1494

Whisky Origin

1924

Japanese Whisky and a Drinking Ritual

1964

 American Whiskey and a Drinking Ritual

2011

Alcohol-free Whisky Alternative and a Drinking Ritual

2011

Mexican Whisky

Whisky Origin

1494

In Scotland, the first evidence of whisky production comes from an entry in the Exchequer Rolls for 1494 where malt is sent “To Friar John Cor, by order of the king, to make aquavitae”, enough to make about 500 bottles.

 

What means Ritual

Ritual the established form for a ceremony specifically: the order of words prescribed for a religious ceremony

Japanese Whisky and a Drinking Ritual

1924

The Japanese have been making whisky since 1924, unbeknownst to most people outside the country. One can’t be blamed for being unaware of this, as very few bottles of Japanese whisky make it to the States. Should you come across one, I recommend you try it- you may be surprised to find it tastes a heck of a lot like scotch. 

That is because the first is because the first two distilleries in Japan (Suntory and Nikka, rivals to this day) were set up by Japanese scientists who traveled to Scotland in the early 1900s to learn how the process worked. Today Japanese whiskies compete with those made in Scotland, sometimes beating them at their own game in international whisky competitions. Often these whiskies will be partially aged in Japanese oak, adding nice spicy sandalwood notes to the blends.

According to Neyah White, a brand ambassador for the Suntory family of whiskies, the highball has become a popular serving style for whiskies in Japan. It’s a lower-alcohol way to enjoy the flavor of whisky without sipping it straight. He says that in most bars you’ll just get an ounce or so of whisky topped off with bottled soda water, but in some very special places you can experience Mizuwari, meaning “cut with water.” It’s an elaborate process and I can’t say whether or not it makes one’s highball taste any better, but drinking rituals are usually fun. Here’s how he described it.

American Whiskey and a Drinking Ritual

1964

The origins of whiskey can be traced back to the Medieval monks of both Ireland and Scotland, but now, those two countries make their own distinctive styles of their native spirit. So it is with American whiskey–the original concept may have been imported from faraway lands, but some 300 years later, American whiskey…is a product unto itself.

American whiskey started its life as a raw, unaged spirit that had, as its main attribute, the power to spur the courage of the first colonists. And through the years, whiskey has developed into the complex, big-bodied, distinctively American bourbons, ryes, and Tennessee whiskeys that today, are savored by connoisseurs, sipped by grandmothers, tossed back by barflies, and “discovered” by almost every American as he or she reaches that magical age of twenty-one. American whiskey, itself, has reached maturity in relatively recent years, after spending a 300-year adolescence being molded by every major event that has affected its native country. And at times, the reverse is true–whiskey has affected the nation itself.

Whiskey-making was one of the first cottage industries in the land; it was responsible for George Washington mustering federal troops for the first time, and whiskey went with the early pioneers as they traveled westward to explore new territories. Whiskey was a spirit of contention during the Civil War, and was, in part, the reason that Grant never served a third term in the White House. Whiskey spurred the women of America to lead a crusade that led to Prohibition, and has played a part in every major war this nation has seen. In short, where America has been, so has American whiskey–and where whiskey has traveled, so have Americans been influenced by its presence.

Bourbon, in fact, is so darned American, that, in 1964, Congress itself recognized it as “a distinctive product of the U.S.A.” And although straight rye, and Tennessee whiskeys haven’t attained such a prestigious honor, they too have traveled the same dusty trails that led to today’s superhighways and are as distinctively American as any bourbon whiskey.

When the first immigrants arrived on this continent, their love for alcohol in almost any shape or form led to a chain of events that would culminate in the creation of distinctive American whiskeys. By tracing the thirst the settlers wanted to slake we can plot the development of American whiskey from the early days of the settlers in Virginia and New England all the way through time to today. Furthermore, we can track the creation of bourbon and Tennessee whiskey back to their very roots–a rare opportunity when the subject is food or drink.

Alcohol-free Whisky Alternative a new way of Ritual Drinking

2011

In 2011 Time magazine’s Megan Gibson had nothing bad to say about the introduction of the first alcohol free spirit ArKay while The Wookie on Booze Dancing, said “If it ain’t Broke don’t fix it” And that was the point, Reynald Grattagliano the founder of ArKay and the grandfather of alcohol-free spirits, knew something was broken. Reynald saw that alcohol, although it was part of a world that connected people like no other, wasn’t the key ingredient. Sitting shoulder to shoulder, at the bar/pub as equals, the rich and the poor, the educated and illiterate with respect and love for others was the thing that made connections happen. So yes, vodka, whiskey, bourbon, gin and rum, are all broken, and continue to break connections, communities and families.

Max Eddie, on The Mary Sue actually wrote this “A niche, but perhaps very desperate determined market” when referring to the market of alcohol-free spirit drinks that ArKay was addressing. Micro-Aggressions like this (referring to the market looking for this product as desperate but struck) are made to hold to the status-quo. We saw this happen in the tobacco industry, before there was legislation to remove it from advertising and now less people smoke cigarettes than ever because there are less places to input these micro-aggressions which pit us against each other.

An adult drink is not one with alcohol in it, it is one a child would not enjoy. The earthy taste of beer, and the complexity of alcohol are enjoyable to those who don’t gravitate towards the sweet. And when we are sitting at a bar shoulder to shoulder with our neighbor, especially if we are not drinking, whether that is just today, or if it happens to be every day, we have options and those options are available because of the vision of one man, who is still quietly going about his 25 million dollar business, Reynald Grattagliano.

The First Mexican Whisky is born

2011

Mexican Whisky is a distilled beverage produced in Mexico from a fermented mash of cereal grain (Corn and Wheat) The production and labeling of Mexican whisky are governed exclusively by The Mexican Whisky Association .

Mexican whisky is distilled to not more than 80% alcohol by volume (160 U.S. proof) to ensure that the flavor of the original mash is adequately retained, and the addition of coloring, caramel and flavoring additives is allowed..