Whisky Ice Cube Tray
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Whisky as a spirit is often described as warm, spicy, sweet and caramelly. Whisky is a distilled spirit made from fermented grain. Most whisky is aged in wooden casks before bottling and has a minimum of 40 per cent alcohol.
There are a number of ways to enjoy whisky. Drink it neat, on the rocks, or as part of a cocktail like an Old Fashioned, Mint Julep, and Whisky Sour.
Add a DrinksPlinks W ice cube to your favourite whisky and enjoy.
The history of whisky
The practice of distilling alcohol dates back to the 13th century in Italy. Used primarily for medicinal purposes, distilling was common in monasteries. Distilling spread to Ireland and Scotland in the 15th century via travelling monks. With no grapes available in Scotland and Ireland, the monks used fermented grain in the distillation process. In the mid 15th century, Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and whisky production moved into homes and on to farms as newly independent monks found a way to earn money.
By the 17th century, whisky making had rapidly spread. As Eurpeans began settling in America, they began distilling using new types of grains and mash including corn and rye. By the 18th century whisky was used as a currency during the American Revolution.
The popularity of whisky grew in the 19th century when the wine and brandy industry in France was devastated by the phylloxera pest. The microscopic insect, which feeds on the roots and leaves of grapes, destroyed virtually all production. As a result, whisky became the primary alcoholic drink in many markets.
How is shisky made
Whisky begins with a mash of grain that undergoes a fermentation process. The mixture of grains (most often barley, wheat, corn or rye) dictates the flavours of the final product. Water is added after fermentation and many whiskey brands choose to add botanicals, spices, or flavourings to achieve a distinctive character. Whisky without any added flavourings is classified as ‘straight’.
Whisky does not mature in the bottle, only in the cask, so the age of a whisky is only the time between distillation and bottling. In the US, whisky has a minimum aging requirement of 2 years, though many producers age the spirit for between 10 and 12 years.
What are the different types of whisky?
There are a huge variety of whiskys made using different grains, blending and aging processes; each delivering varying flavours.
Scotch whisky must be produced entirely in Scotland - distilled, aged in oak casks for a minimum of 3 years and bottled in Scotland. In Scotland, whisky made in Scotland is called whisky, while outside Scotland it is commonly called Scotch whisky or simply Scotch. Scotch whiskies are generally distilled twice, although some are distilled a third time and others even up to 20 times.
Irish whisky must be produced from malt, cereal grain and barley. It must be distilled, aged and bottled in Ireland to qualify as Irish whisky. And it must be aged in wooden casks for a minimum of 3 years.
Malt whisky is made primarily from malted barley.
Single malt whisky is from a single distillery made from a mash that uses only one particular malted grain.
Rye whisky contains at least 51 percent rye in the fermented mash. Generally, rye is a lighter style whisky.
Bourbon is American whiskey, often produced in Kentucky and containing at least 51 percent corn. In the US, Bourbon must be aged in newly charred oak barrels which leads to its distinctive nutty flavour and caramelised sweetness.
How to make a whisky sour cocktail?
This classic cocktail has been around since the 1860s. It is traditionally made with whisky, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white.
- 50ml whisky
- 25 ml lemon juice
- 15 ml sugar syrup
- 1 egg white
Pour the whisky, sugar syrup and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker, add the egg white and shake hard to incorporate all the ingredients.
Add ice and shake again until you create a fluffy mix.
Strain into a rocks or old fashioned glass.
Add a DrinksPlinks W ice shape and garnish with a maraschino cherry and orange peel.