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A Strawberry Shortcake Stack Cake Recipe & Shortcake History

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe For National Strawberry Shortcake Day
[1] Strawberry Shortcake, in the stack cake style. The recipe is below (photo © Go Bold With Butter).

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe For National Strawberry Shortcake Day
[2] Strawberry Shortcake made with poundcake. Here’s the recipe (photo © The Baker Chick).

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe For National Strawberry Shortcake Day
[3] Japanese-style Strawberry Shortcakes use a sponge base (photo © Recipe Tin Japan).

Strawberry Shortcake On A Biscuit Recipe For National Strawberry Shortcake Day
[4] A classic Strawberry Shortcake on a biscuit (a.k.a. shortcake). Here’s the recipe (photo © King Arthur Baking).

Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake Recipe For National Strawberry Shortcake Day
[5] Another biscuit Strawberry Shortcake. This one uses orange zest-accented whipped cream. Here’s the recipe (photo © Driscoll’s).

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe For National Strawberry Shortcake Day
[6] A mixed berry Stack Cake. Here’s the recipe (photo © Driscoll’s).

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe For National Strawberry Shortcake Day
[7] A yellow layer cake style of Strawberry Shortcake, with elderflower whipped cream filling, frosting, and lots of berry decoration. Here’s the recipe from Fiona Cairns, the baker who made William and Catherine’s wedding cake (photo © Laura Edwards).

Fraisier And Genoise French Cake
[8] The French version of Strawberry Shortcake is a Fraisie, made with layer of genoise sponge, diplomat cream, fresh strawberries and strawberry syrup. The name derives from the French word fraises, strawberries. Here’s the recipe (photo © G Bakes).

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake
[9] A Strawberry Shortcake cupcake: yellow cake, whipped cream, and a fresh strawberry (photo © Yummy Cupcakes).

 

June 14th is National Strawberry Shortcake Day, which can mean anything from a layer cake with strawberries in the filling (photo #3), to a biscuit topped with whipped cream and strawberries (photo #4)—the latter of which, in fact, is the original Strawberry Shortcake.

Today, Strawberry Shortcake gets reimagined as a stunning stack cake (a.k.a. naked cake), perfect for summer entertaining (photo #1).

Don’t be intimidated by its beautiful presentation: This cake is actually quite easy to assemble.

You don’t have to be an ace of cakes to turn out this beautiful layer cake recipe. That’s because no frosting skills are required!

And of course, you can substitute other berries, stone fruits (apricots, nectarines, peaches), or a combination.
 
 
STACK CAKE vs. NAKED CAKE vs. Layer Cake

  • A stack cake is a cake made from stacked layers with filling. Traditionally the cakes were made in a cast iron skillet (in the days before poorer folk had neither cake pans nor ovens), but now they are baked.
  • A naked cake is a cake style that omits the majority of frosting you would normally see on the exterior of a cake. The cake layers are baked and stacked with lots of filling and do not have an outer layer of frosting. So, if you forgo the original stack cake made in a cast iron skillet, a stack cake = a naked cake.
  • A layer cake is a cake of two or more layers, with filling between the layers and frosting over the entire outer surface of the cake. The outer frosting differentiates it from a stack cake o naked cake.
  •  
    After you’re done whipping up the stack cake, turn your attention to…

    > More Strawberry Shortcake recipes below.

    > The history of shortcake is below.

    > The history of strawberries.
     
     
    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE STACK CAKE

    Thanks to Go Bold With Butter for this delicious recipe.

    Prep time: is 30 minutes, and cook time is 30 minutes. Total time: 1 hour. Yield: 12 servings

    You can serve Strawberry Shortcake with sparkling rosé. The berry fruitiness of sparkling rosé echoes the fragrant strawberries in the cake.
     
    Ingredients

    For The Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  
    For The Strawberries

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    For The Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Butter and flour the parchment paper to keep the cakes from sticking.

    2. BEAT the butter and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until pale and creamy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

    3. COMBINE the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl between each addition.

    4. DIVIDE the batter between the two prepared cake pans and bake until the tops are barely golden brown and spring back when lightly touched, about 30-35 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover the cake layers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

    When ready to assemble the cake and serve…

    5. PREPARE the strawberries. Toss the sliced strawberries, sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl and let sit for 20 minutes.

    6. PREPARE the whipped cream. Use an electric mixer to beat the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla extract to medium peaks.

    7. REMOVE the chilled cake layers from the refrigerator and use a small knife to score each layer in half horizontally. Then use a large serrated knife to slowly cut all the way through each layer, using the scored line as a guide.

    8. PLACE one cake layer on a cake plate or stand. Cover with 1 cup of whipped cream and one-quarter of the strawberry mixture. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, whipped cream, and strawberries. Serve cake immediately.
     
