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6 Whisky Facts That Will Make You Go OMG Soul Living

You’ll never look at whisky the same way again.

Whisky gives off the impression of a staid gentleman’s drink, but it has its fair share of OMG moments too. From being used as treatment in hospitals to being sent to orbit, this liquor certainly has been on some crazy adventures. Read on to find out what we mean!

#1 Whisky has “healing” properties?

While filming the movie “The African Queen” in the Congo, the entire film crew became extremely sick with dysentery from drinking the water. However, legendary film star Humphrey Bogart didn’t have a single problem – he only drank whiskey the entire time he was there!

#2 Well, it was used to treat alcohol poisoning.

Earlier this year in June, more than 100 residents in Malwani, India were killed by counterfeit liquour that was found to actually be pure methanol diluted with water. For those they could treat, however, doctors fed them with steady measures of whisky that contains around 40 percent of ethyl alcohol. According to doctors, ethyl alcohol neutralises the effects of methanol and this is a standard protocol the world over. Of course, this “whisky treatment” was complemented by hemodialysis (a process to purify blood) to remove unmetabolised methanol.

#3 Talk about whisky going places. Suntory has sent whisky into space!

Suntory, which has previously won awards for the world’s best whisky, has sent whisky to the International Space Station to test how zero gravity affects the drink’s “mellowness”. Six samples of distilled spirits produced by Suntory have arrived in orbit; one batch will be observed for a year and the second set will be left for at least two years. Now that’s certainly a drink that will get you moony!

#4 In the meantime, a UK distillery accidentally flushes whisky into a sewer …

In March 2013, night-shift workers were cleaning equipment at a bottling plant in Dumbarton when they accidentally flushed away thousands of litres of whisky instead of waste water. Thankfully, it wasn’t THIS whisky they flushed …

#5 The “world’s most expensive whisky” recently sold for £393,109 (approximately S$845,324)! 

A Lalique decanter of Macallan ‘M’ whisky earned the prestigious title of “world’s most expensive whisky” when it sold at an auction in Hong Kong for £393,109 earlier this year. The luxury decanter holds six litres of whisky drawn from Spanish oak sherry casks dating from the 1940s to the 1990s.

#6 But hey, you don’t need expensive whisky to create great-tasting whisky cocktails. 

At the recent launch of the new Chivas 12 bottle, we sat down with Mark Tay, founder and managing director of BarSmiths to find out how we can create our own whisky concoctions for home parties. But first, what are some basics to take note of?

Mark Tay, founder and managing director of BarSmiths

Mark Tay, founder and managing director of BarSmiths

“Before preparing the cocktail, you need to first figure out what is the flavour profile of the whisky you’re using. So, give it a good sniff. If it’s very smoky, you may want to add a round sweetness to it instead of adding something sour like lemon. If you get notes of honey from that first sniff, you can go with florals or fruits with a floral-fruity profile like strawberries,” says Mark.

However, if the whisky you’re using already has a very distinct, well-rounded flavour, you don’t have to add too much to it – just a drop of sugar or bitters so that it retains its unique taste (scroll down to see Mark’s recipe for an old-fashioned). The general rule of thumb is, if the whisky goes down easily, it’s probably good enough on its own. “Cocktails originally gained its popularity during the Prohibition era when alcohol was very rough and not of very good quality,” Mark says, “Back then, people were mixing oranges with their moonshine to take the edge off.”

Thankfully, we now have access to top-quality whisky and whisky cocktails are a fun thing we make to show off to our pals. Here are 3 cocktails that will take you from starter to dessert!

Chivas Julep

chivas julep

“Julep is a good pre-dinner drink as the mint flavours make it refreshing on the palate. This would pair well with ceviche-style items and other fresh seafood.”

Ingredients: (for one)

15ml simple syrup
5 springs of mint leaves
60ml Chivas 12

Directions:

1. Measure Chivas 12 and syrup into a glass
2. Slap mint in between your palms to release its oils and add to the mix
3. Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir well
4. Top up with crushed ice and garnish with a mint leaf to serve

12’s Little Secret

12's little secret

“This is a versatile drink that pairs especially well with cheese – just don’t go near blue cheese! It’s great for a mid-meal pairing, perhaps with a truffle-tossed pasta cooked aglio olio style.”

Ingredients: (for one)

20ml egg white
30ml pineapple juice
15ml simple syrup
15ml fresh lemon juice
45ml Chivas 12
One fresh strawberry

Directions:

1.Muddle half a strawberry in syrup in a mixing glass
2. Add all ingredients and shake well without ice
3. Add ice and shake till well chilled, and then strain into a glass
4. Garnish with half a strawberry to serve

3. Old-Fashioned

“This preparation method is one of the best ways to enjoy the flavour profile of the whisky. Best served after dinner with some dark chocolates or a chocolate fondue paired with sweet-sour fruits like pineapples, kiwis, and green apples.”

Ingredients: (for one)

45ml – 60ml whisky
5ml – 10ml sugar syrup
A dash of bitters (either cucumber or celery)
Lemon peel

Directions:

1. Squeeze the lemon peel lightly into an empty glass, and line the inside of the glass (reason being, your upper lip takes in more flavours than your lower lip)
2. Fill the glass with ice
3. Add the whisky, followed by the sugar syrup then the bitters.
4. Stir, and enjoy!


For as long as she can remember, Vanessa has always wanted to escape to a place where no one knows her. But because that’s not always possible, she often retreats into the world of books and pop culture. When she does get to travel, she prefers going off the beaten track and back to nature. Some of her best memories include napping in a treehouse in Laos and cycling across padi fields in Bali.

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