Nugget of Knowledge: Branch water

Branch water doesn't come from a well

Nugget of Knowledge

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Something curious from the bar, on the old TV show “Dallas,” J.R. always asked his bartender for branch water with his whiskey.

What is that, and where can you find it?

Branch water is simply plain, natural water for your drink, not soda water.

Branch water can also mean water from a stream, not from a well. Southerners often call a stream a branch, as in the branch of a river. It’s an expression that comes from the 1830s.

If you want to be a snob about your bourbon and branch water, ask for water that’s been filtered through limestone. It takes out the iron and gives bourbon a very smooth taste — the best mixer for bourbon.

In his novel, “Diamonds Are Forever,” Ian Fleming has 007 James Bond undercover in America asking for bourbon and branch water five times.

Almost all bourbon comes from Kentucky. The state has 6.5 million barrels aging right now — that’s a barrel and a half for every man, woman and child living in Kentucky.

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