Tag Archives: bourbon heritage month

A Toast to National Bourbon Heritage Month

September is a most wonderful time—when the weather starts to cool, leaves start to turn, and the world turns its attention to the Commonwealth for National Bourbon Heritage Month! We’ll be celebrating this genteel and genuinely Kentucky holiday with cocktail and food recipes, new books, and a trip to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival.

More Kentucky Bourbon Cocktails6.inddTo kick things off, enjoy a celebratory tipple of “The Rutledge Rebellion,” created by Jason Start of Martini Italian Bistro in Louisville, representing Four Roses Distillery. “The Rutledge Rebellion” took first prize at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival Mixed Drink Challenge in 2014 in the Bourbon Punch Category. Named for Four Roses master distiller emeritus, Jim Rutledge, “The Rutledge Rebellion” won the honor of being the official cocktail of the 2015 Kentucky Bourbon Festival.

Try your hand at this well-crafted recipe from Joy Perrine and Susan Reigler’s newest book, More Kentucky Bourbon Cocktails. Cheers!

The Rutledge Rebellion

Rutledge Rebellion via The Kentucky Standard

The overall winning drink, ‘The Rutledge Rebellion’ (photo by Kacie Goode. Used with permission from The Kentucky Standard.)

1 1/2 ounces Four Roses Small Batch bourbon
1/2 ounce ginger liqueur
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce pomegranate juice
1 ounce apple pureé
(3 apples, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 cup simple syrup, 1/2               cup water, and 1/2 cup lemon juice—blended and                 strained)
or 1 ounce apple juice
2 ounces dry champagne
1 syringe Bittermens Tiki bitters

Combine ingredients in a pint glass and stir. Fill with ice, garnish with an orange slice and a mint sprig and serve with a straw.

Do You Know the Requirements for Bourbon?

1910With a book dedicated solely to cooking with bourbon, it’s only fitting Albert Schmid, author of The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook, would include a little bit of the history behind this beloved beverage.

Most people believe a Baptist minister, the Reverend Elijah Craig, was the first person to distill bourbon, circa 1789. It was a very convenient legend for the forces trying to repeal Prohibition. After all, how bad can bourbon be if it was invented by a Baptist minister? But, the truth is that no one really knows who invented bourbon. Some of the favorite candidates include Evan Williams, James Ritchie, and Wattie Boone (Daniel’s cousin).

Despite the myth surrounding its origin, in 1964 Congress officially named bourbon America’s native spirit and the beverage became the most regulated whiskey in the world, having to meet strict criteria in order to be labeled “bourbon.” The requirements for bourbon are these:

  • Bourbon must be made from at least 51 percent corn mixed with barley and with rye or wheat or both. Many times bourbon has an even higher percentage of corn.
  • Bourbon must be aged in charred new oak barrels.
  • Only pure water may be added to bourbon.
  • Bourbon must not exceed 160 proof off the still or 125 proof going into the barrel.

Celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month With These Bourbon Books

Nobody in Kentucky needs a reason to celebrate bourbon more than we already do each day, but if Congress wants to dedicate a whole month to the cause, we certainly won’t object. Thankfully, Congress did just that in 2007 when it declared September National Bourbon Heritage Month.

Over the past decade, bourbon has exploded on the national scene in a big way finally catching up with what Kentuckians knew all along. Here at the University Press of Kentucky, we’ve long been connoisseurs of the historic spirit so we’ve compiled a list books that should interest everyone from the bourbon historian to the home cook. Enjoy and read responsibly!


Bourbon New Books on America's Native Spiritmanhattan.final.inddThe Manhattan Cocktail covers everything that the aficionado needs to know about the classic cocktail through an examination of its history and ingredients. Author Albert W. A. Schmid dispels several persistent myths, including the tale that the Manhattan was created in 1874 by bartenders at New York City’s Manhattan Club to honor the newly elected Governor Samuel Jones Tilden at Lady Randolph Churchill’s request. Schmid also explores the places and people that have contributed to the popularity of the drink and inspired its lore, including J. P. Morgan, who enjoyed a Manhattan every day at the end of trading on Wall Street.


PeacheeCvCompF.inddIn The Birth of Bourbon, award-winning photographer Carol Peachee takes readers on an unforgettable tour of lost distilleries as well as facilities undergoing renewal, such as the famous Old Taylor and James E. Pepper distilleries in Lexington, Kentucky. This beautiful book also includes spaces that well-known brands, including Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, and Buffalo Trace, have preserved as a homage to their rich histories.


If it’s a month-long bourbon tour you’re looking for, this travel guide will not let you down.

Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide

Like wine lovers who dream of traveling to Bordeaux or beer enthusiasts with visions of the breweries of Belgium, bourbon lovers plan their pilgrimages to Kentucky’s bourbon country. And what a country it is! Some of the most famous distilleries are tucked away in the scenic countryside of the Bluegrass region, stretching between Louisville, Bardstown, and Lexington. Locals and tourists alike seek out the finest flavors of Kentucky as interest in America’s only native spirit continues to grow.

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Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival This Week!

Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month at the Kentucky Bourbon Fesitval in Bardstown. Photograph by Pam Spaulding

Photo by Pam Spaulding, photographer for KENTUCKY BOURBON COUNTRY

The 22nd annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival kicks off today in Bardstown. And what better way to celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month than in the heart of Kentucky’s bourbon country?

We’ve assembled some of our favorite bourbon titles for a little reading on the rocks. Here’s what you should be reading this month:

Buy the books on KentuckyPress.com:

KENTUCKY BOURBON COUNTRY: The Essential Travel Guide by Susan Reigler, Photographs by Pam Spaulding

THE KENTUCKY BOURBON COCKTAIL BOOK by Joy Perrine and Susan Reigler

THE KENTUCKY MINT JULEP by Joe Nickell

THE OLD FASHIONED: An Essential Guide to the Original Whiskey Cocktail by Albert W. A. Schmid

KENTUCKY MOONSHINE by David W. Maurer

THE KENTUCKY BOURBON COOKBOOK by Albert W. A. Schmid

 KENTUCKY BOURBON WHISKEY: An American Heritage by Michael R. Veach

THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF BOURBON by Gerald Carson

KENTUCKY BOURBON: The Early Years of Whiskey-making by Henry G. Crowgey