Bourbon whiskey is a type of American whiskey – a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name derives from the French Bourbon dynasty, although it is disputed whether its namesake Kentucky county or New Orleans street is the source of the whiskey’s name. It has been produced since the 18th century, although the name “Bourbon” was not applied until the 1850s and the Kentucky etymology was not advanced until the 1870s. While it may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the American South in general, and Kentucky in particular.
Bourbon is served neat, diluted with water, over ice cubes (“on the rocks”), or mixed with soda and into cocktails, including the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned, the whiskey sour, and the mint julep. Bourbon is also used in cooking.