World Whiskey Day: A Brief History & How to Find Local Distilleries Near You

World Whiskey Day is a global celebration of the world’s most popular spirit: whiskey. It is a day to learn about the different types of whiskey, to sample different whiskies, and to celebrate the people who make this delicious spirit in distilleries all over the world. 

In this blog post, we’re excited to be exploring the history of World Whiskey Day and how you can find local distilleries near you. We will also share some easy whiskey cocktails that you can make at home. So gather your ingredients and let’s get started!

What Is World Whiskey Day?

World Whiskey Day is an annual celebration of, you guessed it, whiskey! This holiday is a great opportunity to learn more about whiskey, try new expressions, and connect with other whiskey lovers. If you are new to whiskey, World Whiskey Day is also a great opportunity to learn more about and try this complex and delicious spirit. 

When Is World Whiskey Day?

World Whiskey Day is celebrated every year on the third Saturday of May. In 2023, World Whiskey Day will be on May 20. In 2024, World Whiskey Day will fall on May 18th, and in 2025, it will be on May 17th. 2026 will see World Whiskey Day on the 16th of May, and in 2027, it will be on the 15th.

What’s the History of World Whiskey Day?

World Whiskey Day was founded in 2012 by Blair Bowman, a whiskey writer and enthusiast. The day is now celebrated by whiskey lovers all over the world, with events and tastings taking place in pubs, bars, and distilleries.

How Is Whiskey Made?

Whiskey is made from a fermented mash of grain, typically barley, corn, rye, or wheat. The grain is first malted, which means it is soaked in water and allowed to sprout. This process converts the starches in the grain into sugars. The malted grain is then dried and ground into a meal, which is then mixed with hot water to create a mash. 

Fun fact: The word “whiskey” comes from the Gaelic word “uisce beatha,” which means “water of life.”

The mash is then fermented with yeast, which converts the sugars into alcohol. The fermented mash is then distilled, which separates the alcohol from the water. The distilled spirit is then aged in oak casks, where it can mature and develop its flavor.

The simplified steps are as follows, and timings will vary from distillery to distillery:

  1. Malting
  2. Mashing
  3. Fermentation
  4. Distillation
  5. Aging
  6. Blending
  7. Bottling

What Differences Impact Flavor?

There are many different types of whiskey, each with its own unique flavor profile. You can find whiskey made from a variety of grains, including barley, corn, and rye. Whiskey can also be aged in a variety of casks, which can impart different flavors to the spirit.

The exact process of making whiskey can vary depending on the type of whiskey being made and the preferences of the distiller. However, the basic steps outlined above are common to all whiskies.

Whisky vs Whiskey: Which Is Right?

There’s a whole lot of etymology that we could go into, but to keep it brief, here’s a quick and dirty answer to this common question:

Whiskey is distilled in the United States or Ireland.

Whisky is distilled in Japan, Scotland, or Canada.

To learn more about the deeper differences between whisky and whiskey, check out What’s the Difference Between Whiskey and Whiskey?

What’s the History of Whiskey?

The first recorded mention of whiskey was in Ireland in the 1400s, but it is believed that the spirit was actually being made centuries before that. Whiskey was originally used as a medicine, but it quickly became popular as a drink.

Fun Fact: Whiskey is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the world, with evidence of its production dating back to as early as 1494.

In the 1600s, whiskey production began to spread to Scotland, where the Scottish quickly developed their own unique style of whiskey. Scottish whisky is now known as being characterized by its smoky flavor. Whisky production in Scotland continued to grow in the 1700s and 1800s, and by the 1900s, Scotland was the world’s leading producer of whisky.

In the 1900s, whiskey production also began to take off in the United States. The American style of whiskey is typically made from corn, and it is known for its smooth flavor. Whiskey production in the United States continued to grow in the 20th century, and today, the United States is the world’s second-leading producer of whiskey.

5 Ways to Celebrate World Whiskey Day:

Mix Up Some Easy Whiskey Cocktails With Local Spirits

One of the most popular ways to celebrate World Whiskey Day is to mix it into cocktails! There are so many easy whiskey cocktails that can be made with local spirits. We’ve included several ideas for you at the end of this blog, so be sure to check them out!

