World Whisky Day this year falls on May 21st, which is a Saturday, in other words not a school night! The water of life is popular the world over, so to see if there are any events happening near you, check out the World Whisky Day website with their interactive map. Below we have listed some interesting facts about whisky for you to wow your friends with or just learn a little more about this popular drink.
1.How to drink it
In the UK, drinkers of whisky will often add a little water (like a drop or two) to their whisky, while drinkers in Spain will mix it with coca cola (which the Brits would consider an abomination) and drinkers in China will have it with cold Green Tea. Seeing as Scotland is world-famous for its whisky, we suggest doing as the Brits do in this situation, and drinking it with a tiny bit of water which prevents the alcohol content from numbing your senses so you can taste the flavors of the whisky better.
2. Taxes made the whisky industry explode
When Scotland became part of the United Kingdom in 1707 with the Act of Union, the London Government decided to place high taxes on Scottish whisky (whilst also lowering taxes on English gin) and as a result, hundreds of illicit distilleries cropped up in Edinburgh and all around Scotland. Fun fact: 90% of Single Malt Whiskies come from Scotland.
3. Whisky means “water of life”
Whisky in Gaelic is called “uisce beatha” which translates as “water of life”. When the Irish monks spread is around Europe, it was called “fuisce” which was easier to pronounce and which sounds a lot like “whisky” – not a coincidence, this is how it got its name.
4. Whisky or whiskey?
A simple rule for the spelling: The Scots and Canadians spell it Whisky without the ‘e’ and the Irish and Americans spell it “Whiskey” with an ‘e’.
5. How is Scotch Whisky made?
Briefly, in the same way as beer, whisky is made using malted barley but no hops are added. It is then twice distilled and aged in oak barrels for at least 3 years.
6. Wood and Glass
Whisky has to be aged in wooden casks. The color of the whisky comes from the oak casks, as well as 60% of its flavor. It can then sit in a glass bottle for a hundred years and retain exactly the same flavor, unlike wine which matures over time.