Keri Harris-Shaw: Hi! I am Keri, Communications Manager at Total Wine & More. Today I am going to talk about iconic American spirit, Bourbon Whisky.
Bourbon starts out as a great mixture called a Mash, made up of at least 51% corn and other ingredients that may include wheat, malted barley and rye. Mash gets mixed with water and fermented in large vats. The fermented mixture called a wash is then distilled to no more than a 160 proof which is 80% alcohol by volume.
The resulting clear spirit is placed into new charred barrels to gain color and flavor from the caramelized sugars and other components in the wood. Bourbon in general has no minimum ageing requirement with the exception of straight bourbon which has to be age the minimum of two years.
The longer the bourbon matured in the barrel the darker and more deeply flavored it becomes. Once matured to the distiller's satisfaction the bourbon is pulled from the barrel and usually diluted with water and bottle, most bourbon is sold at 80 proof which is 40% alcohol by volume.
Small Batch bourbons are whiskeys produced by mixing a number of selected barrels. Single barrel bourbons are just that bottle from individual specially selected barrels. Now it's a common misconception that bourbon can only be made in Kentucky, in fact bourbon can be made anywhere in the United States, but if its label Kentucky Bourbon it has to crafted in Kentucky.
Bourbon is a fantastic and flexible base for a wide range of cocktails. One of the most iconic is the refreshing mint julep this is the classic in the southern states of U.
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Start your traditional mint julep by medaling 8 fresh meant leaves and 2 teaspoons of simple syrup in the glass. Add 2 ounces of your favorite bourbon and stir, pour over a glass full of crushed ices, stir again and garnish with mint leaves. Whether in a mint julep or straight we hope you enjoy America's iconic whiskey bourbon. Cheers!