We have a tendency to judge a place by what little we know or have heard about it. Take Kentucky, for example. You wouldn’t be wrong to think of bluegrass, basketball, and bourbon. If you lean at all to the left politically, you might even be inclined to prejudge it more harshly based on its incumbent senators. Yet there is so much more to it than all of that. Kentucky has plenty to offer visitors, starting with warm and gracious residents who are justifiably proud of their great state — especially when it comes to classic Kentucky food and drink. There’s much to like about “my old Kentucky home.”
First Stop: Bourbon
The Kentucky Distillers’ Association estimates that about 95 percent of the world’s supply is produced in Kentucky. And what it makes it so good is that the state is blessed with limestone-rich aquifers that deliver the product’s most essential ingredient: extraordinary water. If you haven’t noticed, bourbon is back in a big way. And its resurgence has led to expansion by both the big boys and a growing cadre of craft distilleries. You can see many of them in action on what is called the “Bourbon Trail.” Guided tours take visitors through the production process and culminate with tastings.
If you’ve ever had aspirations or visions of making your own whiskey, here’s your chance. At Moonshine University you can learn how to become an expert distiller in just five days. Check out their curriculum at moonshineuniversity.com.
Speaking of Moonshine…
It’s back, and it’s not your father’s “shine.” Moonshine may still conjure up images of illegal, backwoods, rot gut, but that is certainly no longer the case. Moonshine has gone mainstream. You can visit a micro distillery for a tour and tasting of a libation that has come a long way from its humble beginnings.
If you can get your hands on Limestone Branch Distillery’s Sugar Shine, both the jalapeño and strawberry flavors would make for a killer cocktail. So too would their sweet Moon Pie moonshine in either chocolate, vanilla, or banana. As they say, it’s “like a Moonpie with kick!”