September is National Bourbon Heritage Month in Kentucky

Cheers! National Bourbon Heritage Month is here. Each year, Kentuckians and bourbon lovers around the country toast to Bourbon Month.

While 2020 is a unique year, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate in a safe and responsible way.

Learn Fun Facts About Kentucky Bourbon

Boost your Bourbon IQ and brush up on interesting tidbits about bourbon to impress your friends and family.

Did you know?

  • There are two barrels of bourbon for every person in Kentucky! As of 2019, more than 9 million barrels are aging in rickhouses across the Commonwealth.
  • If it touches a barrel (and meets other criteria), its bourbon. There is no legal definition for how long bourbon has to age in a barrel. “Straight bourbon” is aged a minimum of 2 years and any bourbon aged less than 4 years must have an age statement on the label.
  • The barrel is thought to create up to 70% of the flavor in a bourbon. Mash bills, length of aging and other conditions can vary but the barrel is the biggest part of what gives that signature taste.

Want to become even more of an expert? The Stave & Thief Society offers an in-depth bourbon certification program where you study from home and take an online test.

Mix a New Bourbon Cocktail

Many Kentuckians can fix an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan from memory, but why not try a different classic bourbon cocktail for your next cocktail hour?

What’s old is new. Here are two recipes that are lesser-known but stand the test of time.

Brown Derby

  • 1 1/2 ounces Kentucky bourbon
  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce honey syrup (1:1 honey and water)
  • Grapefruit twist, to garnish

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass. Express the oil from a grapefruit twist over glass and drop in to garnish.


  • 1 1/2 ounce Kentucky bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce Campari
  • 3/4 ounce vermouth rosso
  • Orange peel, to garnish

Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass until chilled. Strain into a glass, then garnish with a twist of orange peel.

Support Local Stores and Bourbon Makers

COVID-19 has been hard on nearly every business, so showing your support of local businesses and makers is a great way to celebrate Bourbon Month. Find a nearby locally-owned liquor store, seek out shops offering online stores or curbside pickup for bourbon items, and buy your favorite bourbon infused products from Kentucky shops.

— Rachel Nix

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