Call Me Old Fashioned

Call Me Old Fashioned

Whether you’re a beginner bourbon drinker or consider yourself a connoisseur, we each have a go-to drink of choice! I’m going to share my favorite cocktails, along with which bourbons go best with certain mixers.

Let’s start with my favorite drink to make when I’m ready for a brunch at home or a good Sunday Funday. There are many ways to make this, but lately I’ve preferred a drink with four ingredients or less so this is it.

Kaitlyn’s BBB (bourbon bubbly brunch)
– 2 oz bourbon
– shot of brut Champagne
– 2 dashes of bitters
– splash of orange juice

If you are drinking this, you likely enjoy sweeter drinks. I recommend pairing this cocktail with a heavier, wheat bourbon rather than a rye. (Common wheat bourbons include: Maker’s, Larceny, & Old Fitzgerald) Be warned, this drink will sneak up on you!


It’s lunch time! Especially when it’s hot out, I tend to lean towards a nice, ice cold Kentucky Mule. It’s simple & refreshing! I like to pair the ginger beer with a bourbon high in rye content, which includes Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Woodford & Old Forester. You can make this as strong or as light as you would like – no judgment here on how heavy your pour is! With any mule, the crushed ice is the main component.


When it comes to dinner time or a late night cocktail, I prefer my FAVORITE drink the Old Fashioned. How can you really go wrong here? I love this drink for its simplicity while keeping such a bold flavor. Everyone has a different version of an Old Fashioned. Some places muddle the cherry and orange making it more of a smash and some throw in a whole slice of orange (which is too much for me).

A Classic Old Fashioned:
– teaspoon of simple sugar (1 cup sugar / 1 cup water to a boil)
– 2 oz bourbon
– 2 or 3 dashes of bitters
– orange peel
– *optional maraschino cherry

Take the orange peel, fold it so the skin is facing the drink, squeeze some of the oils out and rub the skin side around the rim of your glass. Adding that extra citrus will really bring out the different flavors in your bourbon. Most of the time I go with a plain bitters, but every now and then I will use a cherry or rhubarb (so good!) flavor. I personally lean towards a rye bourbon again here but there is no wrong way to drink an Old Fashioned, this is one drink you can definitely make your own!


Now that I’ve taken you through my day filled with bourbon, let’s talk about another thing we all love & how to combine them both. Football.

Tailgate season is quickly approaching here in the South. If you root for red (Go Cards!) or blue, we can all agree that having a good drink before kickoff is a must! I also chose this drink because it’s easy to mix in a large container and throw in the back of your truck.
Spiked Apple Cider (for large groups)
– 1/2 bottle Bourbon
– gallon of Apple Cider
– 2 liter of ginger ale (if you really wanna get crazy you can replace this with ginger beer)
– apple slices for garnish or let them soak all day then eat before game time!

The nice thing about this is that it can be served chilled or heated! (Don’t use ginger beer if you are heating it up … gross.)

Now let’s go have a drink! Cheers!

Meet Our Environment Blogger!

Meet Our Environment Blogger!

Hello everyone! My name is Adam Sizemore. I am from Morehead, Kentucky; a small town located in the Appalachian region of our great state. Even though I do not currently live there, I have lived in Kentucky my entire life and Appalachia has always been important to me.

I moved to Louisville in the summer of 2014 to continue graduate school at UofL. Prior to that summer, I completed both my undergraduate and Masters degrees at Morehead State University. There I became focused on studying environmental issues. 

There isn’t a specific moment I remember becoming interested in environmental matters, but it stretches as far back as Elementary School.  In the 4th grade, I entered a Kentucky conservation-writing contest where I imagined “00H20” (double-oh-H20), a secret agent who gave citations to people with outdated and environmentally unfriendly appliances, water faucets, and toilets.

Maybe I was just a little too obsessed with James Bond; I wonder where that paper is now…

Anyway, my environmental focus has shifted greatly since then! At Morehead State, I was extremely interested in our food system and its impacts on our environment. Now, I am focused on environmental issues in Appalachia; especially coal mining in Central Appalachia. I am currently researching how members of Martin County, Ky overcame a dam failure that released over 300 million gallons of coal waste into the community in the fall of 2000.

Being an advocate for the environment is something that I am passionate about in my career, as well as my personal life.  My wife and I are expecting our first child this November and the well being of our planet for future generations is something that will always be crucial to me.  I am excited to discuss environmental topics, as well as continue to learn more with each of you each month!

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”-Jane Goodall  

What Makes Bourbon, Bourbon?

What Makes Bourbon, Bourbon?

Let’s talk bourbon Kentucky Bourbon.

What makes Kentucky Bourbon so special? Lots of things standout when it comes to bourbon vs. whiskey, and also when it comes to Kentucky Bourbon vs. the rest of the world.

