SPONSORED The Fourth of July: a blissful day of vacation perfectly situated into midsummer. It means barbecue, friends, and a day to celebrate all things Americana, but that’s not just baseball and apple pie. Enter bourbon. Bourbon is the quintessential American spirit, and it’s the only spirit recognized by a federal law as being a “distinct product of the United States.” There are many of tales of lore on how bourbon came to be – perhaps another American trait – but the likely version is that the settlers in the original county of Bourbon, Kentucky started distilling the local grain (corn) in barrels from made from readily-available wood (oak). The place of origin was stamped on the barrels and the corn whiskey became known as bourbon. This spirit evolved to the bourbon we drink today.
Our wide selection of bourbon is worth exploring: strong but sweet with brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla flavors help to make it appealing. The selection is vast—from craft quality small-batch bourbons like Black Maple Hill, to those widely available yet noteworthy, like Woodford Reserve. As with wine, the bourbon you come to love comes down to your own personal taste. So what can you do with this essential American spirit? The answer is the original cocktail: the Old Fashioned. As with all simple recipes, people tend to have their own opinion on what makes a proper Old Fashioned: soda water or none; garnished with a lemon, orange, cherry, or none at all; or made instead with rye. In any of its forms, the best thing about the Old Fashioned is that it allows you to experience the spirit itself, which in turn helps you to develop your palate. And so, in my humble opinion, How to Mix the Old Fashioned: Into your Old-Fashioned lowball glass (bonus points if it's chilled): Step 1: Measure a teaspoon of sugar. Use Demerara sugar, available in the Cheese Shop. Its rich, raw sugar flavor complements the drink far better than granulated. Step 2: Briskly stir in a teaspoon of water, making course simple syrup. Step 3: Add two dashes of Angostura bitters. Angostura, period. Step 4: The measure in two ounces of bourbon. Step 5: Add ice, and stir vigorously. Step 6: Top it all off with orange peel. Squeeze it a bit to get the oils flowing, and rub around the rim of the glass before garnishing the drink with it. Google “Old Fashioned” and you will come up with 40 different ways to make this drink on 40 different websites, and now mine is one of them!. In a pinch, I’m willing to compromise lemon for orange, but I like having that hint of citrus. Americans have been sipping some version of this drink for practically as long as we’ve had the right to celebrate our independence. What better drink to toast your country's founders? Happy Fourth, everyone. - Lindsey Coleman, surdyks.com