Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
The fact that September is Bourbon Heritage Month got me thinking about an elderly fellow I once knew, a friend of my father’s father and a veteran of World War I. He was 85 at the time, and blind as a bat - used to watch TV from the couch through a pair of binoculars perched on a stick, sipping what he referred to as “bourbon and branch.” That simply means bourbon and water (technically water from a small stream; it’s an old Southern term), as opposed to bourbon and soda, but it has an antique resonance to it that’s awfully appealing, I think.
Anyway, he’s gone now - has been for years - but there’s still plenty of good bourbon out there, and since it’s officially “a distinctive product of the United States” (by a 1964 Congressional resolution, no less), why not pour a glass? There’s still a day left in the month, after all.
Maker’s 46 ($32)
Jefferson’s Chef’s Collaboration ($40)
Baker’s Bourbon ($42)
2013 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon ($55)
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