Bourbon whiskey is a type of American whiskey. When one thinks of Bourbon, Kentucky and a Mint Julep immediately come to mind. Bourbon whiskey received its name from Bourbon County, Kentucky (where no bourbon is made today), however it can be distilled in any American state.
Bourbon is served neat, diluted with water, over ice cubes, or mixed with soda and into cocktails, including the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned, the whiskey sour, and the mint julep. It is also used in cooking.
By law, bourbon must be:
Produced in the USA
Made of a grain mix of at least 51% corn
Distilled at less than 160 proof (80% ABV)
No additives allowed (except water to reduce proof where necessary)
Aged in new, charred white oak barrels
Aged for a minimum of two years (To be called "Straight" bourbon)