     
    STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE HISTORY

    While shortcakes are made with other berries and with stone fruits (peaches, plums) the most popular version is strawberry shortcake. Sliced strawberries are mixed with sugar and some vanilla, and allowed to macerate.

    To make a modern shortcake, a sweetened biscuit—the eponymous shortcake—is split and the bottom covered with the strawberries, and then a layer of whipped cream. The juice relinquished by the berries during maceration is spooned on top, and the other portion of the shortcake placed on top of that.

    In the U.K., a shortcake is what Americans call a biscuit. (In the U.K., a biscuit is a cookie.) A “shortened” dough is leavened with baking powder or baking soda.

    “Short” does not refer to stature. Rather, it’s a common baking term that derived in the 15th century, when “short” became a term for “crumbly.” (The origin of the word “shortening” dates to 1733.)

    It is an old concept. The first known printed record of the term “short cake,” and the earliest recipe for it, appear in an Elizabethan cookbook, The Good Huswifes Handmaid for Cookerie in her Kitchen (London, 1588)—which was the second printed cookbook in English [source].

    By 1850, strawberry shortcake was a well-known biscuit and fruit dessert in England, served with sweetened cream. Whipped cream had not yet arrived. Some sources say that it wasn’t until 1910 that French pastry chefs added heavy whipped cream.[source].

    But we have a long way to go until then. Let’s cross the pond.

    Earlier American recipes, which lasted into the 21st century, particularly in the South, used pie crust rounds or broken-up crust pieces.

    Eliza Leslie (1787–1858), an American author of popular cookbooks during the 19th century, published a precursor recipe in The Lady’s Receipt-Book (Philadelphia, 1847). It popularized the concept of shortcake, but it was unleavened—more of a cookie.

    With the advent of chemical leavening in the 19th century—first potash, then baking soda—it was time for leavened shortcakes to emerge as a popular base for strawberries. Some American shortcakes became more like what we’d recognize as cake.

    Although it was still made without whipped cream, desserts called “strawberry shortcake” became popular in the U.S.

  • In Holidays Abroad, by Caroline Kirkland (New York, 1849) it is called “…gateau aux fraises – which proved to be just what is called at the West a strawberry shortcake.”
  • The October 1857 issue of The American Cotton Planter and the Soil of the South (Montgomery, Alabama) noted: “Strawberry shortcake is a luxury. Make a large, thick shortcake, split it twice through, and spread with butter and a layer of fresh strawberries and sugar, put the parts together again, and serve hot.” [source]
  •  
    Hot?
     
    Cream Arrives, But It’s Not Yet Whipped

    In the June 1862 issue of the Genesee Farmer (Rochester, New York), “Strawberry Shortcake” consisted of a soda biscuit layered with fresh berries, sugar, and cream: “The cake should be made like soda biscuit, rather richer, but very light…split it in three parts, and spread them with butter very thinly…Spread a thick layer of [strawberries and sugar] upon one of the sliced of the cake, and pour over them the richest cream that you can process; then add another layer of the shortcake and another of strawberries, as before. [source]

    A similar recipe with three cake layers, berries, and cream was included in Jennie June’s American Cookbook by Jane Cunningham Croly (New York, 1866), the author noting: “This is the method of making at the finest city restaurants.” [Ibid.]

    In post-Civil War America, strawberry shortcake was the rage, a summer specialty. Local strawberries were available then, and with the advent of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, California strawberries could be shipped on ice across the country, extending the brief season. Strawberry-topped shortcakes surged in popularity. [Ibid.]

     
    Finally: Whipped Cream!

    By the end of the 1800s, many American households stored their perishable foods in an insulated icebox made of wood and lined with tin or zinc. A large block of ice was stored inside to keep the food chilled. Cream could be kept at hand and whipped to make shortcakes. (Electric refrigerators became available in the 1930s.)

    Whipped cream’s popularity corresponded to home refrigeration. Strawberry shortcake recipes with whipped cream became standard—if festive occasion—fare [source].

    In those days, strawberries were a summer season treat, available fresh in and around the month of June. The crop frequently lasted through July 4th festivities.

    Many Americans would look forward to annual shortcake parties to herald the onset of summer [Ibid]. (We are old enough to remember this!)
     
    Strawberry Shortcake Becomes A Year-Round Treat

    Following the growth of Big Agriculture after World War II, large farmers’ co-ops and distribution companies began to emerge. To meet growing demand for America’s favorite fruit (strawberries) beyond the summer, seed developers created strawberry cultivars for just about every type of growing soil and climate. This led to the ability of year-round strawberry crops.

