National Daiquiri Day – July 19

Did you even know that there was such a thing as National Daiquiri Day? I suppose having a national “anything” day is cause for celebration and just finding an excuse to imbibe… not that I’m complaining! By definition, a daiquiri is a family of mixed beverages that include rum, lime juice, and a sweetener like sugar. So it doesn’t have any scotch, or any whisky, but it’s still well loved all the same. As for the origins of the Daiquiri, it’s named after a beach near Santiago, Cuba where the drink was invented. Cool, huh?

The fine folks at Brugal rum sent along this recipe if you want to celebrate it in style:

Daikiri Brugal

1½ oz. Brugal Añejo Rum
1 oz. Triple Sec
½ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
½ tsp. Sugar
In a shaker with ice, combine ingredients, shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lime slice. (or blend it!)

A nice cool beverage to help drop the temps during this hot summer, enjoy!

What is Chivas Regal? (and the Chivas Regal Effect)

Chivas Regal 12, 18, 25
Chivas Regal is a blended Scotch whisky that calls the Strathisla Distillery, at Keith, Moray in Speyside, it’s home distillery. It is produced by the Chivas Brothers, which is now owned by Pernod Ricard, a spirits conglomerate that owns The Glenlivet (and Kahlua, Malibu, Beefeater, and many other famous brands); and was first established in 1801 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Chivas Regal has three major expressions – 12 Year, 18 Year, and 25 Year.

I’ve only ever tried Chivas Regal once, at a Scotch Night several years ago, and my memory of the 18 year was positive. It is described, by Chivas, with these tasting notes:

  • Colour: Intense, dark amber.
  • Nose: Rich, indulgent, multi-layered aromas with hints of dried fruits, buttery toffee and dark chocolate.
  • Taste: A velvety, dark chocolate palate yields to elevant floral notes, and a wisp of sweet, mellow smokiness.
  • Finish: Extremely warm long finish.

Chivas Regal Effect

One interesting note from popeconomics/marketing culture is the term “Chivas Regal effect,” which is when a product sells more because the price of it has been increased. Since people often equate price with quality, consumers, who otherwise wouldn’t have purchased a product, might choose it because it’s slightly more expensive (and thus “better” quality). It’s most often used in conjunction with higher education, a higher priced education is thought to be better.

Diageo Opens New Distillery in Speyside

Did you know that there hasn’t been a new distiller in Scotland in over 30 years?

That’s why it’s such big news that Diageo has opened a new distillery in Speyside to produce more of their blended Scotch whiskies – Johnnie Walker, Buchanan’s, Old Parr, and J&B. I’m not myself as big a fan of blended whiskies as I am of single malts, though I do enjoy the occasional blend from time to time. The facility cost £40 million, three years, and is located at Roseisle on Speyside with fourteen copper stills and an annual product capacity of 10 million liters. It’ll be one of the most environmentally sustainable distillers with most of its by-products recycled on site. Expect the taste the whisky it produces in 2012.

What is a Dram? How Much is a Dram?

You’ll most often hear people talk about how they’re going to enjoy a dram of Scotch or pour themselves a wee dram, which is a unit of measure not often used in the United States.

It usually refers to a “small amount” but it actually has a definition according to the U.S. Customary System.

A US fluid dram is an eighth of a fluid ounce, 60 min (that’s short for minim, which is about a drop) or around 3.7 mL of liquid.

It is actually smaller than a teaspoon, which is measured as 80 min, so chances are someone is pouring themselves several drams of whisky. 🙂

Scotch Glassware Experiment

Luke at the Aspiring Gentleman takes a look at how your choice in glassware (or metalware, in the case of the flask) affects how a scotch tastes. In his experiment, he tries Scapa 14, Balvenie Doublewood, and Laphroaig in a flask, a shot glass, a tumbler, a wine glass, and a Glencairn glass, noting the differences in each. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

I usually drink scotch out of a Glencairn glass (souvenirs from our visit to Scotland last year, including a Macallan Distillery Tour) or a Riedel Vinum Single Malt glasses, though a flask is handy when you’re on the go.