Bottles of bourbon from the first batch distilled and aged at Hidden Still Spirits. At Hidden Still Spirits in Lebanon Thursday afternoon April 20, 2017. The craft distillery is starting to get some of it's first batch of bourbon, after it's minimum 2 year aging process. Photo by Ben Hasty (Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Bourbon's Name Was Inspired By An 18th Century French Dynasty
When Scotch-Irish immigrants in the American South crossed over the Appalachians after the Revolutionary War, they used America’s unique resources to make a new alcoholic spirit called bourbon. Despite being produced thousands of miles away from France, this most democratic of liquors ended up named after French royalty.
Allegedly, when immigrants started moving to Kentucky, which was part of Virginia at the time, they were given land just to produce whiskey by then-governor Thomas Jefferson. He named the county after the French Bourbon dynasty to honor the royal family for their aid during the revolution, and the drink was named after the county.
Another theory states that bourbon was named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans, the bar capital of the city and the main destination for Kentucky liquor that was shipped down the Mississippi River. That doesn’t change who it’s named after, however, because Bourbon Street was also named after the French monarchs.