It doesn’t get much more American than a glass of bourbon according to THE GENTLEMANUAL article. Originally from Kentucky, this southern drink is one that easily classes up a meal. Sometimes, though, determining what is and isn’t bourbon can be a little tricky. An easy way to remember is that bourbon is whiskey, but whiskey is not always bourbon. From there, you’ll need to understand a few “bourbon laws” the drink must abide by in order to be fully considered bourbon. The “bourbon laws” are as follows:
- Bourbon needs to be produced in America and be made from at least 51% corn (the remaining 49% is from wheat or rye and barley)
- Bourbon must be stored in new charred-oak barrels
- Bourbon cannot be over 160 proof (80%)
Pairing Bourbon With Food
Since bourbon is from the south, it understandably pairs well with most southern dishes—especially dishes that feature fattier meats, like bacon, ham, etc. It’s important to remember that when pairing foods with bourbon, you don’t want one to overpower the other. Based on this principle, nuts pair well with bourbon, because they each have equally rich flavors. Fruits pair well with bourbon, too. The sugars in certain fruits can sometimes create flavor changes in the bourbon, making for an all-new drinking experience. Other good pairings to bourbon are maple syrup, sweet potatoes, and chocolate. In general, anything with sweet, smoky, or slightly spicy flavors will most likely pair well with bourbon. Once you find your favorite flavor profiles, you can get creative and start making your own innovative food pairings to go with this classic southern drink.