Who would have guessed that what started as Kentucky moonshine would lead to the “Bourbon Boom” of 2014? These days, it’s hard to find a bar that isn’t serving popular top shelf bourbon drinks to both men and women, but that wasn’t always the case. Bourbon used to be known as a “commodity” spirit, because of its bitterness and poor quality due to many distillers diluting and tampering with the recipe. The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 set strict standards, and distilleries around the country have transformed its reputation through innovation and taste.
Which brings us to the age-old question: what makes bourbon different from whiskey? We’ve outlined the facts below:
- Must be made in the United States.
- Must contain 51% corn.
- Must be aged in new oak charred barrels for no less than two years (many are aged longer).
- Must be bottled at no less than 80 proof.
- Must not contain any added flavoring, coloring, or other additives.
Bourbon can be adapted to both hot and cold drinks, which makes it the ideal autumn spirit. With the Bay Area’s unique climate, warm weather continues and so the perfect October drink captures fall flavors, while remaining refreshing. We’ve added organic sparkling apple cider to this recipe for a crisp maple bourbon cocktail with a subtle bite.
MAPLE BOURBON CIDER
Recipe adapted from Everyday Food Magazine
Makes 2 drinks
- 3 oz. Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 cup sparkling apple cider
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
Fill two glasses and a cocktail shaker with ice. Add bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and apple cider to shaker; shake vigorously. Strain into glasses and top each with a pinch of cayenne pepper, if desired.
Cheers to fall!