As we prepare to kick off Bourbon Heritage Month this September, we’re talking all things bourbon. We’re giving you a crash course in this all-American celebration of bourbon, serving up some of the most interesting facts about this nationwide event, including:

  • A short and sweet history of bourbon and National Bourbon Heritage Month
  • Ways that any and every bourbon lover can celebrate this month
  • Our favorite bourbon and burger pairings, plus some great bourbon cocktails at AmSo

Whether you consider yourself a dedicated devotee or just a casual bourbon drinker, you might not know that September is officially National Bourbon Heritage Month. Thanks to a certain Senator from Kentucky – often considered the heart and soul of American bourbon – this legally declared celebration of bourbon is one of the best times of year for bourbon enthusiasts.

At American Social, you can always count us in when it comes to honoring homegrown beers and liquor. It doesn’t matter if it’s a national holiday or just a regular weekday happy hour, we’re all about enjoying a generous pour of whatever you love. But, there was no way that we were going to let National Bourbon Heritage Month pass us by without a nod to bourbon, whiskey, and all of our favorite foods to go along with a great drink.

Here’s everything you want to know about National Bourbon Heritage Month, one of the biggest and best celebrations of American-made whiskey.

The Bourbon Holiday that Congress Declared is Happening Now

You read that right: National Bourbon Heritage Month is a month-long event that was approved by the United States Senate. So, technically, you could look at celebrating it as one of your patriotic duties as an American citizen, right? We certainly think so.

The Backstory on Bourbon

Are you brand-new to bourbon? Here’s a little bit of its history: bourbon is an American whiskey, mainly made from corn and aged in barrels. Its name can be traced back to the French Bourbon dynasty, but it’s tough to say whether it’s specifically named for Kentucky’s Bourbon County or New Orleans’ Bourbon Street.

People began distilling bourbon in the 18th century, so it’s a liquor with a lot of history. Today, bourbon can be made anywhere in the U.S., but it’s often associated with Kentucky and other states in the South.

There are actual legal regulations that say what can and can’t be considered bourbon in the U.S., like:

  • It has to be made in the U.S. (or its territories)
  • It has to be made using a grain mixture that’s at least 51% corn
  • It must be aged in new, charred oak barrels

If you’re drinking straight bourbon, it’s been aged at least two years, and any bourbon that’s aged less than four years has to be labeled as such. Who knew that bourbon was such serious business? Well, we did!

What is National Bourbon Heritage Month?

In 1964, an Act of Congress declared bourbon to be “America’s Native Spirit.” It acknowledged the deep-rooted legacy of bourbon in America, as well as the ways it’s contributed to our country’s tradition, economy, and heritage.

In 2007, Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning sponsored Bill S. RES. 294, which took aim at reinforcing that 1964 Act of Congress with the idea of a National Bourbon Heritage Month. Needless to say, his bill earned unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate – because who doesn’t love bourbon?

We’d like to think that Senator Bunning is a passionate bourbon lover, and maybe he is. But when you consider just how much the bourbon industry has helped to shape America as a whole, even someone that doesn’t drink bourbon can appreciate how much it’s contributed to our country.

The actual text of the resolution reads:

Congress declared bourbon as ‘‘America’s Native Spirit’’ in 1964, making it the only spirit distinctive to the United States… the history of bourbon-making is interwoven with the history of the United States, from the first settlers of Kentucky in the 1700s, who began the bourbon-making process, to the 2,000 families and farmers distilling bourbon in Kentucky by the 1800s…generations have continued the heritage and tradition of the bourbon-making process, unchanged from the process used by their ancestors centuries before… the Senate designates September as National Bourbon Heritage Month.

Ways to Celebrate this Month at American Social

There are plenty of ways to enjoy bourbon and do your duty as a proud bourbon lover and American this September. You could always order bourbon on the rocks, but we like to keep it interesting here at AmSo.

Here are some ways we’re giving bourbon the celebration it deserves:

Burgers, Bourbons, & Beats every Monday

Every Monday in September and year-round, we host our Burgers, Bourbons, & Beats event. American Social locations in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Boca Raton offer a special dine-in menu all day long, which features a handful of our best bourbons and whiskeys at special discounted prices.

You can also enjoy two of our signature bourbon cocktails, the Smoked Old Fashioned (Basil Hayden’s, sugar, bitters, and Filthy Cherry) and the PB&J Old Fashioned (Maker’s Mark, Skrewball Peanut Butter Bourbon, strawberry preserves, and black walnut bitters).

The menu has a lineup of our gourmet burgers for $10 and under, including our famous Social Smash Burger and the Horseradish Cheddar Burger.

Bourbon Flights and Specialty Cocktails

Perfect for the bourbon lover and newbie alike, we’ll be offering different bourbon flights featuring our top picks for bourbons. You’ll get to sample a great variety of bourbons, taking a virtual tour around Bourbon Country without ever leaving your seat.

Our skilled bartenders will also be creating specialty bourbon cocktails, putting a creative spin on the old-fashioned and giving your something new and unique to sip.

Hang Out for Happy Hour

Of course, there’s never a bad time for bourbon – so you can always just swing by for our signature social hour and enjoy one of the many bourbons we have at our bar. Both of our old fashions are on the Happy Hour menu, discounted to just $10.

Combine those with one of our share-friendly appetizers – you can’t go wrong with the soft-baked pretzels or deviled eggs – and you have yourself a well-rounded meal any night of the week. If you really want to celebrate in full Southern-style, order up our Old Bay Peel and Eat Shrimp for a truly delicious experience.

Become a Bourbon Lover at American Social this September

At American Social, we know our way around a carefully crafted, all-American bourbon – and we also have all of the craft cocktails, beers, and elevated comfort food favorites you want! Whether you’re heading in to celebrate a month of bourbon, or you just want to enjoy the best happy hours in Miami and the rest of South Florida, we’ll be happy to have you here.

American Social is Florida’s favorite hangout spot, a comfortably casual but stylishly upscale bar, and restaurant with several area locations. Here, you can kick back, relax, and enjoy great food and fabulous drinks with your friends and family. From a post-work happy hour to weekend brunch, AmSo is the place to be.

Make sure you don’t miss September’s National Bourbon Heritage Month at AmSo; start planning your visit now!

Featured Image: Yulia Grigoryeva/Shutterstock