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All about bourbon
What is bourbon?
Bourbon whiskey is the most common American version of this spirit. However, what's the difference between whiskey and bourbon? The answer is simple: Bourbon needs to come from America and contain at least 51% corn. Whiskey, instead, can come from many different countries. Think, for example, about Scotch whisky and the versions of this spirit from Ireland and England.
Also, bourbon producers can only use their charred-oak barrels once. After the barrel has infused its flavor notes into the bourbon, the producers pass it down to other distilleries that use them to age other liquors and even wine, to create complex and interesting flavor profiles.
History of bourbon
Today's regulations to make bourbon are fairly strict because, in the 19th century, distillers liked to water down and adulterate the spirit, probably to save some money. In 1897, the Bottle in Bond Act forced distillers to produce each bottle during a single distillation season and at a single distillery.
This helped to boost the quality of bourbon, which wasn't the greatest before. The popularity of this American liquor skyrocketed in the mid-1900s.
How to serve it
What's better than enjoying bourbon liquor on its own? Mix it into cocktails. Create a wide variety of mixed drinks with this elegant spirit. For example, try mixing bourbon with bitters and club soda to obtain an old fashioned cocktail. For a new twist, just replace rye whiskey with a good bourbon in your Manhattans. What about mixing bourbon with mint leaves and sugar, for a refreshing mint julep? This easy-to-make cocktail is the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby.
Bourbon also pairs well with a variety of snacks, such as fruit, chocolate and appetizers with bacon and ham.