10 Best Cocktails to Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month

Each September, bourbon fans across the country raise our glasses in recognition of this uniquely American spirit. Officially declared National Bourbon Heritage Month by the U.S. Senate in 2007, the bill recognizes America’s ever-strong connection to the bourbon industry and solidifies the 1964 Congressional resolution that bourbon is a “distinctive product of the United States.”

So, what makes bourbon so special? Besides tasting incredible, there are a few boxes it’s required to check before it can legally be labeled bourbon! 1. Under federal law, it must be produced in the U.S.; 2. It must be distilled with at least 51% corn; and 3. It must then be aged in new charred oak barrels for two or more years. Phew… we’ll cheers to that!

Before you go, we’d like to remind you that both the bill and Top Note Tonic ask you to appreciate and celebrate your love of bourbon with responsibility and respect throughout the month of September. Now, who’s ready for a cocktail?

Midnight in Paris features barrel-strength bourbon, sweet vermouth and Top Note Gentiana.

1. Bourbon Highball

The key to this simple recipe is in the Club Soda, so choose one that’ll complement your bourbon instead of compete with or drown it out. Alternatively, opt for Ginger Ale if you’re in the mood for something sweet or Ginger Beer for a bold and spicy twist.

2. Kentucky Mule

Bolder than a Moscow Mule and with a bigger kick than a Whiskey Ginger, this simple cocktail holds nothing back in the flavor department.

3. BLT

Tonic may not be the first mixer you think of pairing with bourbon, but they work surprisingly well together when a splash of lemon. We love this with our Limited Edition Gentiana Tonic.

4. Grapefruit Wisco Old Fashioned

Here in Wisconsin we're pretty particular about how we like our Old Fashioneds. In this recipe, we give a nod to the regional standard without straying too far from the original, using Grapefruit Soda as a stand-in for store-bought sour mix and sugary soda.

5. Nor’Easter

According to New York Times contributor Florence Fabricant (who recently wrote about our Limited Edition Gentiana), this “spicy-sweet” cocktail is “great on its own or alongside a pile of spicy barbecue pulled pork.” Okay, who else is hungry?

6. John Collins

If you’re a fan of the Tom Collins, John is Tom’s barrel-aged brother, identical except that it uses bourbon in place of gin, making it an ideal cocktail for whiskey lovers looking for a refreshing treat. Don’t forget the maraschino cherries!

7. Midnight in Paris

Classic and spirit-forward cocktail fans will love this Boulevardier riff! In this sparkling variation, Gentiana stands in for Campari while a smooth barrel-strength bourbon balances out the sweetness of vermouth and bitterness of the tonic.

8. Grapefruit Bourbon Spritz

Bursting with vibrant flavors like fresh grapefruit, lemon and ginger, this easy-going spritz is one we’d happily enjoy year-round.

9. Old Jack Horner

Shake up (literally) your everyday highball routine with this earthy, sweet and sour recipe featuring plum wine, maple, Ginger Beer and - you guessed it - bourbon.

10. Bourbon Daisy

This Collins-style bourbon and tonic cocktail is pretty in pink with the addition of grenadine. Try it with our Bitter Lemon Tonic!



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