    The U.S. is the world’s largest producer of strawberries. While strawberries are grown in every state, California, Florida, and Oregon the top three strawberry-producing states. California produces the lion’s share, and the state has so many different growing regions that it can produce strawberries every month of the year. There are also greenhouse-produced strawberries and imports.

    Originally from northern Europe, strawberries are now grown in almost every country in the world (the history of strawberries). They are the most widely grown fruit crop. Today, there are more than 100 varieties of strawberries to suit many different climates [source].

    In the U.S., shortcake variations continue to be made with the classic biscuit, with sponge cake, yellow cake, and white cake.

    The French variety is a fraisier, layers of génoise, mousseline cream, strawberries and almond paste (fraise is the French word for strawberries—photo #8).

    In late-night foraring, we have made individual portions with toasted brioche, toasted pound cake, and ladyfingers, which are sponge cake.

    They are adapated into other forms, from cupcakes (photo #9) to ice cream, ice cream cake, ice cream pops, roulades, trifles, and other fancies.

    And of course, ice cream can be substituted for the whipped cream on a classic biscuit shortcake.

    Requests to make National Strawberry Shortcake Day a national holiday began in 2003 [source].
     
     
    11 MORE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE RECIPES

  • Boozy Strawberry Shortcake
  • Red, White & Blue Shortcake
  • Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes #1
  • Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes #2
  • Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake
  • Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Strawberry Shortcake Tiramisu Fusion
  • Strawberry Shortcake With Biscuits
  • Strawberry Shortcake With Strawberry Consommé
  • Strawberry Shortcake With Yellow Cake
  • Triple Berry Biscuit Shortcake
  •  
     

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    Best Bourbon Cocktails For National Bourbon Day

    It’s cocktails tonight, dear reader, because June 14th is National Bourbon Day. We’ve got the recipes for the Big Four classic Bourbon cocktails for your drinking pleasure.

    If you want to know why Bourbon is capitalized, it’s because it’s a proper name—a county in Kentucky that was named for a very proper family, the Bourbons, once one of the most important ruling dynasties in Europe. (Bourbon vanilla is named for them, too.)

    So pick your cocktail, get out the cocktail shaker and the Bourton, and start mixing!

    > The history of Bourbon.

    > The different types of whiskey
     
     
    THE BIG FOUR CLASSIC BOURBON COCKTAILS

    In alphabetical order:
     
     
    1. THE MANHATTAN

    The Manhattan is named after the Manhattan Club in New York City, where it was invented sometime in the mid-1870s (photo # 1).

    “Popular history” suggests that the drink was invented by Iain Marshall for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome, Lady Randolph Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill. The occasion was in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden, the 25th governor of New York and Democratic candidate for president in the disputed 1876 U.S. presidential election* against Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes.

    The success of the banquet made the drink fashionable, subsequently prompting people to request the drink by referring to the name of the club where it originated, i.e., “the Manhattan cocktail.”

    However, the story may well be apocryphal. Some sources place Lady Randolph in France at the time [source].

    Still, a great drink deserves at least a good story.

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2 ounces Bourbon
  • 1 ounce Sweet vermouth
  • 2-4 dashes of Angostura or other \bitters
  • Ice
  • Garnish: Luxardo maraschino cherries (photo #5) and/or orange peel
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MIX the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters with ice in a mixing glass and stir to combine.

    2. STRAIN and pour into a chilled coupe or Martini glass.
     
     
    2. THE MINT JULEP

    You don’t need a silver julep cup to enjoy a Mint Julep. A rocks glass will do (photo #2).

    Similarly, while it’s the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, it’s the semi-official summer drink in our house. Here’s the history of the Mint Julep.

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2.5 ounces Bourbon
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 8-10 mint leaves, stems removed
  • Crushed ice
  • Garnish: 2-3 mint sprigs
  • For serving: a straw
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the Bourbon, mint leaves, ice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker and shake.

    2. FILL the glass halfway with crushed ice. Then strain the cocktail over the ice and top with more ice. (See, it’s great for summer!)

    3. GARNISH with mint sprigs and serve with a straw.
     
     
    3. THE OLD FASHIONED

    The first published recipe dates back to 1806, making the Old Fashioned one of the oldest known cocktails (photo #3).

    TIP: Take the orange peel garnish and rub it around the rim of the glass, releasing the aroma and flavor in the peel.

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2¼ ounces Bourbon
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • 3-4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Garnish: orange peel, twisted
  •  
    Preparation

    1. RUB a piece of peel around the rim of the glass (optional).

    2. COMBINE all of the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir.

    3. STRAIN into a rocks glass over ice and garnish with a twist of orange peel.
     
     
    4. THE WHISKEY SOUR

    The Whiskey Sour is another oldie, published in Jerry Thomas’ seminal 1862 book, The Bartender’s Guide (photo #4).

