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Issue 60 - How do you drink yours?

Whisky Magazine Issue 60
November 2006

 

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How do you drink yours?

Ian Wisniewski discovers how whisky is drunk around the world.

It's a classic drinks industry motto. ‘Act global, think local' promotes a comprehensive perspective, as the bigger picture also includes a focus on individual traits in different countries.

While some trends are increasingly international, various countries maintain an indigenous drinks culture, which means that for many people it can be more a case of ‘act global, drink local.' “Some trends will move around markets, cocktails are one example, but when you look at the bulk of consumption methods they are deeply rooted in local custom and ritual, and I think this will continue,” says Nick Morgan of Diageo's Classic Malts Selection.

In Scotland for example, serving malt whisky neat, with water, or on the rocks, is becoming more popular, but there are also other established options.

“A traditional practice that can still be seen in Glasgow pubs, passed on from father to son, is known as a ‘half and half,' which refers to half a pint of beer and a ‘half,' or small measure of blended Scotch. You knock back the whisky in one, and pour the remnants from the glass into the beer,” says Gordon & MacPhail's Derek Hancock.

Ordering a Scotch can also mean repeating another familiar name. “Blended Scotch with lemonade became very popular after World War Two, and started to decline in the mid-1990s, although in Glasgow and Edinburgh pubs it's still drunk like that by more mature, mainly male consumers,” says Derek Hancock.

“The Scots definitely like heavier rathe...

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