For National Bourbon Day, Hailey Whitters & 49 Winchester Reveal How They Drink Their Bourbon

49 Winchester Hailey Whitters country music
Harper Smith

Happy National Bourbon Day everybody.

In case you weren’t aware, June 14 is not only Flag Day, but it’s also National Bourbon Day. Now I’m not one to say which one is the more important holiday, but I definitely know which one is more fun to celebrate.

Bourbon has had quite the renaissance in recent years, becoming one of America’s top spirits and causing shortages and skyrocketing prices for some of the most popular bourbons on the market.

There are strict requirements for what can legally be sold as a bourbon. Though it’s typically associated with Kentucky, there’s actually nothing that requires bourbon to be made in Kentucky, but it does have to be distilled in the United States (or one of its territories). It also has to be made from a grain mixture that’s at least 51% corn, and aged in a new, charred oak barrel.

Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 proof, and must enter the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof. It must then be bottled at 80 proof or above.

Oh, and it’s also delicious. But that’s more of an opinion than a legal requirement.

In honor of National Bourbon Day, Hailey Whitters and 49 Winchester teamed up with George Dickel to celebrate two years of Dickel Bourbon.

And we caught up with both of them to talk about their favorite way to drink bourbon.

According to Hailey, the perfect way to drink bourbon is to – just drink it:

“Just straight. If I’m feeling fancy I’ll put a little bit of ice in it and just drink it on the rocks, but honestly I just like to sip it.”

Gotta say I’m with Hailey on this one (although I was expecting her to say she takes it in her soda in honor of her smash hit “Everything She Ain’t”).

Maybe a couple drops of water, but neat is the way to go.

49 Winchester lead singer Isaac Gibson, on the other hand, has no problem mixing his bourbon – and even gave me some ideas for drinks I need to try:

“The bourbons I drank earlier were with ginger beer. One of ’em was neat, and this one is with Sun Drop.”

I’ve gotta say, I’ve never had bourbon with Sun Drop, but I’m interested.

If you’re not familiar with Sun Drop, it’s a citrus soda similar to Mountain Dew or Mello Yello that’s popular in the south due in no small part to the drink’s partnership with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. In fact, Dale Earnhardt Jr. even said that he used to prefer Sun Drop and bourbon over beer, despite being sponsored by Budweiser.

And who am I to argue with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and 49 Winchester?

So there you have it. If you’re celebrating National Bourbon Day, some tips for both your celebration.

And those are straight from two of the best in the business, so you know they know what they’re talking about.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock