Taste the toffee – and caramel and vanilla. While some might prefer these flavours in a pick and mix, they can be the essence of a great spirit. With such delicious, corn-fed flavours on offer – bourbon is made from at least 51% corn – you have great taste but also a few questions on the tip of your tongue. Such as ‘why bourbon? Why not ‘corn’ whisky?’ After all, its local rival is rye whisky, made all over the US and named after the main crop.
Why does bourbon go against the grain with the name? Well rightly for such a premium product, this is probably because of the Bourbon monarchy that ruled France until 1848. Many emigrated from the country of ‘liberté, egalité, fraternité to the southern states, and still had a hankering for the hereditary monarch.
So this could be your big chance to step up as a cocktail king. Put on your best bartender regalia, pick up a bottle and go free range with your bourbon cocktails. Rule the party with toasty and buttery flavours from the charred oak barrels used to age the blend. It’s the golden-hued, Sun King of spirits. Let a short history unravel in a glass as it takes its rightful place in the spirit pantheon.
Country roads take me home to a great bourbon cocktail, as the old-time singers should have had it. This spirit is where some of the best drinks belong. And even if you don’t have a harmonica for a little local flavour, it’s not a problem – a pour of bourbon is the true taste of the South.