While Father’s Day may be on Sunday, today marks an especially important day for celebration. June 14 is National Bourbon Day and that means you now have an excuse to pound some whiskey, on the off chance you needed an excuse.
With 95 percent of bourbon on the market today coming from Kentucky, it is the quintessential American spirit. In fact, in 1964 Congress defined bourbon as strictly a “distinctive product of the United States.”
To get technical, bourbon is classified as a type of whiskey, but not just any kind of whiskey is bourbon. To be labeled “bourbon,” the whiskey must be made in America and aged for at least two years in charred oak barrels. It must also be made from a mash of fermented grains that includes at least 51 percent corn.
You don’t need to know any of this to enjoy a shot of Jim Beam, but it never hurt anyone to know a bit about America’s fine culinary heritage.
In celebration of bourbon in all its amber glory, we’ve rounded up 6 recipes to celebrate National Bourbon Day.
1. Peach-Infused Bourbon Iced Tea
This peachy bourbon-spiked iced tea makes for a perfect summer cocktail. Southern in spirit, peach-infused bourbon iced tea is a staple at the Kentucky Derby, but it’s good for anytime your taste buds need a refreshing pick-me-up.
2. Bacon-Infused Bourbon
Bacon makes everything better. That includes alcohol, especially bourbon, which pairs incredibly well with cured pork. The caramel undercurrents act like maple syrup and match up nicely with the richness and smoke of the bacon while the whiskey's spice brings it all together.
3. In-Laws Antidote
If this weekend includes a visit from the dreaded in-laws, have no fear, this cocktail has you covered. This drink features spicy rye whiskey infused with cinnamon, clove and juniper to pack as much flavor into the mix as possible.
4. Wagering Whiskey Pop
This cocktail, while light and refreshing, definitely packs a punch. It's known to make a gambler out of the most cautious of men, thus the "wagering" in the title. Enjoy outside, ideally beside a grill.
5. Churchill's Holiday
Perfect for colder climates, this drink has the warmth of the bourbon, tartness of the apple cider, winter spices, minus the overwhelming sugary sweetness.
6. Classic Straight Bourbon
Who are we kidding? True bourbon fans don't need cocktail recipes. For this drink, just whip out your favorite rocks glass and pour some bourbon. Nothing fancy necessary.