    Although the egg white is optional for a Whiskey Sour, it adds body and creaminess (photo #5). If you’re concerned about consuming raw egg white, buy pasteurized eggs like Safe Eggs.

    If you do use the egg white, you’ll create a foamy head, but can still add the two garnishes. The cherry is always a nice touch, especially if it’s an “adult” maraschino cherry like Luxardo (photo #6) or Tillen Farms.

    Here’s the history of the Whiskey Sour.

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2 ounces Bourbon
  • 1 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Optional: 1 egg white
  • Ice
  • Garnish: a maraschino cherry and orange slice
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously.

    2. STRAIN into a chilled glass, garnish and serve.
     
     
    ________________

    * Tilden was the second presidential candidate to lose the election despite winning the popular vote. To date, five presidents won the election despite losing the popular vote: John Quincey Adams (1824), Rutherford B. Hayes (1876), Benjamin Harrison (1888), George W. Bush (2000), and Donald Trump (2016). Here’s more about it.

     

    Manhattan Cocktail Recipe For National Bourbon Day
    [1] The Manhattan, one of the oldest cocktails, dates to the 1880s (photo © The Mercury | Atlanta [now closed]).

    Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe For National Bourbon Day
    [2] The Mint Julep cocktail first appeared in print in 1803. You don’t need julep cups to serve a Mint Julep (photo © Distilled NY).

    Old Fashioned For National Bourbon Day
    [3] The Old Fashioned recipe first appeared in 1806, making it the oldest of these oldies (photo © Angus Club Steakhouse [now closed].

    Whiskey Sour Cocktail For National Bourbon Day
    [4] A recipe for a Whiskey Sour was published in Jerry Thomas’ seminal 1862 book, The Bartender’s Guide (photo © Lognetic | Fotolia).

    Whiskey Sour Recipe For National Bourbon Day
    [5] Whiskey sour with an egg white added (photo © The Mercury Bar | Atlanta [now closed]).

    Luxardo Original Maraschino Cherries For Bourbon Cocktails
    [6] Luxardo Original Maraschino Cherries are nothing like the bright red cherries in HFCS. They are a touch of class, the dark, perfect capper to a stiff drink. Their red is so deep, it’s almost black; their syrup thicker than molasses on a chilly day. The taste is nutty like Amaretto and fruit-forward, without the sticky and acrid taste that waxy imitation maraschinos have(photo © Thames River Greenery).

    Bib & Tucker Bourbon Cocktails For National Bourbon Day
    [7] Bib & Tucker small batch Bourbon whiskey. There are three expressions: 6-, 10-, and 12-year-old (photo © Bib & Tucker).

     

     
     

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    Margherita Pizza Recipe For National Margherita Pizza Day

    Margherita Pizza Recipe
    [1] A Margherita pizza. The ingredients: just tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh basil (photos #1 and #3 © DeLallo).

    Queen Margherita -- The Margherita Pizza Was Named For Her
    [2] Margherita of Savoy, who became Queen of Italy upon the succession of her husband, Umberto, Prince of Piedmont, on January 9, 1878 (engraving by Alberto Maso Gilli | Wikipedia).

    DeLallo Pizza Dough Kit
    [3] Buy a pizza dough kit like this one from DeLallo, a mound of fresh pizza dough, or a ready-to-bake pizza crust.

    Fresh Basil Leaves In A Bowl
    [4] It’s the fresh basil that makes the difference (photo CCO Public Domain).

     

    June 11th is National Margherita Pizza Day. As the story goes, Queen Margherita of Italy (1851-1926, queen from 1878) was visiting Naples.

    She asked a prominent pizzaiolo (peet-sa-YO-lo, a pizza maker), Don Raffaele to make her a special pizza.

    Today we may not think his creation was so special: It was just tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. The colors, red, white, and green, happen to be the colors of the Italian flag.

    That’s how what we’d call a plain pie with some fresh basil was named in the queen’s honor: the “Margherita Pizza.”

    > The history of pizza.

    > All of the pizza holidays are below.
     
     
    RECIPE: MARGHERITA PIZZA

    Ingredients

  • 1 (17.6-ounce) DeLallo Pizza Dough Kit or purchased dough or crust
  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (28 ounces) San Marzano tomatoes, drained and diced (or buy them diced)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, stems removed
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    If you have purchased pizza dough or a ready-to-bake crust, skip to Step 3.

    1. COMBINE THE flour mix and yeast packet of the pizza dough kit in a large mixing bowl with the water. Stir with a fork until the dough begins to form.

    2. KNEAD by hand for 3 minutes, or until the dough is soft and smooth. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

    Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. (After this step, you can refrigerate for use within 1-3 days.)

