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6 ways to celebrate World Whisky Day

ballantines passion house party

You don’t need to visit a distillery for a pro whisky tasting experience. 

With a bit of know-how and an open mind, whisky tasting can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. Plus, it makes a great addition to a house party, summer gathering, stag/hen do, or whatever shindig you’re planning.

This guide will provide you with all the important whisky  knowledge basics – so you’ll know how to get the most from your whisky tasting at home, and be able to show off to your pals too of course.

First things first though…

Why is World Whisky Day celebrated?


Founded in 2012 by Blair Bowman, whilst he was studying – and drinking – at the University of Aberdeen, World Whisky Day is an annual celebration of the best drink in the world (OK, we may be biased.) 

As part of the celebrations, you can dive into events, tastings and chat all things whisky on socials with the #WorldWhiskyDay hashtag. This year, to celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary, you can also join the first ever World Whisky Weekender, a series of interactive events that are going to bring the party to whisky lovers across the world.   

To make it easy for us, World Whisky Day always falls on the third Saturday of May, and this year it’s the 21st. So are you ready to get involved? Here are some ideas to whet your appetite.

Top World Whisky Day celebration ideas

ballantines glasses neat on the rocks whisky guide

Make whisky cocktails


We know that your Dad has probably told you the only way to drink whisky is neat, but we mix every other spirit so why leave the good stuff out? Whisky makes incredible cocktails, you just need to get creative. 

Start strong with the all-time classic whisky sour. Mix your favourite Ballantine’s with lemon juice, sugar syrup, Angostura bitters and egg white for a short and zingy refresher. It might be 150 years old, but it’s a classic for a reason.  

We’ve all got that friend that categorically will not stray from a pornstar martini, right? Make them a Guadalupe and watch them change their tune. Pineapple and lemon brings that totally tropical taste, smoked maple syrup delivers a grown-up sweetness, and if you really want to take it over the top, serve with grilled fresh pineapple. Totally extra, totally delicious.

From a simple whisky and tonic to a decadent whisky freak shake, there are so many whisky cocktails. The only limit is your imagination.

Host an at home whisky tasting


If you’re new to whisky, or you’re after a more curated experience, we recommend trying a mix of aged, blended and single malt whiskies. They usually come with helpful tasting notes too to encourage you to write down your thoughts and hone those taste buds. 

But if you want to do something a little bit more chilled, why not try a whisky fuddle. Invite a bunch of mates over, and ask them all to bring a bottle. Need some inspo? Check out our full whisky collection

Either way, the idea is to try something new, get stuck in – and enjoy. 

Head to your local whisky shop


Sometimes there’s nothing better than getting hands on, so heading to your local whisky shop is a great way to discover the amber nectar. They can talk to you about flavour profiles, make recommendations based on what you do and don’t like – and if you’re nice to them, they’re sure to give you a few free tasters, too. 

Have a whisky movie marathon 


From dusty westerns to dystopian thrillers, whisky has always played a key role in TV and film. So much so, that it’s even become part of the merch. As part of the build-up to its final series in 2019, Game of Thrones actually launched a limited edition set of nine single malts. 

So call your friends, grab the popcorn and, of course, the Ballantine’s. 

Go heavy on the whisky theme with a film like The Angels’ Share, iconic British filmmaker Ken Loach’s comedy drama about a Scottish Dad who, whilst doing community service in a local distillery, discovers a cask of priceless whisky and gets drawn into a tale of crime and deception. 

Or just brood along with Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, Jeff Bridges in True Grit or Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner (2020) as they atmospherically sip, or drunkenly down, their way to the end credits. 

Join a whisky club


If you’re making whisky cocktails, hosting tastings for your friends and pairing the good stuff to your favourite movies, you’re going to need more than one bottle. 

Whisky clubs are a great way to discover something new, they often highlight brands that aren’t as readily available on the high street, and they offer things like exclusive events and virtual tastings to help enhance your whisky experience. And what’s better than getting whisky delivered directly to your door? 

If you want to see more drinks to celebrate with, check out our whisky cocktail collection. We have twists on a classic whisky sour, sweet and sour cocktails or even dessert cocktails to celebrate in style.

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You already know we’ve nailed the Finest Whisky to ever grace a glass. But that’s just a little drop of what we’re about. Scroll on for the latest news and features from across the world of Ballantine’s whisky, True Music and much, much more.