First off, Whiskey vs. Bourbon:

You might have heard a saying that “All bourbon is whiskey is but not all whiskey is bourbon.”

Why is that though? Is it all of the barrels can never have been used before? Maybe it’s that extra corn? It could even be the Angel’s Share?

Bourbon stands out for all of these reasons. Whiskey can reuse charred barrels, where bourbon must be barreled in a new barrel each time.

If you are familiar with bourbon, you are probably familiar with the Angel’s Share. To be considered Bourbon, it must be aged for at least two years, but on average most bourbons are aged between 8 – 15 years (depending on if contains more rye or wheat)! Let me tell you, I hope I am one of these Angel’s because they are tasting some good stuff!

With bourbon aging for so many years, some of the spirit is lost to evaporation from the barrel into the air as it ages. This process does also happen with whiskey, but not as much is lost since the aging process is usually shorter.

Kentucky Bourbon vs. Everyone

Is it the climate, that creates a distinct all four seasons? Weather has a huge impact on the aging process, each distillery has their own tricks of the trade, it really comes down to a simple process.

When it is hot, the barrels expand and when it is cold the wood condenses. The higher the barrel in the rickhouse the hotter it is, closer to the ground, the colder, (I think you get the idea). So throughout the year the spirit is being tossed around, which effects the taste of each final product.

But did you know that Kentucky offers a special water that stands apart?

Don’t get me wrong, the four seasons in Kentucky does make an impact, but we can all thank limestone water for the 95% of bourbon that is made in Kentucky. Limestone makes our state beautiful, and also helps create the one drink we crave either year around or the first Saturday in May.

Iron can taint the flavor, but here in Kentucky the iron is filtered out of the water as it flows over the rock and becomes a sweet-tasting mineral water. Other areas of the country have all four seasons, but they do not have Kentucky water.

So, thank you Limestone .. we wouldn’t have Kentucky bourbon without you!

The Power of Empowerment

The Power of Empowerment

By Gabe Duverge

Editor’s note: As Friends of Limestone begins it’s journey, we will be outlining each of the four pillars of our work as well as our focus issues. This is the third part of our four part series on our work. Part one on preservation and confirmation can be found here, and part two on education here

Tucked behind tennis courts and across a street from the Louisville Zoo is a sizable forest. Walking through the trails that cross the area, you should eventually get to the Louisville Nature Center. A modest facility that houses the volunteers and staff who steward the forest, officially known as the Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve.

Whenever I think about empowerment I always think about the Louisville Nature Center. As a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, I found myself at the center often. I can remember weekends spent walking the trails, and never wanting to leave their fantastically cool bird blind. The lessons I learned there helped instill an appreciation for the outdoors that I try to uphold across my life.

The LNC was excellent at not only teaching me how important our surrounding outdoor areas are, but how important it was for me to take care of them. Half of my trips to the center were to pick up trash, and take care of the trails in the forest. I even helped my best friend build benches in the reserve as a high school student, benches which remain there to this day.

My times at the center helped me understand early that every single one of us has a part to play in keeping the nature around us enjoyable. Whether it’s a day picking up small trash or just simply recycling, we all have a part to play.

The same thing goes for our work in Friends of Limestone. If we want Kentucky to be the community we desire it to be, we have to empower each other to get it done. Each of us has to contribute to make the greater whole better.

The term “commonwealth” literally means “a community founded for the common good.” That common good is not possible without each of us doing our part.

Our goal for Friends of Limestone is to not only instill that into others, but also to give citizens the tools to actually make a difference. We want to help you find battles worth fighting, and help you win. We hope you’ll join us.

Meet Our Bourbon Blogger!

Meet Our Bourbon Blogger!

Hi my name is Kaitlyn! I am an avid lover of everything Kentucky but have a secret of growing up in Indiana (it’s not that bad but the drivers are pretty terrible!)

I came to Louisville in 2009, but didn’t have my first drink of whiskey until 2011. I’ll never forget someone convincing me to try Bourbon and loving it! I knew right then, I was never turning back. Fast forward to now, and I was right. I love bourbon more than the average girl. I wouldn’t say that I know everything about bourbon, but I’m excited to learn more with you by side!

“Keep your friends close, & your bourbon closer.” What’s better than sipping a mint julep, old fashion or a drink on the rocks with a good group of friends?

One my favorite things to do is go to Silver Dollar on the last Thursday of the month for their Historic Flights tasting. I have been able to try multiple different bourbons, meet some really cool people, and learned what my palette actually enjoys. I highly recommend this event, and will write more about it later! (P.S. if you live in the Louisville area or are coming to visit, you have to try their brunch!)

To me, bourbon is more than just a great drink. Bourbon represents the culture and beauty of Kentucky, and is usually involved in some of the best memories we’ve all had. If you are from Kentucky or just stumbled upon this, I highly recommend making the trip to Bourbon Country, it truly is one of the most beautiful parts of our state, even if bourbon isn’t your thing! Exploring the distilleries, trying new drinks, and attending many events, I love learning more about the history, the process, and how this bourbon boom isn’t just a Kentucky thing anymore.

