Sean Thibodeaux, one of two guests this week on the Eat Drink Talk podcast. | Photo by Steve Coomes

We love our bourbon here, whether sipped neat, on the rocks or in cocktails.

But according to Sean Thibodeaux, bar manager at Volare, many Louisville cocktail fans are missing out if all they do is stick with brown liquor only.

The longtime New Orleans resident and former spirits salesman said the Crescent City (and other big cities like it) loves bourbon and rye cocktails, yet with equal passion for gin, rum and tequila.

I know some of you bourbon fans are gagging at the thought of gin, saying it tastes like distilled Christmas trees. Others are uttering the most ludicrous line of all, saying “Tequila makes me fight,” or “The last time I had that, I was talking to a garbage can.”

Well, I get the flipside about gin. I’ve always been a fan, and it took me decades to catch on to bourbon. So, I hear you.

But if tequila really made you fight or engage in thoughtful discourse with a galvanized metal container, you might try recalling how many beers you drank before you thought shooting tequila was a good idea. As my guest on this Friday’s Eat Drink Talk podcast, Thibodeaux talks a lot about Bourbon Heritage Month and a bit about branching out to new spirits via cocktails. Under a cloak of amendments like fresh citrus, syrups, bitters and even other spirits, amaros and liqueurs, he asserts drinkers wedded to the same old stuff can learn to like new spirits—even drink them neat someday.

And speaking of tequila, don’t forget about this Friday’s Three Marlenas Launch Fiesta at Copper & Kings American Brandy. This brand new spirit is an apple brandy aged in tequila barrels, and it’s already getting great reviews. The party runs from 7-9 p.m.

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Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 25-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass, Whisky Magazine, WhiskeyWash.com and The Bourbon Review. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.

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