Try a New, Local, Craft Whiskey on Its Own

World Whiskey Day is also a great opportunity to try a new, local, craft whiskey on its own. There are many different craft distilleries popping up all over the world, and they are producing some amazing whiskeys. These whiskeys are often made with local ingredients and aged in small batches, which gives them a unique flavor profile.

If you’re looking to stay local, you have a few options:

Learn More About Your Favorite Whiskey

Another great way to celebrate World Whiskey Day is to learn more! Learn more about whiskey in general or learn more about one of your favorite distilleries. Share that new knowledge with a friend or family member who shares your excitement about whiskey, too!

Go on a Distillery Tour at a Local Whiskey Distillery

If you’ve never been on a distillery tour before, now is the time! You can find a local distillery near you and easily inquire about whether they offer tours or not. To find a local distillery near you, check out our local listings for your area!

Go to a Whiskey Tasting at a Local Whiskey Distillery

One of the best ways to learn about whiskey is to go to a tasting at a local distillery. This is a great opportunity to sample different whiskeys and learn about their flavors from the people who made them.

When choosing a distillery to visit, look for one that offers tours and tastings. This will give you a behind-the-scenes look at how whiskey is made and a chance to ask questions about the different types of whiskey that are available.

Easy Whiskey Cocktails to Mix Up for World Whiskey Day

There are many different ways to enjoy whiskey, but one of the most popular is to mix it into cocktails. There are many easy whiskey cocktails that can be made at home with just a few ingredients.

In this section, we will share some easy whiskey cocktails that you can mix up for World Whiskey Day. These cocktails are perfect for a casual gathering with friends or a special occasion. So gather your ingredients and let’s get started!

The Whiskey Sour

The Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. It is made with whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and an egg white (optional). The egg white gives the cocktail a smooth and creamy texture.

To mix one up for yourself, simply combine 2 oz whiskey, ¾ oz lemon juice, ½ oz simple syrup, and ½ oz egg white in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until the mixture becomes thoroughly chilled and frothy from the egg white. Strain into a glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry, then enjoy!

The Old Fashioned

We can’t write a whiskey blog without mentioning the Old Fashioned – it’s impossible! It is made with whiskey, sugar, bitters, and water, and it is typically garnished with an orange twist. 

To make this easy whiskey cocktail, simply muddle 1 teaspoon of sugar and three dashes of bitters in an old fashioned glass. Add 2 oz whiskey and 1-2 oz of water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then fill the glass with ice and garnish with an orange twist! Enjoy!

The Manhattan

This is another incredibly popular cocktail. It’s sweet with a complex flavor profile that elevates whatever whiskey or bourbon you use.

To mix up a Manhattan for yourself, mix together 2 oz whiskey, 1 oz sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes of bitters. Then, fill that mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain the contents into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist. Some people also enjoy cocktail cherries (or maraschino) cherries in their Manhattans.

The Rob Roy

If you’re looking for a great warming cocktail on a cool May night, the Rob Roy is perfect for you. It is made with Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, bitters, and a cherry garnish.

To make yourself a Rob Roy, simply mix 2 oz Scotch whisky, 1 oz sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes angostura bitters in a mixing glass with ice. When well-chilled, strain into a rocks glass with ice and garnish with a maraschino cherry. Enjoy!

The Sazerac

We’ve talked about this cocktail before – it’s the official drink of New Orleans! However, it’s also making an appearance in today’s celebration of whiskey! 

To mix yourself up one of these delicious cocktails, grab a rocks glass and fill it with ice. Into a mixing glass, buddle a sugar cube and three dashes of peychaud’s bitters. Next, add 2 oz rye whiskey and ice. Stir everything together until the sugar is dissolved, then strain the cocktail into your rocks glass. 

Finally, coat a spoon with absinthe (the absinthe is optional, but make sure you discard the excess), then float the small amount left on the spoon on the top of the cocktail. Garnish with a lemon twist, and enjoy!

How to Find Local Spirits to Make the Best Whiskey Cocktails

One of the best ways to make a great whiskey cocktail is to use local spirits. Local spirits are made with fresh, local ingredients, and they often have a unique flavor profile that can’t be found in mass-produced spirits! 

Here at Distillery Nearby, we’re passionate about connecting you with your local distilleries so that you can have new experiences and learn more about the distilling scene in your area! To find a local distillery near you, check out your area’s local listings and contact one of them today!

From all of us to you,

Happy World Whiskey Day!

Share this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.