1. All bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon. Tennessee whiskey? Not bourbon. Canadian whiskey? Nope. Scotch? Definitely not bourbon… you get the idea.
2. Bourbon is all-American. In 1964, under President Lyndon Johnson’s administration, Congress declared bourbon America’s Native Spirit (LBJ sure enjoyed his bourbon.).
3. The only thing that can be added to bourbon is water (and only to bring it down to proof). Other whiskey makers can add colors and flavors to their products.
4. Whiskey can age in re-used barrels. By law bourbon must use NEW charred American white oak barrels. Scotch whiskey often recycles barrels first used for bourbon. Probably to try to steal some of the bourbon’s flavor!
5. It can’t say “bourbon” on the label if it’s not distilled in the United States. And it can’t be “Kentucky Bourbon” unless it’s distilled in Kentucky.
(Put some sugar water and crushed mint leaves in it and you’ve got a Mint Julep.)