5 Ways You Can Use Bourbon To Celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month

September can definitely seem bittersweet. It has forever been known to mark the end of summer, the beginning of shorter days, and the start of classes — but most of those things can be counteracted by the fact that fall also brings Halloween, apple and pumpkin picking, and numerous autumn festivals filled with colorful leaves, live music, and candy apples. And let's not forget one of the biggest perks of them all —September is National Bourbon Heritage Month.

The result of a unanimous decision by the United States Senate in 2007, National Bourbon Heritage Month gives us another reason to not be completely bummed about the end of summer. For those not entirely in the know, bourbon is a distilled American whiskey;  in order to be recognized as bourbon by the Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, it must be aged in new, oak-charred barrels and the grain mixture must be at least 51 percent corn — it also must be made in America, disputing the myth that all bourbon must come from Kentucky. This is something all 50 states can celebrate with a sip of their favorite bourbon.

Bourbon is one of the most versatile spirits that can be used in fancy cocktails, beauty regimens, and of course, food. Those are things we can all get down with. If consuming alcohol isn't your jam, then at least bask in the impressive fact that bourbon distilleries hired women in the 1800's to bottle products long before women's suffrage took place. In 1964, bourbon became "America's Native Spirit," and I'm happy to celebrate that all year long!

With only a few days left of Bourbon Heritage Month, let's delve into all the unique ways we can enjoy America's Native Spirit.

1. Bourbon Body Scrub

  • 1 cup of raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice

To make an amazing body scrub with bourbon, mix raw sugar and raw honey together forming an exfoliating paste before adding in fresh lemon juice and bourbon. Raw honey is incredibly moisturizing, while the thicker grains of raw sugar will exfoliate dead skin cells. The lemon juice is a natural skin brightener loaded with vitamin C. Bourbon is actually an incredible antiseptic that will cleanse the bod while treating and preventing acne.  

2. California Bubble Bath

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 3/4 oz. lavender syrup
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. Cynar

Here's one cocktail that differs from the traditional bourbon cocktails like the Boulevardiers; if you are looking to keep spring around throughout the winter, then you must sip a California Bubble Bath, first introduced by bartender Matt Biancaniello. This drink is not complete without a fresh sprig of lavender, filled with calming antioxidants, for garnish. Serve on the rocks in a Collins glass or serve straight up — you'll still enjoy the refreshing combination of lavender and bourbon.

3. Bourbon Face Toner

  • 1 tablespoon of rose water
  • 1 tablespoon of bourbon

To make an incredible face toner with anti-aging properties that will increase your skin's elasticity and keep acne at bay, just combine equal parts of bourbon and rose water to your face, twice daily. The best toners are water based, so filtered rose water will be a great companion for bourbon, a natural astringent.

4. Bourbon French Toast

  • 3 eggs
  • 6 slices of bread
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of bourbon
  • A few drops of vanilla extract

One of my favorite breakfasts to indulge in is Bourbon French toast. Here is my take on a popular recipe for the perfect breakfast in bed: Whisk 3 eggs with coconut milk in a large bowl (any dairy or dairy substitute will work), and add in the spices and booze. Then dip both sides of each slice of bread in your mixture before heating your bread to a perfect golden brown, and then flip to cook the other side.

5. Bourbon Hair Rinse (For Oily Hair)

  • Bourbon
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Filtered Water

To promote healthy locks and stimulate hair growth, just use equal parts apple cider vinegar and bourbon. This is a great rinse for oily hair; dry hair is not a huge fan of these ingredients without heavier oils to restore moisture. This recipe will restore shine, rejuvenate hair follicles, and remove  build-up from products or overproduction of oil. Since bourbon is a powerful antiseptic and ACV (apple cider vinegar) restores pH levels, your hair does not need to necessarily be shampooed. You can apply this on freshly washed hair, or use this as a co-wash depending on your hair type.

Image: Dennis Wilkinson, Cindy Cornett Seigle, htomren Classic Film, Shannon Tompkins, Flickr; Kristin Collins Jackson; Giphy (3)

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