At this point, everyone across the globe is feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyday life has pretty much gone by the wayside: school is cancelled, people are working from home, sporting events and any gatherings involving more than 10 people are cancelled. Here in Bourbon Country, bourbon distilleries have shut down to the public, Keeneland’s Spring Meet and the NCAA Basketball Tournament have been cancelled.
Heath officials are asking everyone to practice “social distancing” and to stay at home to help stop the spread of Coronavirus. But what are we supposed to do with all of this time at home? For most bourbon lovers, drinking bourbon is such a social activity. Here at TBR we’ve gathered our favorite bourbon-related content to stream, podcasts, YouTube channels, books, activities and easy recipes to help make your time in staying at home in isolation a little more enjoyable!
What to Stream
“Neat” dives into the rich and storied world of bourbon. Exploring its colorful history, charismatic characters, and uniquely American process, the film is a celebration of the artistry that makes America’s only native spirit. Currently streaming for free with a Hulu subscription. It is also available to rent on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, and Vudu.
*You can also see interviews from one of our TBR founders Bob Edison!
Exploring the history of bourbon and the impact it has had on the state of Kentucky. The state has risen to become one of the most well-known places for the production of bourbon. Currently streaming on Tubi for free but includes ads. It is also available to rent on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, and Vudu.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Bourbon, but were too drunk to ask. Chad and Sara take you through everything bourbon and rye whiskey related!
The Mash and Drum is a whiskey review channel with a focus on bourbon and one man’s journey into scotch. Led by Jason C. a drummer and whiskey enthusiast from his tasting room in Columbus, Ohio.
What to Listen to
Two dads from Nashville that trade their kids’ bottles for whiskey bottles after bedtime. They focus on blind tastings, side-by-sides, as well as interviews with the people behind the whiskey to determine the true review without bias on brand names and hype with a goal to make you #rethinkhowyoudrink.
Featuring interviews with people making the bourbon industry happen. Bourbon Pursuit invites icons in the bourbon industry to tell their story. Topics range from brands, distillation techniques, speculation on the market, and more. Guests include master distillers, tasters, production managers, bloggers, authors, pundits and more.
The Bourbon Daily is a lighthearted look at the world of bourbon. Each day (Monday – Thursday), a new topic related to America’s favorite distilled spirit is covered. Fridays are called Fun Fridays and the team breaks out of the bourbon talk and any topic could be discussed.
What to Read
The Best Bourbon You’ll Never Taste. The True Story Of A. H. Hirsch Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Distilled In The Spring Of 1974 By Charles Cowdery
It’s not a very long read but is packed with interesting content. It takes you on a journey from the beginning of bourbon making in the US to present day. All while centered around the super rare A. H. Hirsch bourbon. It will no doubt teach you something you didn’t know already!
*Available in e-book format
Hacking Whiskey by Aaron Goldfarb
If you have a home bar and a thirst for both knowledge and whiskey, Goldfarb’s new book Hacking Whiskey let you play mad scientist with your favorite bourbons. He’ll walk you through smoking, fat-washing, and more, in a series of experiments that take your bourbon to the next level. From marijuana smoke to bone luge shots, you’ll learn it all for under 15 bucks.
Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch and Irish Whiskey by Fred Minnick
Fred Minnick dives into the overlooked and under appreciated world of how women were the leading force in making our beloved beverage. Clearly, a lot of research went into this book to show how important women were and still are to the industry.
*Available in e-book and audiobook formats
American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye: A Guide to the Nation’s Favorite Spirit by Clay Risen
Fun book to take your bourbon knowledge to the next level! Starting out with bourbon history and bourbon basics then moves into individual brands where Risen rates each expression on a four-star system. Fun to compare his tasting notes to yours!
Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits by Reese Witherspoon
While Reese Witherspoon’s Whiskey in a Teacup isn’t a book directly about drinking—it is very much a book about entertaining. As for her views on the title spirit? When asked by NPR host Rachel Martin if whiskey in a teacup would ever be a permissible drink, she replied, “It depends what kind of morning you’re having.” No arguments here.
*Available in e-book and audiobook format (audio book read by Reese Witherspoon herself!)
What to Do
Infuse Some Bourbon
Follow these instructions from Infuse: Oil, Spirit, Water: A Recipe Book. Once the dust settles, have some friends over and enjoy it.
Plant a Bourbon Herb Garden
Or if you’re in a colder climate, an indoor herb container that you can move outside later. Use the herbs in bourbon cocktails or recipes.
Polish Off Some Near Empties
Find your opened bottles, now is the time to drink them. Then reuse the bottles with these DIY tips. Don’t throw cool bottles away, recycle them!
Do a Blind Tasting For Fun and To Sharpen Your Palette
Label one set so you can see what is in the glass, then label the blind set on the bottom so you can’t see. Ask someone in your house to shuffle the blind set and let the fun begin!
Pour Bourbon in Your Coffee, Then Walk the Dog
Or make this Kentucky Coffee recipe, then put it in a tumbler and take your dog for a walk. With the ‘keep 6 feet away’ rule in place no one will smell your bourbon breath!
Create A Place to Display Your Bourbon at Home
Depending on your DIY skills, build or assemble some shelves or style a special bar cart designated just for your special bottles.
Try Making a New Cocktail
Then impress your friends with your new skills once the dust settles.
Reward Yourself with Bourbon
What home improvement or cleaning/organizing project have you been putting off? Get to work while listening to a bourbon podcast or audiobook in the background, then reward yourself with a pour of something nice!
Pretend You’re Don Draper From Mad Men
Pour yourself something nice to sip on during your last hour of “working from home.”
Go Fishing, or Find a Place to Practice
If you don’t have access to a semi-secluded fishing hole, practice casting your fly rod in an open space (just use a small weight instead of a hook). Pack a flask or a bottle, no judgement from us!
What to Make
Boxed Bourbon Brownies
So easy. Take whatever boxed brownie mix you have on hand, substitute the water for bourbon… thats it!
If you’re like me, you’re reaching into the depths of your freezer, due to grocery store meat shortages. Make this bourbon vinaigrette as a marinade, pour it over your frozen meat and let it thaw in your refrigerator. Then you’ll be tasting bourbon flavor instead of freezer burn!
Buffalo Trace Root Beer Float
Make the traditional version for your kids and make this adult version for yourself.
Inject Bourbon into your Grapefruit
Follow these instructions. These are crazy times, take your bourbon grapefruit juice and drink it with breakfast!