    3. PREHEAT the oven to 450˚F. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Form the pizza by hand on a lightly oiled baking pan or pizza stone.

    4. BRUSH each crust with olive oil. Then, divide the toppings and top with San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella slices. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

    5. BAKE for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and toppings are browned. Serve topped with fresh basil leaves.
     
     
    THE YEAR IN PIZZA HOLIDAYS

    Whether you get a takeout pizza, go to a restaurant, or make your own, mark your calendars for:

  • JANUARY: National Pizza Week, beginning the second Sunday in January
  • FEBRUARY: Great American Pizza Bake, beginning the second week in February, a week where you’re encouraged to not only consume pizza, but to try your hand in making it
  • FEBRUARY: National Pizza Day (a.k.a. National Pizza Pie Day), February 9th
  • APRIL: National Deep Dish Pizza Day, April 5th
  • MAY: National Pizza Party Day, third Friday
  • JUNE: Pizza Margherita Day, June 11th
  • SEPTEMBER: National Cheese Pizza Day, September 5th
  • SEPTEMBER: National Pepperoni Pizza Day, September 20th
  • OCTOBER: National Pizza Month
  • OCTOBER: International Beer and Pizza Day, October 9th
  • OCTOBER National Sausage Pizza Day, October 11th
  • NOVEMBER: National Pizza With Everything Except Anchovies Day, November 12th
  •  

     
     

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    Award-Winning Bourbon, Peg Leg Porker & The History Of Bourbon

    If you need a gift for a whiskey lover, here’s an artisan Bourbon of note: Peg Leg Porker Bourbon, a brand created and owned by a pitmaster Carey Bringle, oft nominated for titles of “The Best BBQ.”

    Peg Leg Porker Bourbon is the signature bourbon of an award-winning pitmaster, Nashville’s Carey Bringle. He is a lover of Bourbon and knows how well it pairs with barbecue.

    He bottles it under the name of his restaurant‡. A few words about the resto:

    Opened in 2013, the restaurant has been named one of the hottest barbecue places in the country by media outlets including BBC, Food Network, Garden and Gun Magazine, GQ, Southern Living Magazine, Texas Monthly, The Travel Channel, and many more.

    The barbecue is known for its juicy, smoked to perfection pork ribs drenched with a spicy dry seasoning after being smoked. Playful sides like Kool-Aid pickles and pork rind nachos add to the experience.

    As does the Bourbon!

    Peg Leg Porker 8 Year Old (photo #2) was first released in 2015 and quickly gained popularity across its home state of Tennessee. It was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in the first year of its release.

    Peg Leg Porker 12 Year Old (photo #3) was released in 2017 and quickly garnered an almost cult-like following. It was awarded the prestigious Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and quickly sold out.

    Let’s take a look at this award-winning line of Bourbons, which are filtered through hickory charcoal.

    > The history of Bourbon is below.

    > THe different types of whiskey.

    > The different expressions of Peg Leg Porker Bourbon are below. But first…
     
     
    WHAT IS BOURBON?

    Bourbon is an American whiskey made with at least 51% maize (corn) and/or rye, distilled twice in a continuous still and barrel-aged.

    There are three main styles of Bourbon:

  • Kentucky Bourbon (e.g., Jim Beam).
  • Tennessee Whiskey (e.g. Jack Daniel’s)†, which is made in Tennessee, but can be legally called Bourbon.
  • Wheated Bourbon (e.g., Maker’s Mark), distilled from wheat and barley malt in addition to the mandated minimum of 51% corn.
  •  
    Closely related is:

  • Rye (e.g. Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye Whiskey), a related spirit that uses at least 51% rye instead of corn as an ingredient.
  •  
    Each has distinct flavors based on the grains and the time matured in oak.

    Following in the footprints of Scotch whisky‡‡ producers, there now are fine Bourbons that are aged for 10, 15, and 20 years.

    The main difference between Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey is that the latter develops a sweetness as it is slowly filtered through large vats of sugar maple charcoal.

    In the specialty Bourbon area, there are small-batch Bourbons and single barrel Bourbons, which are more complex and sophisticated.
     
     
    THE EXPRESSIONS OF PEG LEG PORKER TENNESSEE STRAIGHT BOURBON

    A straight bourbon requires that the distillate has spent a minimum of two years stored in new charred oak barrels. Most spirits are aged in re-used barrels; new oak is very expensive. It also imparts stronger flavor elements of caramel, vanilla, and coconut.

    Peg Leg Porker brand is a non-distilling producer, which means that the whiskey is made by a distillery not owned by the brand. The brand then bottles and markets the whiskey.
     
