Which Came First: The Bourbon or the Rye?

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Just why is it that we Kentuckians insist on Old Fashioned’s made only with the best bourbon whiskey and eschew the rye? Well it turns out the first pour of bourbon in an Old Fashioned was just convenience and a little bit of state pride, of course!

According to Albert Schmid’s The Old Fashioned, “Although the original cocktail was made with rye whiskey. . . . The Kentucky bartender would have had greater access to bourbon and most likely substituted that for rye.” So really, it was a matter of practicality. Why would someone from Louisville, Kentucky, use an imported whiskey to make a cocktail where there was just so much bourbon around to be had?

So which do you prefer to see poured into your Old Fashioned glass? Does it matter which came first: the bourbon or the rye?

Don’t forget to register for our giveaway this week by Friday at 1PM! One lucky entrant will receive a copy of Albert W. A. Schmid’s The Old Fashioned: An Essential Guide to the Original Whiskey Cocktail.

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