Did you know that at least 2000 bottles of bourbon PER DAY are sold in the United States? In fact, according to Statista, in 2021 over 76 million, 9-liter cases of bourbon were sold across the nation, with numbers increasing each year.
So, why do Americans love our bourbon so much? To understand bourbon adoration, we first need to learn a little about the origins of whiskey in America.
When was Whiskey First Introduced to America?
Although whisky (without the ‘e’) is credited to have been invented in Scotland by monks around 1000 years ago (Irish Whiskey (with the ‘e’) soon following), there is no debate that whisky/whiskey originated in the lush green Celtic isles.
1718 saw a peak period commence of Scottish-Irish immigrants settling in the United States. Predominantly hard working laborers responded to advertisements by American companies seeking help to build railway tracks near Maryland, Pennsylvania, and to work in farms across the Appalachian Mountains. Many farmers and merchants felt the only way to build wealth was to emigrate to the land of opportunity.
With well over 200,000 Scottish and Irish immigrants settling in the US between 1718 and 1775, it was to be expected that accompanying these immigrants was their favorite spirit of choice; whiskey.
However, the cost of shipping this ‘Drink of the Gods’, not to mention the time it took for crates of whiskey to make their way across the Atlantic, meant that the demand (and cost) far outweighed the ability to supply.
New UK born immigrants soon started making their own local whiskey, distilled with corn and giving it a slightly different flavor than its Celtic cousin. At this time, it was still referred to as whiskey, although the flavor and distilling methods had become distinctly different.
Bourbon Get’s its Name
How American Whiskey became known as Bourbon is a hotly debated topic among American Whiskey connoisseurs, however, it is agreed that bourbon is named after the House Of Bourbon, a part of the French Capetian Dynasty, ruling France in the 16th Century.
In 1789, Kentucky Baptist Minister, Elijah Craig, is credited as being the first distiller to store his whiskey in new charred oak barrels. The fresh, smooth, smokey flavor became so popular that it soon became the preferred way to distil American Whiskey.
It wasn’t until the 1890s though that American Whiskey became ‘Bourbon’.
Arriving in Louisville from Cognac in France, the Tarascon Brothers started shipping American Whiskey to saloons in Bourbon Street, New Orleans, thinking they would sell more if they marketed this smooth tipple as “French Brandy”.
Soon enough, word spread and saloon patrons all over the US started asking for “that whiskey they sell on bourbon street”, and so began the name Bourbon Whiskey.
Bourbon Neat or Mixed?
Many bourbon lovers will tell you it’s a sin to mix a good bourbon with anything other than ice “on the rocks”. In other words, bourbon “neat”.
However, there are plenty of bourbon cocktails that remain true to the spirit, and in fact, enhance the flavor of the bourbon as opposed to smothering the taste with artificial flavours and sweeteners.
Nestor’s Top 4 Bourbon Cocktails
Being big bourbon fan's at Nestor Liquor, we have decided to share our Top 4 Bourbon Cocktails that truly do this beloved elixir justice, and might just add a refreshing new recipe to your drinks menu.
For our must-try bourbon cocktails we have selected four top-selling brands bourbon aficionados truly appreciate.
- Eagle Rare
- Angel's Envy
- Buffalo Trace
- Woodford Reserve
Never tried bourbon? These recipes are the perfect place to start!
One thing each of these bourbon cocktails has in common? They all need a cocktail shaker! Don’t have one? Grab our 6 Piece Cocktail Shaker Set, the perfect starter kit for any novice bartender.
NESTOR'S SOUR BUFFALO
(Featuring Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon)
Nobody wants to come face to face with a sour buffalo in a dark alley, but they sure would like to drink one! One of our in-house specialty cocktails features Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon.
- 2 ounces Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1/2 ounce egg white (optional)
- Splash Angostura Aromatic Bitters
- 4 x small ice cubes
Add bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white, to a cocktail shaker and shake for 30 seconds without ice.
Add ice cubes and shake for another 30 seconds.
Strain into a whiskey glass.
Garnish with 3 or 4 drops of Angostura aromatic bitters.
JEKYLL AND HYDE (Featuring Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon)
Credit : Kindred Cocktails
Inventor: Thomas Waugh, Death & Co
- 1 1⁄2 oz EAGLE RARE 10 Year Bourbon
- 1⁄2 oz Apple Brandy
- 1⁄2 t Cinnamon syrup (2:1 sugar to water with cassia cinnamon stick)
- 1 t Rich demerara syrup 2:1
- 2 ds Angostura Aromatic Bitters
- 1 twist Lemon peel (Garnish)
- 1 twist Orange peel (Garnish)
- 1 large ice cubes / 4 small ice cubes
Pour all ingredients over ice then strain into a double rocks glass over 1 large ice cube. Garnish with the lemon & orange twists.
Cinnamon syrup made by steeping 1/2 ounce cinnamon sticks in 1 cup water and 1 cup superfine sugar. Heat, then let sit overnight before straining with cheesecloth.
HENDERSON’S OLD FASHIONED (Featuring Angel's Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey)
Credit : A Lush Life Manual
- 50ml ANGEL’S ENVY Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- 5ml ruby port syrup*
- 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
- 1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
- Add all of the ingredients to a mixing glass
- Add ice
- Stir, stir, stir
- Strain into rocks glass
- Garnish with an orange twist
NESTOR’S WOODFORD SPIRE (Featuring Woodford Reserve Select Bourbon Whiskey)
- Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select Bourbon Whiskey
- A squeeze of lemon
- Soda water
- A lemon twist
- Woodford Reserve Bourbon Cherries
- 4 x small ice cubes
Add Bourbon, Lemonade, a squeeze of lemon and soda water to a cocktail maker and shake for 30 seconds.
Pour over ice and garnish with lemon twist and 2 bourbon cherries.