     
    Peg Leg Porker Tennessee Straight Bourbon 4-6 Years

  • Mash Bill: Tennessee Bourbon; 84% Corn; 8% Rye, 8% Malted Barley
  • Distilling information: Distilled and aged in Tennessee then finished through hickory charcoal after it is de-barreled.
  • Proof: 90, A.B.V. 45%
  • SRP: $39.95
  • Awards: Bronze Denver Wine and Spirits (2015). Bronze Medal San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2015), Silver Medal SIP Awards (2021)
  •  
     
    Peg Leg Porker Tennessee Straight Bourbon 8 Year

  • Mash Bill: Tennessee Bourbon; 84% Corn; 8% Rye, 8% Malted Barley
  • Distilling information: Distilled and aged in Tennessee then finished through hickory charcoal after it is de-barreled.
  • Proof: 90, A.B.V. 45%
  • SRP: $59.95
  • Awards: Gold Medal San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2016) Platinum Medal SIP Awards (2018)
  •  
     
    Peg Leg Porker Tennessee Straight Bourbon 12 Year

  • Mash Bill: Tennessee Bourbon; 84% Corn; 8% Rye, 8% Malted Barley
  • Distilling information: Distilled and aged in Tennessee then finished through hickory charcoal after it is de-barreled.
  • Proof: 93, A.B.V. 46.95%
  • SRP: $99.95
  • Awards: Double Gold Medal San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2016) Platinum Medal SIP Awards (2018)
  •  
     
    Peg Leg Porker Tennessee Straight Bourbon 15 Year Label

  • Mash Bill: Tennessee Bourbon; 84% Corn; 8% Rye, 8% Malted Barley
  • Distilling information: Distilled and aged in Tennessee then finished through hickory charcoal after it is de-barreled.
  • Proof: 90, A.B.V. 45%
  • SRP: $400
  • Awards: Best in Class Platinum SIP Awards (2021), Double Gold Packaging Design SIP Awards (2021), Innovation Award SIP Awards (2021)
  •  
     
    WHERE TO FIND PEG LEG PORKER BOURBON

    You can find bottles at retailers in Southern states, and of course, at Peg Leg restaurant headquarters in The Gulch in Nashville, Tennessee.

    There are numerous online vendors, including:

  • Bottle Rocket
  • Buster’s Liquors
  •  
    For more information about the brand, head to PegLegPorkerSpirits.com.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF BOURBON

    The first American whiskey* was named Bourbon after a county in the border area between today’s Indiana and Kentucky.

    The county got its name to thank the French for their help in the Revolutionary War. The French royal at the time was the Bourbons (1579-1792), the whiskey was named for the county where it was produced, and the Bourbon casks were graced with the Bourbon logo. Bourbon whiskey soon became famous for its good quality [source].

    The whiskey was first distilled in Bourbon County, Kentucky in 1789 by a Scotsman, and was called “American Scottish Whiskey” until the U.S. government officially adopted the name Bourbon in 1963.

    While it has been made since the 18th century, the name “Bourbon” was not applied until the 1850s, and the origin of the name has been disputed by scholars (i.e., not named for Bourbon County*).
     
     
    It’s Finally Called Bourbon

    Over time, whiskey from the entire region was called Bourbon, but one of the quirks of history is that today there is no distillery left in the entire county! It is made elsewhere in Kentucky, and can in fact be made legally be made in any U.S. state, although it is strongly associated with the American South.

    Tennessee whiskey is sometimes regarded as a different type of spirit but generally meets the legal requirements to be called Bourbon.

    While the lion’s share of production takes place in Kentucky, many of the companies that own the leading bourbon brands are based out of state. We’ve listed some of the biggest at the end of this section.

    During World War I (1914 to 1918) many distilleries were forced to switch their production from whiskey to gunpowder, and a double punch came with Prohibition (1920 to 1933).

    Famous distilleries like Beams had to convert their factory to building buses, while other distilleries, such as Early Times, managed to maintain an “emergency operation,” producing for medical purposes [source].

    But after the Second World War, spirits distilling in the U.S. grew at an astounding pace.

    Today, connoisseurs are moving away from mass-produced products like Jim Beam or Jack Daniel’s‡ to limited production small batch and single barrel Bourbons.

  • A single cask or single barrel bottling means that only a single cask is filled with the Bourbon. Depending on the size of the cask, this results in about 100 to 300 individually numbered bottles, creating a limited release. They are typically snatched up quickly.
  • A small batch bottling also involves a limited number of released bottles, from selected casks that are blended together.
  •  

    Peg Leg Porker Bourbon Gift
    [1] Peg Leg Porker 4 To 6 Years (photos #1 through #6 © Peg Leg Porker).

    Peg Leg Porker Bourbon 8 Year
    [2] Peg Leg 8 Years.

