National Bourbon Day for the year 2023 is celebrated/observed on Wednesday, June 14th. There are until the next observance.
What happens when corn, limestone, white oak, fire, and time are combined? You obtain bourbon, one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in American history. Because June 14 is National Bourbon Day, a little background is in order. In the mid-1700s, Scots-Irish settlers in what is now Virginia and Kentucky began distilling maize, the only grain native to the area but one that, due to its sweetness, created good whiskey. Another geographical aspect aided in the development of bourbon. The Limestone Shelf area, where all major American whiskeys are being produced today, instilled calcium into the local water while filtering away iron. It turns out that high-calcium, low-iron water is ideal for making moonshine. Elijah Craig, a clergyman-turned-distiller, is responsible for the third key piece of the bourbon puzzle. Craig began storing his spirits in ancient fish barrels in the late 1780s. Not unexpectedly, the fish-flavored wood did not improve the flavor of the whiskey, so Craig began cleansing the white-oak barrels by charring the interior. The barrels were then marked with their county of origin (Bourbon County in this instance) and shipped on a 90-day journey to New Orleans. The charred wood and three-month journey time mellowed the whiskey, giving it a smooth, smokey, oaky taste. When New Orleans residents asked for more of “that whiskey from Bourbon,” the name and spirit were established.
📆 When is National Bourbon Day?
This year, National Bourbon Day is on June 14th. It is the 2nd Wednesday in June; in 2024, it is on Friday.
→ Did you know:
You can also learn all fascinating things you didn’t know about and facts about June 14, 2023.
📜 History of National Bourbon Day
☑️ National Bourbon Day facts
✨ Things to do on National Bourbon Day
⚡ Mix up a bourbon-based cocktail
Sure, there are times when hibiscus bitters, basil-strawberry shrub, peychaud, and ancho chili dust are just what you need after a long day at the office. On every other occasion, a classic, like an Old Fashioned, would suffice. Old Fashioneds, maybe the oldest and most well-known mixed cocktail, are very simple to create. In your highball glass, combine one sugar cube (or one teaspoon of superfine sugar) with several dashes of Angostura bitters and a few drops of water. Stir in two ounces of your preferred bourbon and several ice cubes to cool the cocktail. Feeling very posh? Serve with a maraschino cherry or an orange slice as a garnish.
⚡ Host a bourbon-tasting party
If you’re a purist, you might object to even these little adjustments; in that case, a bourbon tasting might be more your speed. Invite a few friends over and ask them to each bring a different bottle (or have everyone chip in beforehand, so you can control the selection). Our recommendation: add a drop or two of distilled water to each pour to help open up the smells. Then use your smell and taste senses to find tastes and features in the bourbon. Is it more woodsy or smoky, or fruity and floral? Is there anything sweet or buttery about it? Bourbons are also commonly described as nutty, earthy, and herbal. Remember, the idea here is to compare and contrast, much as in high school essays, with the purpose of determining what you appreciate most about this spirit.
⚡ Watch the masters at work from the comfort of your armchair
Did you know there’s a full-length documentary about bourbon? It’s called Neat: The Bourbon Film, and while there’s no release date yet, the trailer and social media teasers suggest it’ll be well worth the wait. Meanwhile, check out KET’s hour-long “Kentucky Bourbon Tales,” which features conversations with expert distillers.
📅 National Bourbon Day Observances
View all June holidays, including Food & Beverage and other Beverage holidays.
We will continue to update this page with new information and fun facts about National Bourbon Day. So be sure to check back soon.