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Word for the Wise September 13, 2006 Broadcast Topic: Bourbon

Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the Kentucky Bourbon Festival running today through Sunday in Bardstown, Kentucky. Its organizers claim 65% of the world's bourbon is distilled in and around Nelson County, Kentucky. (来源:英语学习门户网站EnglishCN.com)

So what happened to Bourbon County, Kentucky? It's true that the whiskey distilled from a mash made up of not less than 51% corn (plus malt and rye) was first made in Bourbon County, Kentucky in the late-18th century. As you might have guessed, that's where the name bourbon comes from.

But unlike the regulations governing labels of certain Old World products, rules about bourbon proved a bit more lax. Why? Blame it on shifting boundaries. Over the years, as Bourbon County became smaller, the whiskey name bourbon stayed.

Did you also guess that the Kentucky county of Bourbon was named after the French royal family? Correct again. Over the centuries, members of those royals ruled France, Spain, Naples, and the Two Sicilies. The word Bourbon also developed the sense naming someone who clings obstinately to old social and political ideals. In the New World, Bourbon came to name an extremely conservative member of the United States Democratic party, usually from the south.

Old World or new, bourbon drinker or teetotaler, you're welcome to write.

 
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