Why May 4th Is An Important Date In Bourbon History

Bourbon fans likely know that National Bourbon Day falls on June 14 each year. It's a day to raise a glass and toast to one of America's most beloved spirits. But what you might not know is the date that made Bourbon Day possible — and allowed it to become the spirit of the United States. According to The Bourboneer, bourbon was declared "a distinctive product of the United States" and a separate category of whiskey on May 4, 1964.

Unlike other types of whiskey, bourbon is primarily made from corn, and it gets its name from the fact that it was originally produced in Bourbon County, Kentucky (via The Spruce Eats). Today, bourbon can be produced in any state in the United States as long as it adheres to certain guidelines. For example, it must be made from at least 51% corn, aged in new, charred oak barrels, and distilled to no more than 160 proof.

May 4, known as Bourbon Independence Day, is a day to celebrate the history and heritage of this unique spirit. It's a day to enjoy a glass of bourbon neat, on the rocks, or in a classic cocktail. This day is also an excellent opportunity to learn more about the different types of bourbon and how they are made. You can even spend it trying different brands and styles and discover new ways to enjoy this versatile spirit.

How to celebrate Bourbon Independence Day

One of the best ways to celebrate Bourbon Independence Day is by visiting a distillery. Take a tour of a distillery and learn about the history, the process, and how to taste bourbon like a pro. You'll also be able to sample different types and learn about the flavors that make each one unique.

If you can't make it to a distillery, you can still celebrate Bourbon Independence Day by hosting your own bourbon-tasting party at home (via National Today). Invite some friends over and try different types of bourbon. You can also mix up some classic bourbon cocktails like the old fashioned, Manhattan, or a mint julep.

Or try pairing your bourbon with a delicious meal. Bourbon is a versatile spirit that pairs well with a variety of foods, from grilled meats to chocolate desserts (via Bourbon Banter). Try experimenting with different pairings to find your favorite. Whether you're a seasoned bourbon drinker or new to the spirit, there's always something new to discover and enjoy.

No matter how you mark the occasion, enjoy celebrating one of America's most beloved spirits. Raise a glass of bourbon and cheers to the spirit that has become a symbol of American heritage and independence.