The origin of bourbon is not well documented and there are arguments to where the name came from. A Louisville, Kentucky, historian Michael Veach believes that it’s name came from Bourbon Street in New Orleans, which was a major port where shipments of Kentucky whiskey sold well as a cheaper alternative to French cognac or French brandy. People started asking for ‘that whiskey they sell on Bourbon Street’ which eventually became ‘that Bourbon whiskey’
For a spirit to be considered bourbon it must adhere to six standard rules: It must be made in the U.S.; aged in new, charred white oak barrels; and be at least 51 percent corn. It also must be distilled at less than 160 proof (80 percent alcohol by volume) and entered into a barrel at below 125 proof.