system tension and fatigue.

Daily consumption of bourbon in small doses can help with gallbladder problems. The drink has a favorable effect on bile, liquefying it and reducing its viscosity. It also improves its color.

Because of its antiseptic properties, bourbon is an excellent remedy for sore throats. It allows you to relieve inflammation and destroys germs in the throat. To prepare a therapeutic mixture, you need to mix 1 tablespoon of bourbon with a glass of warm water. Ready mixture rinse your throat in the morning, afternoon and evening.

In the treatment of bronchitis and pneumonia, bourbon has also found a use. Tincture with nuts can perfectly cope with these ailments, and with beets - to relieve muscle fatigue, restoring strength after heavy physical exertion.

However, such a useful drink is not without disadvantages. For example, it contains a large amount of tannin and furfural, so the excessive consumption of the drink threatens a strong alcoholic intoxication. Even in ordinary vodka they are more than 30 times less, so you should drink bourbon wisely.

It is also worth refusing bourbon when chronic diseases are exacerbated. It should not be drunk by pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Bourbon Facts

  1. Bourbon is a county in Kentucky where this type of whiskey was originally produced. People asked if the merchants still had that bourbon, and that's how the drink got its name.
  2. Kentucky has a large number of bourbon producers. The total number of barrels in their vaults is about 5 million. Their total value has surpassed $2 billion.
  3. Since 2007, September has been considered National Bourbon Month in the U.S..
  4. Statistically, more than half of the exported alcohol in the U.S. is bourbon.
  5. In the middle of the last century the U.S. Congress named bourbon the country's main drink and a national treasure. At the same time standards were introduced, according to which whiskey could be called bourbon. The main requirement is that the drink must be produced in the United States.

«Important: All information on this site is provided for informational purposes only purposes. Consult with your health care professional before applying any recommendations. specialist before using the recommendations. Neither the editors nor the authors shall be liable for any possible harm caused by materials."

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