World Whisky Day

Lovers of the water of life, listen up: World Whisky Day falls on 20 May in 2017, and these fine establishments are hosting events to celebrate.

CAPE TOWN

The Stack

This seriously cool venue will be merging whisky culture with South African by celebrating World Whisky Day with a good ol’ braai. Think all your local chargrilled favourites washed down with whiskies from around the world, from Scotch and Irish classics to selections from India, Japan, the US and of course South Africa. Bernard Gutman – whisky presenter, publisher and all round guru – will be your host, plus representatives from major brands will be around to answer all your whisky questions.
For details and bookings, call 021 286 0187.

HQ

If the 20th doesn’t work for you, do your whisky celebrating on the 24th. HQ restaurant will be hosting a uniquely paired Whisky Dinner in partnership with award-winning local brands Bain’s and Three Ships, while swing-singer sensation Ricky Botsis sets the mood. Following a welcoming monkey-nut-infused Bain’s negroni and canapés, whisky personality Bernard Gutman (yes, he’s popular) will talk you through three mouth-watering courses, as follows:

  • A crisp salad of cos and iceberg lettuce, toasted pine nuts and Parmesan shavings dressed with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette (Paired with: Three Ships Bourbon Cask)
  • A 32-day wet-aged sirloin grilled perfectly medium-rare, served with skinny fries and Café de Paris butter OR Portobello mushrooms stuffed with rich duxelles, gratinated with Parmesan cheese and served with skinny fries and Café de Paris butter (Paired with: Three Ships 5YO Premium Select)
  • Toffee and chocolate torte served with cinnamon ice cream (Paired with: Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky served ice cold in a snifter with a chocolate-dripping rim)

The total cost is just R295. For bookings, call 021 424 6373.

Orphanage Cocktail Emporium

Jody Francis and his team at Orphanage are putting their heads together with Caitlin Hill, Niche Brand Ambassador for Rémy Cointreau, to create an exclusive World Whisky Day cocktail menu featuring The Classic Laddie. The special will run on both the 19th and 20th, so you have two opportunities to sip bespoke single malt Scotch cocktails at this cool venue.

James Sedgwick Distillery

If you want to get a peak behind the curtain, why not visit the James Sedgwick Distillery (the only commercial whisky distillery in South Africa) and see how whisky is actually made? From 19–21 May, head over to the birthplace of Bain’s and Three Ships in Wellington and enjoy a tour of the distillery followed by an exclusive whisky tasting with Master Distiller Andy Watts himself.

The seven whiskies you’ll try will include the limited-release (and world’s-first) Three Ships 15YO Pinotage Cask Finish, a not-yet-released 15YO grain whisky and a soon-to-be-launched Three Ships 10YO Single Malt. Visitors will also receive a 10% discount on purchases plus a goodie bag to take home.

The cost is R350, and tickets can be purchased on Webtickets (no sales at the door).

A Touch of Madness

This always-fun venue will be commemorating World Whisky Day in a way that truly counts: with a happy hour. This will overlap with their popular Touch Down Saturdays, when the crew from Selective Hearing spin the decks, so pull in for nachos or a burger around lunch time, catch some tunes and end the afternoon with buy-one-get-one-free deals on local whiskies from 5–6pm … or stay and make a night of it.

Saturdays usually pump here, so I suggest you book a table on 021 447 4650.

JOBURG

Wade Bales Wine & Malt Whisky Affair

Bust out your best threads for this glam soirée at Hyde Park Corner. On 25 and 26 May, you’ll get the chance to chat to whisky aficionados while you sample any of the more than 75 whiskies on offer from around the world. If you feel like you’re en route to getting hammered, pause to snack on gourmet cheeses, deli delights and artisanal breads.

Make sure you keep you ears attuned for the half-time bell, when for a sensational 15 minutes guests will be able to taste rare and limited editions of whiskies from under the table.

Tickets are R250, including the whole shebang. Get them on Webtickets.

Churchills Bar

Churchills is teaming up with Scottish Leader for World Whisky Day. The party will kick off with welcome cocktails, then you can dance the night away with live DJs while you enjoy the water of life. For details and bookings, mail info@churchillsbar.co.za.

DULLSTROOM

Wild about Whisky

This off-the-beaten-track gem has a whopping collection of more than 1300 whiskies – the largest in the Southern Hemisphere! – so if there was ever a place to really celebrate World Whisky Day, this would be it. The bar offers regular tastings, but they’ll put together something special for the 20th, featuring six extra-fine whiskies at a discounted price.

For more information, call 013 254 0066.

DURBAN

Lucky Shaker

To celebrate all things whisky, pull in to this chilled cocktail spot for their monthly whisky tasting on 29 May. Being the relaxed place it is, no set plans have been made for World Whisky Day itself, but owner Michael Stephenson says, ‘I’m sure we will throw something interesting onto our specials board for Saturday the 20th. Maybe it’s the perfect excuse for me grab a few bottles of the Three Ships 15YO Pinotage Finish and put it on the board for a fantastic price.’

To get a fix on what’s happening, call 084 567 2565 closer to the time.

This post first appeared on Food24 on 16 May 2017.