It's surprising (to me) but the New York Times presents an insight in to All-American popularity of bourbon:
IT sounds like a taunt here in Bourbon Country: Go ahead, mix my Manhattan.
But as the holiday imbibing season approached, five bartenders entered a “shake off” this month at the Kentucky Derby Museum, to see who could work the most magic with bourbon, a singularly American spirit that has turned out to be a singularly American success story. The winner was Karla Ramsey, and here is her Manhattan recipe:
2 ounces Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1 ounce each of apple brandy and sweet vermouth
2 splashes bitters
1 red apple slice and 1 cinnamon stick, for garnish
Shake the liquid with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the apple slice and the cinnamon stick. Light the cinnamon on fire!
For a intriguing pictorial view of bourbon production go here.