    Peg Leg Bourbon On The Rocks
    [3] Peg Leg 12 Years on the rocks.

    Peg Leg Porker Bourbon Aged 15 Years
    [4] 15 Year Old Peg Leg is topped with a lovely pewter pig.

    Peg Leg Porker Bourbon Four Expressions
    [5] All four expressions.

    Peg Leg Porker Bourbon  Neat In A Rocks Glass
    [6] Peg Leg Bourbon neat.

    Classic Mint Julep Recipe
    [7] One of the most popular Bourbon cocktails is the Mint Julep. Here’s the recipe (photo © Woodford Reserve).

    Old Fashioned Bourbon Cocktail
    [8] The Old Fashioned is another Bourbon classic. Here’s the recipe.

    Kentucky Mule Bourbon Cocktail
    [8] The Kentucky Mule is a Moscow Mule with Bourbon instead of vodka.

    Bourbon Blackberry Lemonade Cocktail
    [9] How about a Bourbon Blackberry Lemonade (photo © Smokey Bones).

     
    In 2019, Kentucky distillers produced 1.7 million barrels, taking the total number of casks currently aging in the state to 7.5 million.

    Even using conservative calculations, that’s enough to fill more than 1 billion bottles—or mix at least 13 billion Old Fashioneds [source].

    The Top 10 Best Bourbons, according to WikiliQ, follow. You can see all of their Top 100 Bourbons here.

    • 1. Bulleit Bourbon
    • 2. Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey
    • 3. Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky
    • 4. Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey
    • 5. Basil Haydn’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
    • 6. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
    • 7. Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
    • 8. Buffalo Trace Bourbon
    • 9. Evan Williams Bourbon
    • 10. Wild Turkey 101
    • 11. Bardstown Bourbon Company in Bardstown. They’re 11th, not 6th, but they are the largest new bourbon distillery in the world.
    • 1.2 MGP in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
    • 13. A tie between the two Diageo distilleries, George Dickel in Tullahoma, Tennessee and Bulleit in Shelbyville, Kentucky.
    • 14. Wilderness Trail in Danville.
    • 15. Lux Row in Bardstown.
    • 16. Michter’s in Shively.
    • 17. Angel’s Envy in Louisville.
    • 18. A six-way tie among Old Forester (Louisville), Castle & Key (Frankfort), Willett (Bardstown), New Riff (Newport), Rabbit Hole (Louisville), and Fulton County (Hickman) [source].

     
    Ready for a drink? The most popular Bourbon cocktails are the Boulevardier (a Negroni with bourbon instead of gin), Bourbon Sour, Brown Derby, Kentucky Mule (a Moscow Mule with Bourbon instead of Vodka), Mint Julep, Old Fashioned, and Whiskey Highball.
    ________________

    *One posit is Bourbon Street in New Orleans, a major port where shipments of Kentucky whiskey were embraced as a cheaper alternative to French Cognac. See a longer discussion in Wikipedia.

    †Tennessee whiskey is a product identical to Bourbon in almost every respect. The key difference is that Tennessee whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal, which provides a unique flavor and aroma. Bourbon does not go through a charcoal mellowing. Jack Daniel’s is the leading example. Historical note: Jack Daniel’s is the oldest registered distillery in the States, registered in 1866.

    ‡Peg Leg Porker, the restaurant and the Bourbon, is actually a nickname for Bringle himself. At age 17 he triumphed over cancer, losing leg in the process. Hence, the peg leg, and porker for his BBQ passion.

    ‡‡Whiskey Vs. Whisky: The Scotch spell it Whisky, the Irish spell it Whiskey, and most American producers spell it Whiskey.
     
     

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    A Dark ‘n Stormy Recipe For International Dark ‘n Stormy Day

    June 9th is International Dark ‘n Stormy® Day, honoring one of the few cocktails (photo #1) whose name is actually trademarked*—in this case, by Goslings Rum’s Rum. And it’s such a simple recipe: just two ingredients, Black Seal Rum and Stormy Ginger Beer.

    It’s the national drink of Bermuda.

    The drink is so popular that Goslings has a ready-to-drink canned Dark ‘n Stormy (7% ABV; $9.99 SRP, photo #4), and even a Dark ‘n Stormy Happy Hour Gift Box.

    Stormy, by the way, is the name of the seal on the label of Goslings† Black Seal Rum, and the ginger beer was named for him. It’s the best-selling ginger beer brand in the U.S., and it’s our favorite brand, too. It has just the right amount of spiciness.

    Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer also is made zero-calorie diet version, which is so delicious that we no longer buy bland diet ginger ale. Diet Goslings Stormy Diet Ginger Beer is a zero-calorie miracle.

