Bourbon is a type of American whiskey, popular in many areas around the world. It is characterized by an amber color and sweet flavor. More specifically, bourbon is a distilled alcoholic drink made from corn. The name originates from the place where it was first produced - Bourbon County in the state of Kentucky.
Production of Bourbon
This type of alcohol is distilled from a grain mixture. The corn content needs to be at least 51%. This is actually what gives it its specific taste. Bourbon is aged in charred oak barrels. Another curious detail regarding bourbon is that no artificial colors are allowed, i.e. the drink needs to be 100% natural and contain absolutely no ingredients that would change it in any way.
Bourbon must be aged at least 2 years in order to fall into the category of Straight Bourbon. Generally, quality labels offer alcohol aged at least 4 years. Still there are those that offer less expensive production, that is aged less. A unique type of bourbon is the so-called "Sour Mash", distinguished by its salty taste. A slightly sour nuance is also characteristic of it. A special type of acid is used in its production.
History of Bourbon
Bourbon has a lengthy history. Everything started in the 18th century, when immigrants from Scotland and Ireland took a stand against the alcohol taxes in the US. The instigators of the rebellion were caught but President George Washington decided to grant them pardon anyway. The rebels, who actively bought and sold spirits, settled in Kentucky, where they were offered land. Among the areas given to them was Bourbon, where the production of the American whiskey began.
Thanks to the Ohio River Harbor, the drink spread to other parts of the US as well. A mandatory condition for bourbon is for it to be made in the US. If a drink is made in the same way but outside of the US, it does not have the right to bear the name. On May 4, 1964, bourbon was announced to be a distinctive product of the US. There are now federal standards for the identification of bourbon.
Composition of Bourbon
Storing and Serving Bourbon
According to experts, bourbon is a drink for true connoisseurs and should be appreciated however the person sees fit. But still some fans of the American whiskey remind that bourbon that's aged longer is best for serving after meals, since it has a beneficial effect on digestion.
Each person needs to decide for themselves whether or not to consume it in pure form. It's also a matter of choice whether you will add ice cubes or dilute it with carbonated water or some other nonalcoholic beverage. Bourbon can also be mixed with liqueur. According to aficionados, it needs to be poured out into a transparent cylindrical glass.
Only 1/3 of the glass is filled. Bourbon is drunk slowly in small sips, in order to fully appreciate its charm. Before drinking, real connoisseurs take in the aroma as well, delighting in its wonderful scent.
Some experts believe that bourbon must not be kept in the refrigerator but rather stored at room temperature. If you've decided on eating while drinking your bourbon, you can bet on smoked fish or oysters but of course you can drink it with anything according to your taste. Good company is a must when it comes to drinking bourbon.
Cooking with Bourbon
With time, bourbon continues to find ever wider use in the kitchen. Cocktails with this corn drink are favorites among the ladies, as well as gents. Bourbon mixes excellently with mint, baking soda, different types of liqueurs. Fruit flavors can also be added to it. In recent years, bourbon has proven itself as a key ingredient not only in cocktails but in some culinary specialties too. Experienced chefs use it to flavor pork chops, fish fillets and chicken steaks. In addition, it is used to season fresh salads and appetizing desserts.
Benefits of Bourbon
Moderate consumption of quality bourbon offers a series of benefits to the human body. To a great extent this is due to the corn contained in the drink. This type of alcohol is a source of antioxidants that benefit our body. Drinking bourbon in small amounts lowers blood pressure and expands the blood vessels. At the same time, consuming it in moderation decreases the chance of stroke and cardiovascular problems.
Bourbon has been used in certain medicinal concoctions that aid against tachycardia, blood pressure problems and poor sleep. The corn drink aids those with gastrointestinal issues. Furthermore, consuming it relieves stress and relaxes. Moderate use of bourbon has beneficial effects on the gallbladder. To top it all off, it is excellent even for physical and mental exhaustion.
Dangers of Bourbon
Even though bourbon possesses positive qualities, like all alcohol, it can be very dangerous. Frequent and abusive consumption of the corn drink can cause alcohol poisoning. Bourbon consumption needs to be avoided by pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding. People suffering from severe illnesses also need to be careful when using this alcoholic drink.