That’s right. I love bourbon and I’m not ashamed to admit it. “How”, you might say, “did a petite, light soprano come to such a claim in her life?” Well, although I’ve spent many years in the Midwest and California, I can’t deny my southern roots – Virginia and Kentucky, the proud home of real bourbon (sorry, Tennessee). In fact, to be a member of my family, it’s almost a requirement to savor the lovely, luscious brown whiskey. We don’t really care how you drink it, as long as you respect it. Here’s the deal. My father is from a small town in Kentucky – not too far from Bourbon County – and around there, that’s what you drink. Legend has it in my family, that when my mother first visited there, they asked her what she wanted to drink. She answered with some kind of safe, appropriate choice for a future daughter-in-law, like a Coke or Pepsi (instead of the scotch that she really wanted, she’s from New York after all). Well you can understand her surprise when she took a big gulp of the drink that was actually a bourbon and Coke. Apparently, when they asked her what she would like to drink, they meant, ‘what would you like to drink with your bourbon?’ Enough said. And so the trend has continued to this generation of the Haydons, even though none of us live in Kentucky right now. You might ask a bourbon buff, their favorite bourbon. Well, that’s a tough one. I will first disclose that I am not in the pocket of any corporate sponsor (though if asked, I’d be happy to support a capitalist conglomerate). As you might have noticed, I have supplied a link to the Maker’s Mark website because I am a proud member of the Ambassador’s Club (a job I take very seriously). This is definitely my favorite “every day” bourbon (though I swear I don’t.) My brother believes it a sin to mix this with ginger ale or vermouth or anything beyond ice. He’s probably right though it is a quite tasty mixer. To be fair, I will say that Jim Beam is also a great, all around whiskey. My real connection to the Jim Beam label is that somewhere down the line, I am related to Jim Beam. My dad is cousin to his grandson’s cousin, Master Distiller and all around colorful character, Booker Now. Make sense? I have yet to figure out how that translates to our generation but I claim it when it comes in handy. And if you’re interested, let me know, and I’ll tell you my beliefs about Basil Hayden (the namesake of one of Beam’s small batch bourbons), whom we affectionately refer to in our family as Crazy Uncle Basil. I’m also way into some newer, yummy bourbons such as my latest obsession, Woodford Reserve. And for the record, I liked it before they were the latest corporate sponsor of that blessed event,The Kentucky Derby. I was hip to it way before it was cool. So, I could go on and on about my favorite bourbons and the best ways to drink them but that would take up way too much space on my site. And alas, this is, after all, a site about music not bourbon. Instead, I’ve listed some links that could help one understand a little better, the only true American whiskey. I do recommend, however, if you find yourself anywhere near Bardstown Kentucky, that you stop by The Oscar Getz Bourbon History Museum. Its curator is a family friend, Flaget Nally, and she’s one of the nicest, most knowledgeable women around. Also included below is Maker’s Mark’s recipe for their mint julep (I couldn’t resist giving at least one recipe). We tried this one out recently and it received great reviews from all members of the Haydon/Jamison family. Hope this info has helped bring you to a better understanding of this wonderful drink and why people like me are obsessed with it. Drink responsibly, of course, and cheers! www.bardstowntourism.com/tourism/bourbon/ bourbon.html www.straightbourbon.com www.makersmark.com www.jimbeam.com/jb_web/ www.woodfordreserve.com Mint Julep recipe coming soon!