The Bourbon Boom Has Officially Begun

Bourbon is getting a makeover. In contrast to its image as a saloon shot or cowboy drink, bourbon isn't so much belted these days as slowly sipped in a tuxedo. And you can bake with it, too. As bourbon prices climb over $30 and new brands crowd Jim Beam and Wild Turkey on the shelves, the bourbon boom has officially begun. Especially in Canada, where bourbon has long been plagued by negative stereotypes, imports of "American whiskey" have doubled over the past decade. Bartenders who use bourbon in luxurious cocktails have helped to induce a bourbon craze in both America and Canada. For example, at Local Kitchen & Wine Bar in Toronto, bartenders infuse bourbon with rendered bacon fat. Jim Beam has even released black cherry flavored bourbon.

An increasingly important national and international spirit, bourbon has shed its cowboy-western image. Now, bourbon inhabits a place of privilege on the bar next to gin, vodka, and whiskey. Read more about this trend here.