World Whisky Day 2023: You can celebrate World Whisky Day on the third Saturday of May, or May 20 this year, whether you’re a novice whisky consumer or a seasoned expert with a passion for infusing just the right flavours into your brew. Whisky is a historical classic that has been carefully distilled for over 500 years. Whisky, the drink of kings and peasants equally for generations, is easily poured amongst friends and can be the catalyst for creating unforgettable memories. If you enjoy whisky, today is the perfect occasion to celebrate with a premium glass and your closest friends!
HISTORY OF WORLD WHISKY DAY
The ‘water of life’ has a rich history. In Mesopotamia, around 2000 B.C., the first evidence of distillation, the essential procedure for producing whisky, was discovered. Alexander of Aphrodisias created the first recorded instance of distillation in 100 A.D., when he distilled seawater into purified drinking water! Prior to 1100, when monks travelling to Scotland fermented grain mélange and produced the first instance of whisky, distillation techniques for whisky had not been developed.
However, whisky was officially recognised as a distillate for the first time in 1405. It is recorded in a family’s annals that a member of the clan died from excessive drinking on Christmas. Over the subsequent century, whisky distillation in Scotland became widespread. When King Henry VIII of England disbanded monasteries, many monks supported themselves by selling the liquor they had distilled. Soon, whisky was accessible to everyone!
Scottish immigrants to the new American colonies carried distillation techniques with them, and whisky was available in North America quite early on. In 1608, the first whisky distillery in Ireland was granted an official licence. During the American Revolution, during the 1770s and 1780s, whisky was so valuable that many distilleries used it as currency.
Tax on the import and export of whisky:
The newly formed American government imposed a tax on the import and export of whisky to help finance Revolutionary War debt. This resulted in conflict between the government and whisky producers, which culminated in the Whisky Rebellion between 1791 and 1794. Even though George Washington dispatched national forces to suppress the Rebellion, the alcohol tax remained a contentious issue until it was repealed during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency.
Throughout the 19th century, whisky saw numerous innovations and industrialization practises. For instance, the ‘continuous still’ and the ‘Coffey still’ modernised the distillation process and made whisky production significantly cheaper and more efficient. Due to a legal loophole, the beverage survived the American Prohibition; it was permitted as a medicinal product and was still sold in pharmacies! Walgreens made a substantial profit from the sale of the spirit. In 1964, bourbon exploded in popularity, and whisky continues to be a historic and well-liked alcoholic beverage around the globe.
WORLD WHISKY DAY ACTIVITIES
Sample premium whiskies with companions
On World Whisky Day, enjoy a drink of an expensive, well-crafted whisky! Even better, invite fellow whisky enthusiasts to partake with you. There is nothing more enjoyable than drinking with companions.
Tweet using the hashtag #WorldWhiskyDay
This hashtag is utilised frequently on World Whisky Day! Thousands of individuals participate in the celebration. Post a photo of your exquisite glass or you sipping with companions to demonstrate your participation.
Learn about whisky
Do you recognise a tulip from a tumbler? Did you even recognise those as whisky glasses? Read up on peated whisky, whisky glassware, whisky cocktails, and whisky production to commemorate the occasion!
5 FUN FACTS ABOUT WHISKY
It derives from the Gaelic term for ‘water of life’
The word ‘whisky’ is derived from the Gaelic ‘uisge beatha’, which means ‘water of life.’ This term, which subsequently became ‘uski,’ means ‘water of life.’
Whisky becomes beer
Surprisingly, whisky’s distillation material, ‘wort,’ is essentially beer: a mixture of water, yeast, and malt.
2% is lost annually
The annual loss of 2% of whisky from casks, known as the ‘angel’s pinch,’ is sometimes even a part of local customs.
Whisky can be older than 150 years
The oldest whisky in the world is a 13.5-ounce container of Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky, which was bottled between 1851 and 1858.
Whisky took advantage of a Prohibition loophole.
In contrast to many of the alcohols that were prohibited during the American Prohibition in the early 20th century, whisky was considered medicinal and could be purchased at pharmacies.
WHY WE LOVE WORLD WHISKY DAY
Distillation of whisky and alcohol in general is extraordinarily complex and can produce subtle yet remarkable flavour differences. Today is a wonderful day to educate your palate on the subtleties of whisky flavours through a whisky flight or distillery tour.
Many find that drinking a glass of whisky (especially with excellent friends) is the perfect way to unwind. On World Whisky Day, relax and sip your worries away — it’s a fantastic time!
Whisky is an enduring classic
Whisky has been enjoyed by monarchs and commoners alike for over 500 years. It is a hobby, craft, and passion for many who strive to infuse it with the nuanced flavours they adore. Even monks brewed whisky in the 1100s; whisky has been a revered classic beverage throughout history.
WORLD WHISKY DAY DATES