Bourbon and Branch: A Cocktail for Kentucky

It doesn’t get much easier—or better—than this

The first weekend in May belongs to the Mint Julep. But any other time than the Derby, many bourbon-loving Kentuckians keep their tipple simple. Branch water is just an old way of referring to water from a creek that branches from a larger river. Therein lies a more important truth—sometimes the best thing to mix with bourbon is just a very small amount of water. (Just ask any master distiller.) Water opens up bourbon, releasing more flavors. Try it: Pour an ounce of bourbon in a rocks glass. Give it a good sniff and a sip. Now, use an eye dropper to add a drop or two of water and test those senses again. Experiment concluded, pour more for proper sipping.


    • 2 oz. bourbon

    • ¼ tsp. good-quality still water, or a single ice cube


  1. Combine. Sip slowly and savor.