    > The history of the Dark ‘n Stormy is below.
     
     
    RECIPE: THE DARK ‘N STORMY

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 6 ounces Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer (or substitute brand, or Diet Stormy Ginger Beer)
  • 2 ounces Goslings Black Seal Rum
  • Optional: Lime wedge
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FILL a tall glass with ice. Pour the ginger beer into the glass and float the rum on top.

    2. STIR until it looks like a storm cloud. Garnish with the lime wedge.
     
     
    THE DARK ‘N STORMY HISTORY

    According to the company website, the Dark ‘n Stormy was invented in the 1920s, when more adventurous members of the British Navy stationed on Bermuda started adding Goslings Black Seal Rum to the ginger beer they brewed to combat seasickness (ginger beer is very low in alcohol).

    It turned out that Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, with its molasses flavor notes, was the perfect complement to the sizzling ginger beer.

    The Dark ‘n Stormy allegedly got its name from an old sailor who compared the drink’s murky hue to the color of a storm. It’s just a legend, but everything needs an origin story, even if you have to make one up.

    And the drink does look like a storm cloud in a glass.
     
     
    The Journey Begins

    Who created Gosling’s Black Seal dark rum?

    In the spring of 1806 James Gosling, the oldest son of William Gosling, a wine and spirits merchant, set out from Gravesend, Kent, England on the ship Mercury, with £10,000 sterling worth of merchandise, bound to set up shop in America.

    After 91 days on calm seas—unable to move because there was no wind—the ship’s charter (the period of time for which the ship was hired to transport goods from the vessel’s owner) ran out.

    The ship put in at the nearest port, St. George’s, Bermuda. James liked it enough to stay and open shop there, instead of re-chartering a boat and heading to America.

    Brother Ambrose Gosling arrived to join the business in 1824, and the shop was moved to Hamilton. The brothers entered the rum production business in 1857.

    The firm, first known as Gosling and Son, was later renamed Gosling Brothers.

    In 1860, after much experimentation in the blending process, the distinctive black rum that would later be named Black Seal was ready for sale [source].

    After much experimentation in the blending process, the distinctive black rum destined to be Black Seal was formulated and offered for sale [source].

    Up until the First World War the rum was sold from the barrel, and folks brought in bottles to be filled (note that many products were scooped from the barrel, from sugar and flour to coffee and crackers–hence the brand Cracker Barrel).

    Eventually, the black rum was sold in Champagne bottles, reclaimed empties from the British Officer’s Mess. The corks were sealed with black sealing wax. People began asking for the “Black Seal,” and it became the name of the rum.

    Many years later, a play on words and images gave birth to the little, barrel juggling black seal logo. The seal subsequently was named Stormy, and gave its name to Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer.

    Today, Goslings Black Seal Rum is made in 80 proof and 151 proof.

    The business is run by Malcolm Gosling, the 8th generation rum maker.

    And the ginger beer?

    It became another favorite drink of the British, and was also produced on the island. Among other places, there was a ginger beer factory that was operated as a subsidiary of the Royal Naval Officer’s Club [source]!

    Today Goslings is run by Malcolm Gosling, the 8th generation rum maker.

     

    Dark n Stormy Recipe Rum Cocktail
    [1] Dark ‘n Stormy is one of four cocktails with a U.S. Patent Office trademark on their name and recipe. The other three are in the *footnote below (photos #1, #4, and #5 © Goslings Rum).

    Dark 'n Stormy Recipe Cocktail
    [2] There are just two ingredients in a Dark ‘n Stormy cocktail: Goslings Black Seal Rum and ginger beer. Plus an optional lime wedge for garnish (photo © Reserve Bar).

    Dark n Stormy Cocktail With A Bottle Of Goslings Black Seal Rum
    [3] The seal, who is balancing a rum barrel on its nose, is called Stormy (photo © Love Drinks).

    Dark n Stormy Canned Cocktail
    [4] Available in cans, the Dark ‘n Story is the official rum cocktail of the Boston Red Socks.

    Poached Pears With Goslings Run Recipe
    [5] You can use Goslings Black Seal Rum in many other drinks, and in recipes like these poached pears. Here’s the recipe.

     
    ________________

    *There are three cocktails protected by trademark. The other three are the Hand Grenade, the Painkiller, and the Sazerac.

    †What’s the deal with Gosling versus Goslings? While the family is named Gosling, when they called their brand Goslings, they decided to eliminate the apostrophe. As editors, we don’t approve—but no one consulted us. We also disagree with the trademarked spelling of Dark ‘n Stormy. Since ‘n is a contraction of “and,” it should be ‘n.’
     
    Dark & Stormy Recipe
    [6] How to mark a Dark ‘n Story (infographic © National Today).
     
     

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