No More Watered Down Whiskey; Whiskey Stones, a Winning Solution
Over the years, drinking has become a refined and intricate art in its own right. However, this hasn't always been the case.
In the Middle Ages, alcohol served as a safer alternative to water, which often carried pollution and disease. People, including young children, drank beer in order to stay safe and sickness-free. A document from the era mentions a six pint allowance for nuns per day -- one can only imagine how many pints other, less holy civilians were consuming.
While beer was the mainstay of the time, other alcohols soon came out to play. Grape wine served as the drink of choice for the highest classes. Hard alcohol, too, eventually emerged in all its glory (after playing doctor for a couple centuries as a perceived cure for ailments and depression).
The original grain spirit was whiskey, first recorded in Ireland in 1405, but likely produced before then, even. After some time, whiskey became the drink of choice in England and Ireland, eventually coming to contribute 30%-50% of the nations' tax revenue. Given this love for whiskey, it's no surprise that Old Bushmills Distillery, the world's oldest whiskey distillery, still stands in Northern Ireland and still produces whiskey today -- though not without competition.
Scotland, too, is renowned for their whiskey production and the two countries are in hot competition to hold the highest spot on the world ranking of all things whiskey. Each year, multiple international whiskey competitions are held to name the best of the best.
Once the top whiskey is identified, though, there are more factors to consider. How to enjoy the whiskey in its intended consumption style, for example, poses a major consideration.
In whiskey competitions, judges typically taste the whiskey neat -- i.e. sans ice -- as the addition of ice can lead to the lowering of the ABV of the beverage. For one serving of whiskey (1.5oz), a teaspoon of water will lower the ABV of the beverage by about 10%.
While judges may enjoy whiskey best when poured straight out of the bottle, many people prefer whiskey on the rocks, as the ice cools the beverage and transforms it into a refreshing drink to sip on. Of course, the implementation of ice dilutes the alcohol, meaning that the top shelf whiskey you're enjoying is no longer of the same caliber as the whiskey the professionals recommended.
Luckily, there's a way to enjoy your whiskey on the rocks, but also maintain its high quality: whiskey stones.
Whiskey stones are made from non-porous materials such as soapstone or stainless steel, which are specifically designed to chill your drink without diluting it. The stones are tasteless, odourless, and dishwasher safe -- you just have to pop them into the fridge or freezer a bit in advance and you'll be ready to enjoy fresh, unspoiled whiskey in hardly any time.
The stones come in various shapes, colours, and stylings, which can be easily suited to match your individual tastes and lifestyle. Some are shaped in hilarious designs, the perfect joke to start a lively evening, and others stay true to the form of a traditional ice cube for a classy whiskey sipping experience.
Regardless of your preference for shape or styling of the cube, they're an excellent and eco-friendly investment. Enjoy your whiskey and enjoy it right, bachelors.