August 2, 2007, marked an exciting day for bourbon lovers in America. On this day, the United States Senate passed a bill, which declared September as “National Bourbon Heritage Month.” The bill bolsters the 1964 Act of Congress that declared bourbon “America’s Official Native Spirit” by celebrating the family heritage, tradition and deep-rooted legacy that the bourbon industry contributes to the United States.
In celebration of “America’s Official Native Spirit”, bourbon festivals take place all over the country and are dedicated to paying homage to this American-born beverage. What is bourbon? It is a distilled beverage made primarily from corn mash and aged in new, charred-oak barrels. Although the primary ingredient is corn, it may also include other grains such as wheat, rye and/or malted barley. It is usually bottled at 80-proof or above and is best known for its sweet and spicy flavor, amber-color and beloved appearance in your favorite cocktails. Kentucky distilleries are legendary for making many of the world’s best bourbons and can be found on what is known as the “Kentucky Bourbon Trail®”.
The most premium of bourbons, the ‘small batch bourbons’ are produced by mixing the contents of a small number of select oak-aged barrels to create the final product. These bourbons are considered first-rate and aged anywhere from 6-9 years. Ultra premium select reserves are aged much longer—over 20+ years.
What’s your favorite bourbon? Do you prefer to sip yours or rather enjoy it in a flavorful cocktail? Whichever you choose, just choose wisely! Want to get a head start on your celebration? Choose from the list below as you prepare to pay homage to National Bourbon Heritage Month:
Here are some suggested cocktails and pairings that will help you celebrate your “Native Spirit” in style! Celebrity Chef Jerome Brown is a huge fan of bourbon! He’s created two delectable tapas that go perfectly with these cocktails!
2 parts Knob Creek® Bourbon
½ part Sweet Vermouth
½ part Dry Vermouth
1 dash Bitters
Garnish: Maraschino Cherry
- Fill a mixing glass with ice
- Add Knob Creek, vermouth, and bitters
- Stir and pour into a cocktail glass
- Garnish with a maraschino cherry
3 tbsp. olive oil
1-2 lbs shrimp (peeled and devein)
2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup fresh basil (finely chopped, leaf)
salt to taste
black pepper (fresh ground)
½ cup dry vermouth
½ cup cranberry sauce
- Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet. Allow to get hot enough to cook shrimp quickly, but not overcook. Add shrimp and sauté, 2-3 minutes. Remove.
- Add garlic and red and pepper to the oil remaining in skillet. Sauté 1-2 minutes.
- Add wine and stir 1-2 minutes.
- Return shrimp, add salt and black pepper.
- Add basil and sauté 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Pour dry vermouth and cranberry sauce in separate pan on high. Bring to quick boil. Allow to thicken. Reduce heat.
- Spoon ½ tbsp. reduction onto each plate. Place 3-4 shrimp atop-serve!
2 parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
3/4 parts Lemon Juice
1 bar spoon Benedictine Liqueur
3/4 parts Simple Syrup
1 dash Orange Bitters
1/2 part Medium Bodied Red Wine
- Combine all ingredients into a mixing tin and shake well
- Strain the liquid into a coup glass
- Float red wine on top of cocktail
6 (4-ounce) filet mignon medallions
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon sea and garlic salt mixture
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tbsp. chopped fresh herbs
3 Yukon potatoes
Classic potato chips
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced (save some for mashed potatoes!)
- Combine garlic salt mixture, pepper, garlic, herbs and oil to create rub for medallions.
- Prepare grill for direct grilling and spray with oil. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons rub evenly over both sides of medallions. Place meat on grid over medium-hot coals. Grill, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes per side or until seared.
- Place the seared medallions into a baking pan and set in the oven. Bake for eight minutes for medium rare, 10 minutes for medium or 12 minutes for well-done, according to our preference.
- Served atop a bed of Yukon garlic mashed potatoes and chips!
Toasting to National Bourbon Heritage Month…
Making Drinking Easy,