This September marks the sixth National Bourbon Heritage Month in history – a month long celebration honoring America’s Native Spirit. Despite bourbon being one of the oldest spirits still enjoyed by millions of people all across the world, many people are still unfamiliar with a few key facts about bourbon. For example, what is the difference between bourbon and whiskey? Does it need to be made in Kentucky to be considered bourbon?

Here a few bourbon facts – including a few about Jim Beam, the world’s number one bourbon – Get up to speed in celebration of National Bourbon Heritage Month.

– All bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon.

– By law, bourbon must be produced in the USA, made of a grain mix of at least 51% corn, distilled at less than 160 proof (80% ABV), aged for a period of time in new, charred white oak barrels and be free of any additives, with the exception of water to reduce proof where necessary.

– Simply put, bourbon is distilled grain and water. Jim Beam mixes more than 51% corn (as required by the government) with barley, malt and rye. Then they add a little yeast. Jim Beam uses the same, private-stock strain of yeast since Prohibition was repealed.

– It was not until 1840 that the popular spirit being made in Old Bourbon County officially became known as Bourbon. Prior to this it was often labeled “Bourbon County Whiskey” or “Old Bourbon County Whiskey.”

– In 1964, an act of Congress declared bourbon as “America’s Native Spirit” and the country’s official distilled spirit.

– The best way to enjoy bourbon? According to Jim Beam’s Seventh Generation Master Distiller, Fred Noe – “Any damn way you please.”


Jim and Coke

  • 1 1⁄2 parts Jim Beam Black Bourbon
  • Cola

Preparation: Pour 1½ parts Jim Beam Black over ice in a highball glass. Fill glass to rim with cola

Old Fashion

  • 1-1/2 parts Jim Beam® Bourbon
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • water
  • cherry
  • orange slice
  • lemon wedge
  • sugar

Preparation: In an old-fashioned glass, place 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 2 dashes bitters dissolved in water. Fill with ice. Pour 1-1/2 parts Jim Beam® Bourbon; add cherry and lemon wedge.

Black Cherry Manhattan

  • 2 1/2 parts Red Stag by Jim Beam® Infused Bourbon
  • Maraschino Cherry for garnishing

Preparation: Fill mixing glass 3/4 full with ice. Pour ingredients in order listed and stir until well chilled (about 20 seconds.) Strain into chilled martini glass, garnish and serve. (For ‘on the rocks’ build over ice in glass, garnish and serve.)

Devil’s Play Punch

  • Jim Beam Collins
  • Devil’s Play Punch
  • 1 part Devil’s Cut™ Bourbon
  • ½ part Ginger Ale
  • ½ part Soda Water
  • Fresh lemon wedge for garnish

Preparation: Combine ingredients in a tall, ice-filled glass. Garnish with fresh lemon.

Mint Julep

  • 1 part Jim Beam® Bourbon
  • splash water
  • pinch granulated sugar
  • finely crushed ice
  • fresh mint

Preparation: In a collins glass, dissolve the sugar in a splash of water. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add Jim Beam® Bourbon. Stir contents until the glass becomes frosty, adding more ice if necessary. (Don’t hold the glass in your hand while stirring.) Garnish the glass with sprigs of mint.