Celebrate Our Nation's Native Spirit with National Bourbon Month

Happy National Bourbon month! Say what....? That's right, whether you've heard about this wonderful month-long commemoration of America's native spirit or not, this September marks the 10th anniversary of National Bourbon Heritage Month. The U.S. Senate passed this holiday in 2007 to encourage Americans to celebrate the history, cultural heritage and legacy that the bourbon industry contributes to the United States.

Ok, so it's a holiday, but how do you celebrate?

Ah, good question, my friend. The simple remedy to this quandary is to pour yourself a glass of your favorite bourbon on the rocks and sip it slowly as you savor the honeyed tones in fading summer light. Sounds romantic, huh?

Alternatively, if you're a true bourbon fan, you can visit the heart of bourbon production in Louisville, Kentucky. When you go, start at Stitzel-Weller distillery.

Nestled in the heart of the Bluegrass State, this "Cathedral of Bourbon" is home to some of history's most iconic brands, including Blade and Bow, Bulleit and I.W. Harper. However, if it's not your first stop on your Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour, no one will hold it against you. Just make sure you make it there at some point so you can test and enjoy a unique window into the rich history of Kentucky bourbon.

So what are some of the legendary bourbons from Kentucky? Here are three.

I.W. Harper

IW Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Courtesy: Stitzel-Weller

I.W. Harper is returning home after a 20-year hiatus. Recently, the brand has released its newest member of the bourbon clan: I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The unique offering commemorates the original whiskeys produced by the brand with a commitment to authenticity that only 142 years of experience can provide.

Speaking of its original whiskeys, I.W. Harper began in 1867 with German immigrant Isaac Wolfe (I.W.) Bernheim. With four dollars and five years, he managed to found his own distillery and by 1885 has won a gold medal for his handcrafted spirit. So it's only natural that after nearly 150 years, things come full circle and the bourbon returns back to its roots.

Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Blade and Bow-11

Courtesy: Stitzel-Weller

If you're a whiskey enthusiast who truly appreciates a good bourbon, Blade and Bow is for you. Enjoy a crafted distillation of bourbon that is reminiscent of the passion and craftsmanship that was poured into every bottle as the legendary Stitzel-Weller Distillery built its brand. 

In fact, the bourbon's solera aging process preserves some of the last remaining bourbon produced at Stitzel-Weller before it shut its doors in 1992. 

Bulleit Barrel Strength


Courtesy: Stitzel-Weller

Every year, Bulleit releases a limited number of bottles filled with straight out of the barrel, uncut and non-chill filtered bourbon.

Originally, this spirit was only available in Kentucky, but for its 30th birthday in 2017, the opportunity to try this unique beverage has expanded to eight additional markets. Will you be quick enough to get yourself a bottle to sample?

Become a Bourbon Mixologist

Of course, once you have your hands on your favorite bottle of bourbon, you're going to want to make it into a beautiful beverage worthy of its craftsmanship. Need some ideas? Here are six of them.

1. Old Fashioned

I.W. Harper Old Fashioned

Courtesy: Stitzel-Weller

  • 1.3 oz. I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

  • Spoon of Brown Sugar

  • Dash of Angostura Orange Bitters

  • 2 Dashes Aromatic Bitters

  • House-made Cherries

  • Garnish with Orange Twist

Instructions: In an Old Fashioned glass, muddle bitters and brown sugar. Add bourbon and ice, then stir with a bar spoon. Garnish with cherries and orange twist.

2. Honey Bourbon Lemonade

Capture the long days of a lingering summer in this golden glass of spiked lemonade.

Get the recipe here.

3. Berry Bourbon Bramble

This cocktail is begging to be enjoyed at sunset on a wrap around porch. Will you heed the call?

Get the recipe here.

4. Hot Fudge Bourbon Milkshake

Nobody ever said that cocktails can't involve ice cream. And with National Bourbon Month being one of the hottest in the year down South, why wouldn't you treat yourself to some boozy ice cream?

Get the recipe here.

5. Bourbon Peach Lemonade Punch

Peaches make summer in the South worthwhile. Celebrate their glory by soaking them in honied bourbon and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Get the recipe here.

6. Boozy Bourbon Cherries

Becuase you're going to need something to garnish your drinks and desserts!

Get the recipe here.

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