Not your Grandad’s Bourbon

It’s week two of the Year of Drinking Adventurously.  Bourbon. (Find all 52 entries, here.)

This week we cross the pond from Scotland to the southern United States to sample bourbon, America’s most famous spirit.  Bourbon has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity recently.  Even cool kids like Hilary Clinton are drinking it.

Hilary touring the Maker’s Mark Distillery, image courtesy Huffington Post

Now, I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t been caught up in this wave of bourbon trendiness.  Honestly, three or four years ago, I wouldn’t have touched the stuff given another whiskey option.  That’s what happens when your earliest bourbon memories are sneaking a taste of your Dad’s Old Grandad on the rocks when he isn’t looking.  Blech.

Then I met Woodford Reserve and my life was forever changed.  The thing I hated about bourbon was that “corny, sour mashy” taste and smell.  The Woodford had none of that.  Recently, I acquired a bottle of Blanton’s Bourbon and it’s become my new favorite.

My bottle, not my kitchen

However, I can’t find it in my local liquor store leaving me to buy this instead:



My bottle, my kitchen










So how does one drink their bourbon?  Straight up?  Yes.  But I can’t keep posting that every week, you’ll stop reading.  Here are 2 of my favorite options:

1. The classic Manhattan:manhattan-cocktail

In a shaker with ice:  3 oz. bourbon, 1 oz. sweet vermouth, 2-3 dashes bitters, 1 Maraschino cherry.  Shake and pour into Martini glass or if you prefer, serve on the rocks.

I know it looks like a girly drink but if you were hoping for a Cosmo, you will be sorely disappointed.  You have to like whiskey to like this cocktail.

2. The bourbon hot toddy:

(No photo because it looks like a cup of tea)

In a small sauce pan:  3-4 oz. bourbon, juice of half a lemon (or a fresh orange or tangerine is nice too), 1-2 tablespoons honey, water to dilute (not too much!)  Heat until honey has dissolved (don’t boil it or you’ll cook off the alcohol and then what would be the point?), serve in a teacup or mug.

Comfort in a cup!  Nice on a sore throat, too.  Even my tea-totaling Nana would have a hot toddy when she had a chest cold.  This was the perfect drink for me with the nagging cough I’ve been battling.

I struggled to tie this into writing.  Bourbon was the drink of choice for some famous authors like William Faulkner, Hunter S. Thompson and Samuel Clemens.  Bourbon is featured in the lyrics of over 400 hundred songs.  I’m sure it’s fueled the muse in many famous drinkers over the years.  That’s all I got!

Make sure you check out Lula’s post today.  She wrote about rye, bourbon’s kissing cousin!


45 thoughts on “Not your Grandad’s Bourbon

  1. We have a problem here…my husband is the whiskey/whisky man – I’m into all the other stuff. Occasionally I have something that calls for one of his treasures (and I must be sure to using the ones for mixing…not the prized spirits). Another one to try is Jefferson’s Reserve – he liked it but so did some of his friends who were new to whiskies. Now I go back to my spirit of the month…Rum!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have the opposite problem in our house! My husband doesn’t really drink anything but beer. Good beer but still… I will look for the Jefferson’s Reserve; thanks for the suggestion!


  2. kissing cousin? That conjures up some unsavory images. A teetotaler misses out so many worldly delights. I am ashamed of myself. So this bourbon hot toddy – it looks like tea. Hmm…perhaps I could fool my brain into thinking that it was indeed tea and in the process sample a respectable alcoholic drink. (As you mention, quaffing whiskey from dad’s collection and puking all over doesn’t count.)


    1. Kissing cousin – perhaps that should be the subject of its own post. 😳

      If you aren’t much of a drinker, the bourbon hot toddy wouldn’t be a bad choice. Especially if you used the fresh orange juice. And yes, sneaking dad’s booze is an escapade that never ends well!

      Liked by 1 person

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