I look forward to taking you on my journey with bourbon! Cheers!

Understanding Education

Understanding Education

By Brandon McReynolds

Editor’s note: As Friends of Limestone begins it’s journey, we will be outlining each of the four pillars of our work as well as our focus issues. This is the second part of our four part series on our work. Part one on preservation and confirmation can be found here.

As I began to envision what would eventually become Friends of Limestone, I knew early that a key goal would be highlighting the importance of limestone to Kentucky. Across the state there are hints at its historical significance, it adorns street signs and was once the name of a settlement that would become Maysville, KY.

If you have ever been on a bourbon tour, you have likely a guide explain why bourbon is the backbone of Kentucky and it is because of limestone. They may have mentioned how limestone filters water uniquely, preventing iron from having an effect on the finished product.

Perhaps you have wondered why the equine industry is such a strong part of Kentucky. We can attribute that to the nutrients that limestone offers the ground and grass, making the Commonwealth an ideal place for raising horses.

I also thought about all the trips to Kentucky’s caves I took as a kid. Marveling at the vast open spaces that exist hundreds of feet below the ground. At the time, I had no idea (likely because I was not paying attention to the tour guide) that limestone provided the ceiling, which allows the caves to exist. Ultimately, what I recognized is that so many of my experiences growing up in Kentucky are linked to limestone.

I then began to think: what would my old Kentucky home be like without it?

Certainly not the same. I know that many Kentuckians have had similar and unique experiences throughout their lives that connect their own personal story to limestone. Friends of Limestone was started, in part, for us to share those experiences. To show that as Kentuckians, we share more in common than we do differently. We want to show that many of the things we love about the Commonwealth have their foundation in limestone. This is why we chose education as one of our central principles. To yes, inform people about fun facts and numbers but to also share stories.

We want to create a space to talk about, inform, and share both the historical and current impacts limestone has had on Kentucky and the people of Kentucky. This blog will include stories, information, and facts from across the state to educate and highlight how our love for Kentucky is rooted in the importance of limestone.

The Importance of Conservation and Preservation

The Importance of Conservation and Preservation

Author: Adam Sizemore

Editor’s note: As Friends of Limestone gets going, we will be outlining each of the four pillars of our work as well as our focus issues. This is the first part of our four part series on our work. 

Conservation and Preservation, often used interchangeably, are contrasting methods used to protect the natural environment. However, they share the similar goal of ensuring a sustainable future.  Conservation efforts support environmentally appropriate uses of nature required for human life.  Regulating daily bag and possession limits for anglers is one example of a conservation method created to not only conserve, but to hopefully improve the overall fish population in each body of water.   This creates a stable balance between consumption and the reproduction of fish.  Preservation efforts focus on protecting nature from use all together.  Wildlife preserves prohibiting actions like logging, mining, fishing, and/or hunting are examples. Both methods are vital for the protection of our natural environment.

It is through conservation and preservation efforts that we recognize our critical connection to the natural environment.  Resources provided by the natural environment enhance our society, as well as, our economy.  However, the use of these resources must remain balanced and address environmental sustainability, economic security, and a healthy environment for all.  Strengthening our conservation and preservation efforts is one path in establishing this harmony in Kentucky.  See below for a short list of some Kentucky’s conservation and preservation efforts.  

Kentucky Conservation and Preservation Facts:

  • Kentucky is a southeastern state consisting of 120 counties brimming with natural resources contributing to its economy, history, culture, and overall society (Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection)
  • There are 1,100 miles of commercially assessable waterways (Kentucky Department of Travel)
  • There are 12.7 million acres of commercial forest land (Kentucky Department of Travel)
  • Kentucky has an abundance of minerals and byproducts such as coal, stone, natural gas, and petroleum (Kentucky Department of Travel)
  • Kentucky’s available land supports a strong agricultural system  (Kentucky Department of Travel)

 

  • Conservation:
    • Kentucky provides assistance to conservation districts (121 in total) in implementing sustainable methods seeking to conserve Kentucky’s natural resources (Division of Conservation)
    • Roughly 95% of land in Kentucky is privately owned meaning conservation efforts rely heavily in the hands of Kentuckians (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources)
    • Kentucky hires Conservation Educators (CE’s) that promote conservation through schools, summer camps, and programs (Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources)
  • Preservation:
    • Kentucky establishes state nature preserve systems that give present and future generations the benefits of natural areas (Kentucky State Nature Preserved Commission).
    • As of 2016, the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission (KSNPC) has established 63 preserves totaling 28,022 acres providing habitats for a diverse range of plants and animal species, as well as, providing areas for scientific research and appreciation of our natural environment (Kentucky State Nature Preserved Commission)