National Bourbon Day Date in the current year: June 14, 2024

National Bourbon Day If you’re a fan of fine liquor, don’t forget to celebrate National Bourbon Day on June 14. This unofficial holiday is dedicated to the drink that is immediately associated with the United States just like Scotch whisky is associated with Scotland, cognac with France or sake with Japan.

Bourbon is the predominant variety of American whiskey. Generally associated with the American South, it is made primarily from corn and aged in charred oak barrels. Although it has been distilled since at least the 18th century, the name “bourbon” was first recorded in the 1850s.

Distilling was most likely brought to the American South by European settlers, however, it is unclear how exactly bourbon developed as a distinct type of American whiskey. According to a popular legend, it was invented by Baptist preacher Elijah Craig who founded a distillery in Kentucky in 1789 and claimed to have been the first to age the spirit in charred oak casks.

However popular in Kentucky, the legend is just a legend. Bourbon whiskey probably wasn’t invented by a single person; instead, it developed into its present form organically. The origin of its name is also unclear. One of the popular versions claims it was named after Bourbon County in Kentucky. According to another, the drink owes its name to Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It should be noted that both names derive from the French House of Bourbon.

Although bourbon is primarily associated with the American South (Kentucky in particular), it can be produced anywhere in the country. The main difference between corn whiskey and bourbon, which is also primarily made from corn, is that the former isn’t required to be aged in wood barrels. Tennessee whiskey is almost identical to bourbon, but it can be produced only in the state of Tennessee and is not labeled as bourbon whiskey.

In 1964, the U. S. Congress recognized bourbon as a “distinctive product of the United States”. According to federal standards, bourbon sold in the United States must be produced in the country, made from at least 51% corn, aged in charred oak barrels, distilled to no more than 80% ABV, and bottled at no less than 40% ABV.

Bourbon can be served neat, on the rocks (over ice), diluted with water, or mixed with coke or other non-alcoholic beverages. It is also extensively used in cocktails; practically any cocktail that calls for whiskey can be made with bourbon (for example, the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned, or the whiskey sour), and the mint julep is specifically bourbon-based.

The origin of National Bourbon Day is unclear, but do you really need a backstory to celebrate? On June 14, enjoy a glass or two of bourbon and don’t forget to post about the holiday on social media using the hashtag #NationalBourbonDay. Other ways to celebrate include splurging on a bottle of expensive bourbon, going out to a bar and enjoying a cocktail with bourbon, attending a distillery tour and/or a bourbon tasting, or reading a book or watching a documentary on the history of bourbon. And keep in mind that everything, including bourbon, tastes better when shared with a friend!

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National Bourbon Day, holidays in the United States, food days, unofficial holidays, bourbon whiskey, American whiskey