Did you know that some 34 bottles of whisky are exported from Scotland every second? And, it won’t be a stretch to say that a major part of the janta consumes more ‘Scotch’ that what is actually produced there and whisky remains a perennial favourite among the well-heeled and the older, discerning drinkers.
Though it still has a conservative tag attached to it with those who obsess over the age, cask, highland, lowland distilleries and exorbitant prices, the younger generation is also opening up their palates to this aged tipple which is still seen as a status symbol in the country. May 18 marks World Whisky Day which has a social media legacy.
Designated to celebrate all things whisky on the third Saturday of May every year across the globe, it was the whim of a university student Blair Bowman who was looking for a hashtag around World Gin Day in 2011, when he googled about whisky, nothing popped up.
A quick search led to him buying the domain WorldWhiskyDay.com which snowballed into a whole new world of facts related to the beverage and events being held across the globe.
Newfound popularity among youth
The holiday has become so popular that even the likes of celebrities of David Beckham, Jimmy Kimmel, Jude Law have hopped up on the bandwagon. Closer home though, mixologists and restaurateurs are coming up with new ways to popularise this refined drink with younger lot, which is still perceived as an old man’s drink.
“Whiskey cocktails are usually how youngsters start off with it, so you have the classics like Old Fashioneds, whisky sours, whisky with ginger ale and, then, they move to the hard liquor. There is a small segment of millennials who are taking to it in a big way and are knowledgeable about what goes into a good whisky. And, they are not afraid to splurge,” says mixologist Sharad Arora who has seen this niche crowd make the jump from Teacher’s Highland, Teacher’s Origin to Chivas Regal, Singleton and Johnny Walker Black Label pretty quickly.
Why beer is still preferred
However, microbreweries are a new trend in the city, thanks to so many popping up in the areas of Jubilee Hills and Gachibowli, beer remains the ‘cool’ drink that finds place in the hands of the hip and young crowd. Ravikanth Reddy, a foodie and a lover of Glenfiddich and Glenlivet, puts it down to the high price tag wound around these shiny bottles.
“Most of these labels go into thousands of rupees which goes beyond the range of most youngsters who would see it as having many pints of beers in that much amount. And the profusion of microbreweries has exposed them to different types of beers. Moving to a refined drink like whisky only comes with age, and your monetary status.
The ascent to this ‘water of life’ is a gradual process which hasn’t changed even now. Most often than not, appreciation for single malts happens at home and, then, in a club setting,” adds Ravikanth. So, the next time you want to change up your drinking game, have a dream or few.
* The Scottish Parliament first taxed whisky in 1644.
* Whiskey is the official state beverage of Alabama.
* The Glenfiddich bottle is triangular in shape to represent the three pillars of whisky making: air, water and barley.
* The vast majority of whisky exported from Scotland is blended, not single malt.
* Frank Sinatra was buried with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.
* While filming in the Congo, majority of the cast of The African Queen became sick with dysentery from drinking the water. Director John Huston and actor Humphrey Bogart were unaffected, because they apparently drank nothing but whisky throughout.