It all started 400 years ago with a barrel of moonshine.
George Thorpe filtered the first ever batch of corn whiskey in Virginia all those years ago, and the tradition was carried on by George Washington distilling and operating the largest whiskey distillery in Virginia. However, some say that Elijah Craig is known as the father of bourbon (jot this down, it's great cocktail party knowledge). Craig created bourbon in 1789 by maturing corn whiskey in oak barrels. Others, though, say that it was not invented by any individual and rather evolved over time.
Bourbon is connected to the very beginning of American history. In fact, bourbon is considered so culturally important that it was declared as a unique product of the United States in an Act of Congress in 1964. It was declared that it must be made in the United States, must be 51% corn, and distilleries are not allowed to add anything except for water. Seeing as the drink is so historically significant, it only makes sense to have an entire month dedicated to celebrating it. In 2007, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution declaring September as National Bourbon Heritage month.
This month, whether you're a bourbon enthusiast or just getting started, celebrate the history and craftsmanship by concocting cocktails or attending a bourbon tasting. And the next time your uncle, in laws, or older siblings engage in the right of passage "do you like bourbon" conversation and taste test, whip out a few of these historical facts!