National Bourbon Day

National Bourbon Day is a holiday that’s celebrated on June 14th every year, and it’s a day on which people can pay homage to one of the most iconic alcoholic beverages in the world. It’s an especially important spirit in the United States, where most of the world’s bourbon is produced. According to U.S. standards, bourbon must be produced from 51% corn, be stored in new charred oak barrels, and be distilled to no more than 160-proof or 80% alcohol. All bourbons are whiskeys, but as it can clearly be seen, not all whiskeys are bourbons.

The History Of Bourbon

Although we’re not sure when National Bourbon Day was first celebrated or who started the holiday, we fortunately do know quite a lot about the history of this spirit. It’s a drink that people began to distill after the 18th century, but the origin of its name is lost to history. Some people believe that bourbon is named after Bourbon County, Kentucky—where it was originally distilled, and others believe that it was named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

Bourbon is an American spirit that can be made anywhere in the U.S., but is mainly distilled in Kentucky—where 95% of the world’s supply of bourbon is distilled. Distilling in Kentucky is first attributed to the Scots-Irish, Welsh, German, Irish, French, and English immigrants who settled in the area. Unfortunately, since much of the origin stories of the invention of bourbon is wrapped in legends, no one knows who first started making bourbon whiskey; it is known that it was developed sometime between the 1850s and 1870s.

The Legal Requirements For Bourbon

Although there are various other places in the world that produce bourbon, and the legal definition required for a spirit to be labeled bourbon might change from country to country—thanks to trade agreements, the name bourbon is usually reserved for products made in the U.S. In the United States, the legal requirements for a spirit to be called bourbon are as follows:

  • The product must be made in the U.S.
  • It must be made of a grain mixture that’s at least 51% corn.
  • It must be aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • It can’t have a proof of more than 160-proof or about 80% alcohol.
  • It must be entered into the aging container at no more than 125-proof or 62.5% alcohol.
  • It must be bottled at 80-proof (40% alcohol) or higher.

List Of Some Of The Most Iconic Bourbon-Based Drinks

Below are some of the most iconic drinks made that use bourbon as their base:

Observing National Bourbon Day

The best way to enjoy this holiday is by drinking your favorite brand of bourbon. There are a variety of high-quality bourbons produced in the U.S., and these include Jim Beam’s Knob Creek, Elijah Craig, Wild Turkey, Four Roses, Old Forester, Maker’s Mark, and Woodford Reserve. As you’re enjoying your drink, you can use the hashtag #NationalBourbonDay.

When is it?
This year (2024)
June 14 Friday
Next year (2025)
June 14 Saturday
Last year (2023)
June 14 Wednesday
Food & Drinks