World Whisky Day takes place on the third Saturday in May each year. Whether you’re a connoisseur or just like any excuse for a party, we’ve got 10 great ways to mark the occasion.
1. Go to a whisky bar
There are plenty of excellent whisky bars around, and they are sure to be festive on World Whisky Day.
Try one of these:
Cape Town – The Whisky Bar at Umi, Hank’s Olde Irish or Bascule
Joburg – Workshop 55, Churchills or The Whiskey Bar at Southern Sun Hotel Hyde Park Sandton
2. Host a whisky tasting
Invite some friends over, asking them each to bring an unusual bottle of whisky to share. Allocate a style to each guest, like rye, bourbon and single cask, or assign specific regions, such as Germany, Japan, India and South Africa (#localislekker). Take it up a notch by doing blind tastings, and see really who knows their stuff.
3. Watch a whisky-themed movie
Don’t feel like socialising? Make some popcorn, crack open your favourite whisky and settle in for a night on the couch. Some goodies include:
The Angels' Share
Whisky mit Wodka
4. Make a whisky playlist
Get yourself into the whisky swing of things by compiling a list of songs featuring (or dedicated to) the water of life, starting – obviously – with ‘Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)’ by The Doors. Here are some more classics to inspire you:
‘Whiskey Man’ by The Who
‘One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer’ by George Thorogood
‘Whiskey Rock-A-Roller’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd
‘Lace and Whiskey’ by Alice Cooper
‘Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound’ by Hank Williams, Jr.
PRO TIP: Play this at your whisky tasting!
5. Learn how to make a great whisky cocktail
All whisky lovers should have one killer cocktail in their repertoire, whether it’s a Whisky Sour, Old Fashioned or Mint Julep. Try The Rusty Tack, it’s super simple but smashing.
6. Spoil yourself to your favourite whiskies
Make a list of all your favourite whiskies and buy whatever the budget allows. Life is short.
7. Join a whisky club
If there aren’t any public ones in your area, start your own! Here are some with an online presence:
Cape Town – Cape Whisky Club
East London – Uisgebeatha Whisky Club
National – Scotch Malt Whisky Association
National – The Whisky Academy
8. Follow a whisky blogger
Stay abreast of whisky news by following one (or all) of these local whisky bloggers:
Whisky & Ginger
Words on Whisky
The Smoky Dram
9. Get a whisky qualification
If you’re serious about your whisky knowledge why not get certified? The Wine and Spirit Education Trust courses at The Wine Centre are internationally recognised, and cover all kinds of spirits, not just whisky.
10. Download a whisky app
There are lots of whisky apps out there, but we like the South African Whizzky, which lets you add personal notes and compare whisky ratings.
Catch Leah on Twitter at @leahvandeventer or Instagram on @theveneervandal.
- Leah van Deventer