Let’s go over a History lesson! Quality and flavor among whiskies in the late 1800s varied widely. There were few regulations about how the stuff should be made. No much prevented someone from calling a product “Pure Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, Aged 10 years,” even though just about every word on the label was a lie and the product tastes like kerosene. 🔥🔥
In the decades after the Civil War, distillers making what we today would generally recognize as bourbon only supplied about 10 percent of the whiskey market. The rest of the whiskey was made by giant distilleries churning out what were basically grain neutral spirits: a product distilled at such high proof that it lacked much flavor and was almost identical from one distillery to the next.
These spirits were then sold to rectifiers who would “improve” them by redistilling and mixing them with other flavoring and color so they resembled whiskey. The results were sold to wholesalers, who bought spirits in bulk and created their own whiskey brands by mixing together whatever was at hand.
Some of the Whiskey going west might have started out as bourbon, but somewhere along the journey to the saloon, it was often mixed with additional water, grain neutral spirits, and other ingredients to expand the supply and increase profit. Some products labeled as bourbon were actually distilled from a low-grade variety of molasses, and additives could include burnt sugar, glycerin, prune juice, and sulfuric acid. 🛢🛢🛢
⚰ The Coffin Varnish
2 oz Gunpowder Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Giffard Crème de Peche
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3 dashes Root Bitters Orange Spiced
Topped with Rosé