September marks National Bourbon Heritage Month, and unlike the slew of fake holidays we’re inundated with these days, this one was actually declared by the United States Senate in 2007. So we’d better treat it with respect. National Bourbon Heritage Month celebrates “America’s Native Spirit” and pays homage to the longtime traditions and family legacies inherent in the bourbon industry. And that, friends, is a fine reason to increase your bourbon uptake this month. So below, we’ve got a couple ways to do just that.
WITH A COCKTAIL
Courtesy of Chef Michael Symon, this refreshing cocktail mixes Knob Creek Smoked Maple with charred peaches and basil.
Smoke & Char
2 oz Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon
½ oz fresh lemon juice
¼ oz demerara syrup
2 slices of charred peaches
4 large basil leaves
Char peach slices on the grill until grill marks appear. Then muddle those peach slices with basil leaves in a cocktail shaker. Add Knob Creek Smoked Maple, fresh lemon juice and demerara syrup, and shake with ice. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
WITH SOME NEW BOURBON
2014 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon
Each September, Old Forester releases a special bourbon to comemorate the birthday of Brown-Forman and Old Forester founder, George Garvin Brown. The 2014 edition was selected from a single day of production and crafted by Master Distiller Chris Morris. It’s complex with a mix of warming spices, citrus and subtle vanilla bean sweetness. It’s bottled at 48.5% ABV and retails for $59.99.
Michter’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon
Michter’s Distillery has just released a limited run of US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon. It’s a take on their original US*1 Bourbon, which is matured like usual in new American oak. But here, they’re taking another step and transferring that liquid into a unique finishing barrel, this one made from 18-month cured wooden staves, that adds an extra level of toastiness to the whiskey. It’s 45.7% ABV and will set you back $48.