September is National Bourbon Month, a celebration of America’s “Native Spirit.” Although first officially recognized in 2007, bourbon has a deep-rooted legacy in the United States.

While Kentucky is more well-known for bourbon, you can find it at several Oregon distilleries. And here lies a common misconception: what’s the difference between bourbon and whiskey? The answer: bourbon IS whiskey. According to Karen Locke, author of High-Proof PDX, “Bourbon is simply a whiskey. It’s made from a grain mixture that has to be at least fifty-one percent corn and aged in new, charred oak barrels.”

Oregon bourbon makers:

Oregon Spirit Distillers
Eastside Distilling
New Deal Distillery
Bull Run Distillery 
Cascade Alchemy
Big Bottom Distillery

Bourbon cocktails

Since bourbon is a whiskey you could easily sub it into various recipes, but a few recipes call for bourbon by name.

Kentucky Mule

2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz lime juice
6 oz ginger beer
Squeeze lime juice into Collins glass or Moscow Mule mug and drop in the spent shell.
Add 2 or 3 ice cubes, pour in bourbon, then fill with ginger beer.
Serve with a stirring rod.

Gold Rush
2 oz bourbon
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz honey
Combine in a shaker, pour over ice. No need to garnish.

To learn more about Oregon craft distilleries, whiskey, bourbon, and more, pick up a copy of High-Proof PDX by Karen Locke. 

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