Did you know that September is National Bourbon Month? We're celebrating with a private class tonight all about Cooking with Bourbon and we'd love to share with you, too! Add sweet, rich and deep flavor to sweet and savory alike with this American spirit. And if a little happens to "evaporate" while you're cooking, well...we can't blame you!
Bourbon has seen an amazing increase in distillation and distribution over the past 5 years. Where it was previously thought of along with Kentucky, in Colorado we currently have more than 90 distilleries in the Centennial State. Good, bad or ugly - we're in the Bourbon business. So get to know this liquor that embodies our country!
“All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.”
· Must be made in the United States.
· Must contain 51 percent corn.
· Must be aged in new oak charred barrels.
· Must be distilled to no more than 160 proof and entered into the barrel at 125 proof.
· Must be bottled at no less than 80 proof.
· Must not contain any added flavoring, coloring or other additives.
In 1964, under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, Congress declared bourbon "America’s native spirit". Today, bourbon is recognized around the world as America’s native spirit.
Bourbon is kind of like whiskey’s “sweet spot.” Because corn is a sweet grain, the more corn, the sweeter the whiskey—and bourbon needs to be at least 51% corn.
The only thing that can be added to bourbon is water (and only to bring it down to proof). Other whiskey makers can add colors (often caramel) and flavors to their products. But then, they can’t call their whiskey bourbon.
It can’t say “bourbon” on the label if it’s not distilled and aged in the United States. It can’t be “Kentucky Straight Bourbon” unless it’s distilled and aged in Kentucky for at least 2 years.
Why we love cooking with Bourbon:
Bourbon adds a lovely sweet and smoky flavor to sweet and savory dishes. It can be used to balance out richness and also used to add a kick. When using, pay attention to the proof! The lower proof bourbons will burn off the alcohol taste faster and are perfect for sauces and lower heat recipes. Higher proof will retain it's flavor better and give a better flame when used for high heat applications, like deglazing and flamed desserts. Also consider the overall flavor of the bourbon that you are using - it will bring the subtle notes to your dish once the alcohol is burned off. Give bourbon a try in your kitchen!