March 27 is International Whisk(e)y Day, and there is no doubt that South Africans love this tipple.
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International Whisk(e)y Day is not just a celebration of this much loved spirit, but also pays homage to renowned whisky writer Michael James Jackson who passed away in 2007.
Whisky day was officially launched in 2009 by Jackson's friends and colleagues.
It's a day to celebrate all things whisky – or whiskey – depending on where in the world you are; the most famous whisky producers can be found in Scotland, Ireland, America, Canada, Japan and of course South Africa.
SA is the seventh largest export market in the world for Scotch whisky and produces only two whiskies, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and Three Ships, both are world renowned and award-winning spirits.
Whisky is also one of the oldest and most commonly consumed spirits.
Owner of Cape Town-based SIP Exclusive premium mobile bar company, Owen O’Reilly, believes there's a whisky for every palate and occasion: "Whisky is not just Whisky, there are many different styles and types out there and I believe one that suits every person’s taste."
"As South Africans we already have a strong social culture and a good old dram of the golden water of life will most certainly go hand in hand with a classic South African braai.
"South Africa is still lagging behind on the culture of drinking, tasting and enjoying fine spirits such as Whisky, but we’re slowly getting there and people are getting more and more educated on the category with the help of whisky shows like Whisky Live/showroom.”
O'Reilly is out to change perceptions that whisky can only be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
"I use whisky, single malt and blends alike in cocktails all the time and also in mixed drinks.
"It’s a very versatile spirit and can be enjoyed however you want to try it.”
O'Reilly adds that locally produced whisky lives up to its award winning reputation: “One of the best single malts I have tasted comes out of the James Sedgwick Distillery in the Western Cape, the Three Ships 10-year-old single malt.
"They also produce Three Ships 5-year-old and bourbon cask as well as the super smooth single grain whisky, Bain’s Cape Mountain whisky.”