When you live in Louisville, this is the time of year to put your best drink forward. At the end of April and beginning of May, you brag to all your out of town friends that this city’s adult beverages rock. This year, Maxim helps the spotlight shine even brighter thanks to the surging popularity of bourbon.
In the new May issue, you’ll have to page past at least 21 hot girls. If you find yourself ogling Eiza Gonzalez, that smoking vampire in “From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series,” you’ve gone too far but you won’t be too upset. Just go one page back to the section labeled Circus Maximius/Drinks. Under the headline “Always Bet on Brown,” you’ll find the editors liquor of the month.
Their favorite feels like sacrilege, however. Millbrook Distillery Duchess Private Reserve isn’t even made in Kentucky even though they admit it tastes like it’s from here. The quote that will be repeated is “Like being kissed by a sunny field. Tongues and everything.”
Could we argue that bourbon must come the Bluegrass? That’s the way every Kentuckian understands it. If it’s not from here, it’s just whiskey. Technically, though, the spirit was called bourbon by the 1850s. The inference of its Kentucky origin didn’t show up until at least 20 years later. But since this is louisville.com, so let’s not quibble.
The other bourbons they like have familiar distillery names like Old Forester, Maker’s and Woodford Reserve. Others are not as well known, but still very smooth like Basil Hayden, Belle Meade and Michter’s Small Batch.
Accompanying the two page spread is the mint julep recipe Chris Wilkins mixes up at Proof on Main. “For the Birds” is made with mint, bourbon, rum, bitters and syrup. When you get a chance to taste it you’ll consider it a mixologist masterpiece.
Tucked in the bottom corner, Maxim names Nachbar as its Dive Bar of the Month. Locals will recognize the Germantown watering hole right away, but if you have friends in town for the good times, send them to 969 Charles Street. You’ll probably find Rusty in good spirits after being mentioned in the magazine as the guy selling nickel bags of homemade jerky.
Is the article cliched? Of course. If you live in Louisville, you wish they’d spend more time on the other party aspects we know so well. Maybe painting flames on the Belle of Louisville or adding a bikini team to the Pegasus Parade would get us more notice. Until then, let’s just enjoy a little national exposure.
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