Often touted as “America’s Native Spirit”, this barrel-aged, primarily corn spirit must meet several government requirements in order to be labelled as “Bourbon”:
- The mix of grains must be at least 51% corn (beyond that you get quite a bit of variation)
- aged in new, charred-oak barrels, though there is no minimum aging requirement
- distilled to no more than 80% ABV
- barrel for aged at no more than 62.5% ABV
- bottled at 40% ABV or higher
Individual Bourbons can vary greatly, but generally they fit into several roughly defined styles (Be sure to check out Liquor.com’s excellent “style sheet”). The corn makes up the bulk of the grain in Traditional Bourbon, generally running around 70% with equal parts of rye and barley rounding out the bill. This style is well represented by Jim Beam, Evan Williams, Wild Turkey and Knob Creek. The “High Rye” style (our favorite) is self-explanatory and includes such examples as Basil Hayden, Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve. In contrast, the “High Wheat” is usually mellower. Maker’s Mark is probably the best known example.
Recipe by Jason Asher
- 2 Parts Basil Hayden¹s® Bourbon
- .50 Lemon muddled with Thai Basil
- 1 Part Aperol
- .75 Part of Simple Syrup (1:1 ratio of equal parts simple syrup and water)
Glass: Cocktail or Martini
Garnish: grapefruit peel and Thai basil leaf
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake for 6 seconds. Double strain over ice into a martini glass. 3. Garnish with a grapefruit peel and Thai basil leaf.