McConnell’s Kentucky Bourbon: Best-Served with Vermouth

Bourbon in Clermont, Kentucky.

Photograph by Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Bourbon in Clermont, Kentucky.

Five days before he faces Louisville businessman Matt Bevin in Kentucky’s Republican primary elections, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell won a rare floor victory on an issue near and dear to the hearts of Bluegrass voters.

McConnell, who is seeking a sixth term in November, won passage of a resolution he introduced today with fellow Kentucky senator and 2016 presidential aspirant Rand Paul that recognizes the 50th anniversary of congressional recognition of Kentucky bourbon as “a distinctive product of the United State and unlike any other type of distilled spirit, whether foreign or domestic.”

“Kentucky is, of course, the birthplace of bourbon,” said McConnell, noting that the state produces 95 percent of the world’s supply. “The drink itself is named for Bourbon County, Kentucky.”

The beverage is “a vital part of the state’s tourism and economy,” said McConnell ,who has taken flak for telling a local newspaper editor it’s not his job to create jobs in Kentucky.

Unlike his Democratic counterpart in the Senate, McConnell has said he likes to toss back a good bourbon. In an interview last year with Yahoo! News, McConnell cited a modified Manhattan as his favorite vessel for drinking bourbon. (Add vermouth.)

“Drop a couple of cherries on top of it, make sure there’s ice there, and it’s a terrific drink around Christmastime, which I frequently offer to my guests,” McConnell told Yahoo!. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a devout Mormon, doesn’t consume alcohol.

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