How To Drink Bourbon Like A Pro On This National Bourbon Day

One should never need a reason to drink bourbon. Drinking it should be a leisurely pastime — that is, if you can stomach it. It’s a tough alcohol to get down if you’re a newbie to the drink.

In honor of National Bourbon Day, it seemed like the perfect time to learn how to drink bourbon without wincing like a child and, instead, appreciate it for the spirit it is. I realize it’s an acquired taste, but based on my research it can be acquired fairly quickly if you know what you’re doing. As a martini drinker, it may be difficult at first, but I’m going to give it a go. I’m also going to give it a go right after I finish this post then probably drunk tweet later in the day some sappy song lyrics. I kid! I only do that on Friday nights like a normal person.

I received this information from my “pro” bourbon-drinking brother-in-law, so if you have anything to add before we all run to the bar to try this out, give it to us!

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    • Lastango

      “It’s a tough alcohol to get down if you’re a newbie to the drink.”

      Try starting by sipping Jack Daniels, straight up, no ice or water — from a wineglass, or better yet, a snifter.

      • Ryan

        Just mentioning Jack Daniels in a National Bourbon Day discussion, even for the purpose of training, is a shame.

        I suggest doing what Lastango said, except in the spirit of today’s holiday, use Jim Beam.. or another form of actual bourbon. NOT Jack Daniels.

      • Goldie

        I wouldn’t start out with Jack straight up because

        A. Jack Daniels is not bourbon
        B. drinking it straight is the most harsh, especially with cheap stuff like Jack.

        I think Knob Creek is a good starter bourbon (even though it’s not my fav) because it’s a sweeter bourbon, it’s low proof, and has a moderate price.

        Generally some bourbons taste better with a little water and some taste better straight. I think a good rule of thumb is: the more expensive it is, the less you add to it. Personally my favorite way to drink bourbon is with one big ice cube, even though the experts say that whiskey tastes better room temp (and they are right, but do what you like).

    • Brianna

      Bourbon or whiskey on the rocks is my drink of choice, it is delicious.

    • Distilless

      So Jack is not a Bourbon because it’s made in Tennessee. But Jack, George, Beam, Wild Turkey, Four Roses are all pretty much made the same: 80% corn, 10% rye, 10% malted barley. Sub wheat for rye for Maker’s Mark. Same region, similar water sources, new oak barrels, etc.

      Mah panties get all up in a bunch when people think bourbon is just sooo different than other American whiskeys. It’s not.

      Now bottoms up, kids. You don’t need an excuse to drink, but I don’t mind the encouragement either.

      • Goldie

        I’m from Kentucky and my grandparents were Beams so I can be a bit of a pedant about it, but you’re totally right. But there are bourbons made outside of Kentucky– that’s not one of the rules. Whatever reason they call Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey instead of bourbon is their own.

        I guess my eye gets twitchy when people talk up bourbon and then reveal they only drink Jack or Beam. The number of better bourbons at that price point is legion.