Know your scotch from your bourbon and your single malt from your blended whisky? Here’s where to head this World Whisky Day to try some delicious new drinks.
We could argue until the cows come home as to whether whisky or whiskey is superior – but we’d much rather spend the time enjoying a drink instead of talking linguistics. So if you’re (rightly) more concerned about flavours and notes than where your whisky originates from, you’ll love what’s coming up on May 18.
The whole point of World Whisky Day is to make the spirit more accessible – which means no pipettes of water and swirling your drink with a meaningful glance. Instead, we’re celebrating the day at three of our favourite, whisky-infused events across London.
If ever there was an event for whisky lovers and newbies alike, it’s this Immersive Whisky Experience. Taking place at a stylish townhouse, try some delicious cocktails made with Haig Club whisky. At this house, you’re free to explore different rooms with a unique whisky drink featured in each one. Here, you’re in charge of the music with a live band that takes requests from a songbook. After you’ve finished your first drink, wander through to the next room, where you’ll be shown how to perfect your own cocktail. Pick your garnish and relax back against the Instagrammable backdrop. Finally, head through to the final room, where you can order another cocktail while dancing on the tiles as a top DJ plays a range of your favourite tunes. Tickets £19. 19 Greek Street Soho, W1D 4DT
For a more traditional whisky experience, head to Mac & Wild’s unique Drams In The Dark event in Devonshire Square. You’ll start your evening in a dimly-lit room with a welcome drink and a warm introduction from your tasting host. The gradual dimming of the lights signals the beginning of the tasting experience before you’re plunged into total darkness. At this point, your host takes over – inviting you to deepen your tasting experience by relying on your senses alone. Blair Bowman, whisky consultant and author, will lead you through a tasting of several drams with your senses heightened by complete darkness. For an hour and a half, you can allow your palate to sample all the unique flavours offered in this handpicked whisky tasting. You’ll get to try four different drams, each with a different flavour profile. And to stop you from going hungry, there’ll be an accompanying canapé with each tasting. Tickets £40. 9A Devonshire Square London, EC2M 4YN
Not all whisky is made in Scotland, you know. And one of the other countries famed for its particular water of life is Japan. Luckily, you don’t have to fork out on an expensive plane journey to sample some of the country’s finest, as you’ll find it in central London, too. This Japanese whisky masterclass takes place at Map Maison in Haggerston and gives you the chance to learn more about the production of Japanese whisky before sampling different drams. At the start, you’ll be given a complimentary glass of bubbly with olives and mixed nuts, before being taken on a journey through the history of this famous whisky region. Once you’re in the know of three different drams, a mixologist will create a delicious Japanese whisky-based cocktail for you to enjoy. Before you leave, you’ll be invited behind the bar to concoct your own drink with your choice of Japanese whisky from the select masterclass cocktail menu. Tickets from £40. 321 Kingsland Road E8 4DL
Liked this? See our guide to London’s seriously suave whisky bars or mix up some delicious whisky cocktail recipes.
Also published on Medium.