We’re in the midst of a revolution, a whisky-soaked one at that!
There’s a community brewing across the nation where whisky-sippin’ women are taking the world by storm. From female distillers to master mixologists, women everywhere are embracing this amber nectar. Straight up, in a cocktail or with a splash of water, whiskey is definitely our go-to, too.
This week, we sat down with one of the first female brand ambassadors in the scotch industry, Raquel Raies, to chat all things whisky. We’ll be learning a few gems of truth about what some might call a ‘Man’s drink’—so the next time anyone question your dram of choice, you can send them packing. We’ll certainly cheers to that!
Q:First things first, whisky or whiskey?
It’s a battle of the Celtic nations; the Scots vs. the Irish. For the spirit producers of the world, the addition of the debated ‘e’ in whisk(e)y is more than just a regional grammar style, it defines the type of spirit. If we’re talking American or Irish (the whiskey, not the accent), then the ‘e’ is a welcome addition. However, for the rest of the whisky world (the Scots, Canadians & Japanese), the ‘e’ is practically blasphemous—which is why we’ll be using the latter spelling for the rest of this post, as The Macallan hails from the land of haggis & kilts.
Q:What advice can you give women (myself included) who are new to tasting whisky?
Well here’s a secret, always taste with your nose first…& no, we don’t mean in some groovy psychedelic way. It’s a scientific fact that women have a better sense of smell than men—a blessing & a curse, amiright? But hold off on jamming your nose into that glass & taking a big whiff, because unlike wine, whisky has a much higher alcohol content & it’ll burn your nose hairs right off. Instead, hold your glass just under your nose with your mouth slightly ajar & inhale. You might look a lil’ funny, but this is the best way to ‘taste’ the aromas.
Q:How can I host my own whisky tasting at home?
We get it—whisky ain’t cheap & the bottles that are, probably aren’t worth your finest glassware. To get the most out of your DIY whisky tasting, invite your friends to chip in & invest in at least 4 bottles of quality liquor. Try one from each region; perhaps a single malt scotch, a Japanese blend, a good ole’ American bourbon & an Irish single grain. To top it off, add in a cheese board & the party really gets going…because everyone luurves cheese.
Q:Is there a ‘proper’ way to drink whisky?
Neat, on the rocks, with a dash of water or a citrus twist, as long as it’s in a glass (preferably a fancy looking one), you’ve got it right. You can even test out your mixology skills with the recipe below. However, the glass you drink from isn’t just a pretty face, there’s a reason to this rhyme. Old fashioned tumblers like these are ideal for whisky cocktails & a great starter glass. The walls are vertical, ideal for muddling bitters, & thicker so they can hold a hefty ice cube or two. For those that like their whisky neat, the tulip-bulb shaped Glencairn glass is the way to go. It’s delicate & defined shape is architecturally optimal for sniffing. Whatever glass you choose, let’s face it…drinking out of a paper cup just doesn’t have that same ring to it.
Q:What's your favorite whisky cocktail recipe?
THE CLASSIC ROB ROY
2 oz Scotch whisky
.75 oz sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice & stir. Strain over into your glass of choice, add a cherry on top & voila—you’re a master mixologist!
Q:What do you say to someone who say's whisky is a dude's drink?
“I prefer my drinks old fashioned, not my friends.”
Thanks for staying tuned! If you haven’t already, we hope you’re curious enough to dip your toes into this delicious libation, whether it’s whiskey or whisky (hey there, 1/15th Scottish ancestry), at least you now know (a little) about what’s what.
Feeling enlightened yet? Like you’ve just uncovered the secrets of the world? No probably not, but it might come in handy the next time you walk into a bar…