Pouring a glass of whisky with ice from a decanter, in a dark background.
Food - Drink
Thomas Jefferson's Important Role In Bourbon History
When Scottish and Irish immigrants settled in the United States, they brought with them the skills to make whiskey. In the States, whiskey quickly morphed, incorporating corn and using Appalachian white oak barrels for aging, creating a new type of whiskey called bourbon, which got its name from Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson.
In the late 18th century, Jefferson was governor of Virginia, which included what is now Kentucky. To encourage agricultural growth, Jefferson began granting plots of land to settlers; he called these farmlands Bourbon County, after the French royals, and since corn was one of the fastest-growing crops, it became a whiskey hub.
An alternative theory about the name behind bourbon suggests that Kentucky whiskey producers would ship barrels down the Mississippi to New Orleans, where the drink hit the bars of Bourbon Street, also named after the French royal family. Regardless of the name’s origin, bourbon quickly became the quintessential American spirit.