What are you planning on drinking this weekend, the most American weekend of the year?
Some beer? Some light beer? Some more light beer?
Okay. You’re gonna celebrate this nation by drinking a beverage invented before this country was founded, on a whole different continent? Call me crazy, but that’s like sending a Father’s Day card to a baby in Thailand to celebrate Christmas. Makes no fucking sense.
You should be drinking bourbon. Invented by Tim Bourbon while shooting down British soldiers during the Battle of Bunker Hill in July, 1775, bourbon has been synonymous with America and inde-fucking-pendence ever since.
So I ask again, what are you drinking this weekend? What’s that? You need some recommendations? Well no fucking problem.
If you want to feel like the original Americans fighting the Whiskey Rebellion: Basil Hayden’s, $41.99
In 1791, one of the greatest Americans ever did one of the worst things ever. George Washington put a tax on whiskey. You know who hated it? Everyone in the damn country, so much so that they started an armed insurrection against it.
They lost, of course, but damn if they didn’t prove a point. And if you want to drink the same shit they did to get drunk enough to rebel against the government, get some Basil Hayden’s in you. This whiskey is made with a mash bill almost identical to what Basil Hayden Sr. used way back in the 1790s. It’s higher in rye, like most whiskey was back then, so it’s practically like time traveling to Colonial America. And think how easy it would be to win the Whiskey Rebellion with all the modern weaponry you’d bring with you.
Why, you’d be a hero greater than George Washington.
If you want to feel like Davy Crockett waiting out Santa Ana’s forces at the Alamo: Booker’s Small Batch Bourbon, $59.99
Some people like their bourbon to be tepid and basic. A nice little sippin’ whiskey. Others want each drag to hurt like someone jammed a Bowie knife all the way down throat straight through to their stomach. I mean that in the most pleasurable way possible, because count me in the the latter group. Any high schooler can enjoy an 80 proof bourbon. It takes a man to drink something much, much stiffer, something hovering around 126-127 proof, like most Booker’s Small Batch releases are.
They’re bottled for men, who want to drink like men. You think the dudes at the Alamo were all like “ooh pass me the wine cooler” before they made their last stand? No. No. Davy Crockett would be putting down some of this year’s ‘Annis Answer,’ which has been aged seven years. Every sip feels like the most intense one of your life, the exact bourbon you’d want to have while staring down 1,500 Mexican troops.
If you want to feel like you run America like the damn Rockefellers: Russell’s Reserve 10 Year, $41.99
There have been a lot of famous families in American history, the Adams, the Bushes, the Roosevelts, but no name has run American industry like the Rockefellers. Scions of oil, banking, and politics, they helped bring America into the 20th century.
And no family is bringing bourbon into the 21st century quite like the Russell family. The scions of Wild Turkey, Jimmy and Eddie Russell, love bourbon. In fact, this father and son duo has probably done more for bourbon than the Rockefellers have done for America. Which is saying something. They’ve been brewing bourbon pretty much since FDR left office, and their Russell’s Reserve 10 Year is one of the best bargains for your bourbon buck. At 90 proof, with rich vanilla notes, it’s the perfect bourbon to pour a glass, sit in a chair, and pat yourself on the back for all that you’ve done for this country.
Which is a lot. Totally.
If you want to feel like Ulysses S. Grant, having won the Civil War and the presidency: Maker’s Cask Strength, $59.99
You wanna talk about a good run for an American citizen? Ulysses Grant singlehandedly brought this country back together, then became president, and he did it all while guzzling whiskey like an Hummer SUV that runs on whiskey.
He drank a lot. And he was a proud American, just like Maker’s Mark is a proud American brand.
Grant’s time in office is often overlooked by flashier presidents, just like Maker Mark’s, one of America’s most consistently great bourbons, is sometimes ignored in favor of newer, flashier releases. But that changes with Maker’s Cask Strength, a relatively new, and absolutely fantastic, addition to their lineup. Bottled between 108-114 proof, it comes straight out of the cask, without any alteration. That’s the kind of simplicity a man like Grant would appreciate, and a man like you would love.
So drink it up.
For Bros who want to be as American as possible: Jim Beam Single Barrel, $39.99
There are some brands that just scream America. Coke. McDonald’s. Budweiser.
And then there’s Jim Beam. While you may think your Beam days ended after you got your diploma, I’m here to tell you that you are about to be going back.
Because Beam is upping its game with a just launched single barrel line, bottling some of their finest spirit, and giving it to you straight, the way you want it. It’s a bourbon that screams simple, straight forward Americana. Sure, you could drop a lot on a bottle, but why not just get the best booze for the best price?
That shit is Jim Beam single barrel.
For a bourbon that will make you appreciate this new American Century: Knob Creek 2001 Limited Edition, $129.99
A lot has happened to this nation since the clock turned 2000: 9/11, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the recession, the election of the first African American president, marriage equality, health care reform. It’s been a topsy turvy 16 years, and at the very beginning of them, Booker and Fred Noe, some of the greatest bourbon makers this country knows, filled up some barrels with spirits. While everything’s been happening, this bourbon’s been aging, sucking that all in.
So get a bottle, pour a glass of it, and while you drink it, reflect back on everything this great country has done, and all the good things to come.
Happy Fourth of July, Bros.
Oh, and drink it all with ice from the best fucking ice ball maker on the planet. ‘