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A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration

From the Knowledge Vault

Bourbon: What it is ... and isn't

This is the third in a series on Bourbon by Zach Pearson. Read them all: Bourbon, Bourbon After the Act, Bourbon: What it is ... and isn't, Making Bourbon, Who Makes My Bourbon, Producer Capsules., Finding the Good Stuff, Tasting the Good Stuff, Neat, Mashbills, Geeky Information and Resources.

Defining bourbon is complicated. It’s easiest to quote the relevant laws then talk about them, so let’s go to the official record, the Federal Standards of Identity for Whiskey, CFR 27 5.22 (b). Skip down if you don't care to wade through the laws.

(b) Class 2; whiskey. “Whiskey” is an alcoholic distillate from a fermented mash of grain produced at less than 190° proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to whiskey, stored in oak containers (except that corn whiskey need not be so stored), and bottled at not less than 80° proof, and also includes mixtures of such distillates for which no specific standards of identity are prescribed.

Recent Additions

  • Black Bird — Cognac, Limoncello, Crème de Violette, Orange bitters, Ginger syrup
  • Italian 75 — Gin, Limoncello, Tonic water, Lemon juice
  • Pea Flower Cocktail — Gin, Orange liqueur, Bianco Vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur, Tea
  • Wyoming Summer — Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, Chambord, Lemon juice
  • Long Weekend — Old Tom Gin, Amaro Meletti, Bianco Vermouth

Recent Discussion

  • Re Schwartzwald, 12 hours ago Shawn C commented:

    Note: I cut the lemon juice from 3/4 to 1/2 oz--personal preference as I find many lemon/lime cocktails a little too acidic/astringent. The adjustment worked well for me. The Amaro Lucano augments the Black Balsams difficult to characterize ester aroma and flavor, yielding kola, slightly bitter dark berry, and citrus flavors. Well balanced and semi-dry, this one grew on me as I sipped and the glass warmed.

  • Re Wabash Cannonball, 17 hours 46 minutes ago Mixin In Ansley commented:

    Agree on the lemon cut back, but great fall drink.

  • Re Southern Exposure, 16 hours ago jhollist99 commented:

    Well balanced and approachable. Excellent cold weather beverage.
    Recommended Changes
    3oz - Bourbon Widow Jane 10 Year
    1/2 oz - Sweet Vermouth (same)
    1/2 oz - Ancho Reyes - adds a nice spice factor
    1/4 oz - Creme de Cacao (same)
    3 ds of Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters ... just my preference to balance with the increase Ancho Reyes

  • Re World's Fair, 4 days ago Craig E commented:

    Curated to clean up including adding creator. Thanks @yarm!

  • Re Brooklynite, 4 days ago yarm commented:

    "Some include a dash of Angostura bitters." The earliest recipes in The Stork Club (1946) and Trader Vic's Bartender Guide (1946) both do. And the one I spotted in Unvarnished (2020) does to. Only Imbibe Magazine leaves it out.

    Very similar to the Honeysuckle and Honey Bee (both recipes appear in Embury) which both have lemon juice but have white rum and Jamaican rum, respectively.