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International Whisky Day in Cape Town
Cheers to this list of exciting things to do this International Whisky Day!
Whisky or Whiskey? A matter that may be a bit of a scalp-scratcher, but it’s not the word that has us swabbing and sipping right? It’s the aroma, the blend and the taste that leaves you gasping for more a few seconds after the glass leaves your lips. 27 March, International Whisky Day, is here! The history of International Whisky Day is necessarily intrinsically tied to the history of whisky.
Whisky is one of the most recognisable classification of spirits in the world. Its name originates from Gaelic (Celtic language native to Scotland), where it used to be called “Uisce na Beatha” which means “The Water of Life” (its lovers will definitely agree). The name was then shortened to just “Uisce” (water), which was pronounced “Ish-Key”, it then changed over time and today we know it as whisky.
Want to know what you’ve been drinking all this time? Well if you didn’t know, whisky is the result of a distillation process, a chemical/alchemical process which goes far back to the days of Babylon. All whiskies start with a ‘mash’, a mixture of grain and water that’s slowly heated to break down the starch into sugars. This process is called a wort, and is only the beginning of the drinks’ production journey. What kind of grain you decide to use though, will determine which whisky you end up with.
So now that we have fully equipped you with the necessary knowledge to help appreciate this amazing day and the drink that goes with it; consider yourself a connoisseur of note! With that in mind, we have decided to carefully curate a list of various things to do to celebrate this great day dedicated to whisky and whisky alone. You can choose to either celebrate International Whisky Day by downing a tot at one of the exclusive whisky lounges, attend a tasting at a whisky bar or distillery, or even celebrating the day at a festival dedicated to…. You guessed right, WHISKY!
WHISKY BARS AND LOUNGES IN CAPE TOWN AND SURROUNDS
The Jameson Whiskey Room at Shimmy Beach Club
Hop on over to one of Cape Town’s most spectacular joints to enjoy a whisky experience like no other. Shimmy Beach Club’s Jameson Whiskey Room is the perfect venue for a chic bachelor or bachelorette party, or for a private VIP bar and lounge experience. The venue is to be pre-booked for private VIP experiences. Patrons can sit back and relax in a classic and comfortable space with a bar area to boot. The cosy venue also has quintessential Jameson branded elements spread throughout; now you know why it’s called the Jameson Whiskey Room.
12 South Arm Rd | V & A Waterfront | Cape Town |+27 (0)21 200 7778
Bascule Whisky, Wine & Cocktail Bar
This cosy, sophisticated spot on the waterside offers upscale bar fare and, most importantly, over 500 types of whiskies! Now aren’t you spoilt for choice? Sip on some of the distiller’s finest while looking out on the water's edge of the international yacht marina on Cape Town's Waterfront. Bascule Whisky Wine and Cocktail Bar is the perfect place to take in the sights and sounds of the busy Waterfront while sipping on a Scottish blend. Perfect place to celebrate International Whisky Day? We think so! Bascule is a vibrant and lively destination by day and then transforms into a glamorous Whisky Bar by night, where connoisseurs and social butterflies gather in equal measure to enjoy a taste of the good life.
West Quay Road | Victoria & Alfred Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 21 410 7100
Baghdad Café & Whisky Bar
This semi-formal restaurant and whisky bar serves over 300 unique whiskies from all regions of the world. Baghdad, situated in the heart of Cape Town, is definitely the place for all whisky-lovers. The balconies on both sides of the establishment is perfect to enjoy your mixture of grain and water (remember the history lesson). Your choice of whisky can be bought by the bottle and if you can’t finish it and you’re a member of the Baghdad community, no worries, you can store your bottle in a whisky lockup at the venue.
First Floor | Corner Long Street & Bloem St | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 3201
The Whiskey Bar at Umi Restaurant
If you’ve ever been to this great venue in Camps Bay, you’ll surely know of what a glorious time you’ll be spending on International Whisky Day. Umi sports a glamorous whisky bar that is sensually well stocked with over a 100 variations of judiciously selected whisky from all parts of the world. The whisky lounge is located in an atmospheric alcove at the rear-end of Umi Restaurant. This 40-seater luxury lounge offers an intimate yet welcoming night-time experience and is open seven nights a week.
201 The Promenade | Victoria Road | Camps Bay | +27 (0)21 437 1802
Hank’s Olde Irish
This wonderful venue is reminiscent of an old English pub and inspired by stories by Tom Waits. The new bar within the walls of the popular haunt Weinhaus + Biergarten (formerly known as &Union) offers Capetonian alcohol-enthusiasts a menu sporting an array of whiskies, malt and bourbon. Hank’s owner, Rob Southworth, explains, “Whisky is our alcohol category of focus, but we do offer a lot more spirits, wines and beers. I used to live in Mexico, so you will also see a small focus towards tequila and mezcal.” Be sure to stop by the hotspot to make the most of your whisky experience.
110 Bree St | Cape Town | +27 (0)82 535 5472
Sansibar Cigar & Whisky Lounge
Take a sho’t left down to Stellies to enjoy some of the best whisky blends carefully manufactured for you. The Sansibar Cigar & Whisky Lounge in Stellenbosch features comfy leather couches, sweeping views and a well stocked bar to boot. The venue has a range of nine different cigar brands to choose from and 49 ranges of whisky to sip on. You can enjoy a drink while you sit back, relax and catch the sunset.
Polkadraai Rd | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 888 8000
WHISKY DISTILLERY AND WINE CENTRE
James Sedgwick Distillery
Take a trip down to Wellington this International Whisky Day and enjoy a tour of the James Sedgwick Distillery, note that this is the only commercial whisky distillery in Africa and is home to the international award-winning range of Three Ships and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky. Now open to the public for tours, the distillery is open on selected dates and times. The tastings and tours are limited to 10 people at a time to ensure a personal experience and is offered on Fridays and Saturdays at 10am and again at 2pm. Visitors can discover the passion and craftsmanship of South African whiskies, learn to understand the art of whisky-making, expand on their knowledge about the rich history of the distillery spanning 130 years and taste some of the best whiskies in the world.
79 Stokery Rd | Wellington | +27 (0)72 415 3440
This wine tasting centre in Stellenbosch offers all day tastings, with connoisseurs at your service to answer any question you might have about their whiskies, brandies and fortified wines. Though Bergkelder’s main focus is fine wine, they sport a range of our favourite whiskies. Choose from Three Ships, Oude Meester, Klipdrift Gold, Flight of the Fish Eagle, Van Ryn’s and Bains Single Grain Whisky that’s available to taste on request.
George Blake St | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 809 8025
NOW FOR A WHISKY PARTY…
Whisky Live Festival
This premier spirits event is back in Cape Town to showcase some of the world’s finest single malts and blends. The Whisky Live Festival is coming to you from Thursday, 6 April, to Saturday, 8 April 2017. This event promises to bring a whisky experience like no other. So whether you are a whisky enthusiast, newcomer to the world of the dram, or just want a day out at one of the most entertaining events of the year, Whisky Live has something to offer everyone. The festival has a reputation for being the largest, liveliest and most exciting whisky tasting lifestyle show of its kind in Africa. Now we all know this is happening long after International Whisky Day, but surely it’s never too late to enjoy whisky, is it?
Whisky Live Festival | www.whiskylive.co.za | firstname.lastname@example.org | +27 (0)84 252 6999
Article Written by Jaye-Dee Jansen
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