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Our French Connection

There are other explanations for the origin of the word bourbon. In Bourbon Empire (2015), Reid Mitenbuler notes that New Orleans was the biggest market for Kentucky whiskey and suggests, “a name like ‘bourbon’ would have been a perfect marketing tool, appealing to the city’s large French-speaking population.” Mike Veach takes this line of thinking a step further in Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: an American Heritage (2013), speculating that the name might have come from “river travelers drinking the aged whiskey of New Orleans on Bourbon Street and starting to ask for that ‘Bourbon Street whiskey.’”

The real origin of the name bourbon is probably lost to history, but we do know this historical fact: Louisville and Bourbon county were named after the French House of Bourbon, in gratitude for Louis XVI of France's assistance during the American Revolutionary War. So drink up Kentucky, the world’s best liquor is named after parts of your State!

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