If you’re friends with Jack and Jim and spend your weekends with Jameson and Johnnie, then World Whisky Day is going to hold a special significance for you.
Whisky is one of the iconic drinks of true lovers of alcohol and is the foundation of some of the most wonderful drinks known to man. But honestly, who needs an excuse to imbibe in these wonderful libations? If you need one, World Whisky Day is it!
History of World Whisky Day
One of the most common forms of whisky that is sought after is Irish Whisky, and perhaps appropriately so. The origins of the word Whisky can be found in the Gaelic Language.
Uisce Beatha was the original name of whiskey in classical Gaelic, which ultimately became Uisce Beatha in Ireland and Uisge Beatha in Scotland. Both of these names mean “Water of Life” and tells us just how important and vital this particular distillation was to the Gaels.
It was later shortened to just Uisce/Uisge, and then anglicized to Whisky. So now you know, when someone is concerned about your whisky consumption, you can just tell them you’re drinking the water of life!
So what, exactly, is whisky? Whisky is what happens when you create take rich flavorful grains and ferment them into a mash, and then take that mash and distil it down into a pure delicious spirit.
Distillation takes place in a still, a device whose whole purpose is the purification of the alcohol from the fermented mash. One of the most important secrets of distillation is that it must take place in a copper (Or copper lined) still, as the copper removes the sulfur from the drink that would make this otherwise diving beverage decidedly unpleasant to drink.
Astonishing facts about whisky
You may enjoy a delicious glass of whisky, but did you know the following…?
- Let’s start with a worrying fact, which is that whisky could have been banned. If it was not because of a medical loophole in the Prohibition period, this drink would have been banned altogether. However, because there was a law that enabled doctors to prescribe whisky as medicine, it survived.
- The word whisky actually means ‘water of life.’ this is because it comes from a Gaelic word that reads ‘uisge beathe.’
- There are some expensive bottles of whisky around the world. However, the most expensive is the Macallan ‘M’ whisky. This Lalique decanter of whisky was auctioned in Hong Kong for £393,109. The luxury decanter features six liters of whisky, which was drawn from casks made of Spanish oak sherry, dating from the ‘40s until the ‘90s.
- The oldest whisky is more than 150-years-old. The Guinness World Record for the World’s Oldest Whisky currently goes to a bottle of 400ml Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky. It was owned by a family from Ireland. However, it fetched an incredible £14,850 at auction when it was sold to Bonhams in London. It is believed to have been packaged sometime between the years of 1851 and 1858.
- The spelling of whisky is interesting. You may have seen it written as whiskey. The version without the ‘e’ is used for Canadian and Scottish whisky. However, for other types of the drink, you opt for the whiskey spelling.
- Last but not least, whisky starts life as a beer! This is because it is made with wort, which is a form of beer that gets distilled. In fact, the wort is created using all of the ingredients that yare enjoyed in a pint of delicious beer, i.e. malts, yeast, and water.
How To Celebrate World Whisky Day
World Whisky Day reminds us that there is an incredibly broad range of whisky out there to try, and its unlikely that we’ve managed to try all of it. Whisky can be made from barley, corn, rye, and wheat, just to name a few, and those grains are often mixed in different proportions before fermenting and distilling.
The results are then aged in casks, with both the cask and the time inside changing the flavor. Needless to say, you may need more than one day to sample every kind available to you! World Whisky Day is a great opportunity for you to expand your palette, and share your experiences with your friends.
How about celebrating with some whisky cocktails?
One fun thing you can do on World Whisky Day is to create your own whisky cocktail. You could come up with your own concoction.
Alternatively, you could create one of the classic cocktails that are enjoyed all around the world today. Why not make your own Whisky Sour? Here’s a recipe you can give a try…
- Lemon zest
- ½ fresh egg white
- Two dashes of Angostura bitters
- 12 ½ ml of sugar syrup
- 35ml lemon juice
- 50ml bourbon
Put all of the ingredients, aside from the lemon zest, into a cocktail shake. Shake the ingredients hard, with the ice, and then strain them into a rocks glass that is filled with ice. You should then squeeze the zest of the lemon, with the shiny side down, over the top of the drink. The purpose of this is so that the scented oils spray across the top of the drink. Get rid of the zest, and finish by adding the garnish, and then it’s ready to enjoy. Delicious, right?