What is whiskey? Who drinks whiskey? Is it spelled “whiskey” or “whisky?”

All these questions, and more, will be discussed in this short article in celebration of World Whiskey Day!

For those learned in the “spirits world” (this really should be some Halloween special somewhere), there are basically six types of distilled spirits: Vodka, tequila, gin, rum, brandy, and finally, whiskey.

Whiskey is distilled from malted grains like corn, rye, wheat and barley. Aside from drinkers enjoying it neat—meaning alternating sips of it with cool water—whiskey is also sometimes enjoyed “on the rocks,” which simply means adding a bit of ice in your glass.

When it comes to cocktail bases, spirits like rum and gin win the popularity contest. However, whiskey can prove to be another versatile option for its ability to blend well with dark fruit flavors.

Did you know that the Philippines has actually more to do with the global whiskey market than what you might think?

In a December 2021 study published on Statista, data shows that the Philippines actually ranks in the Top 15 when accounting for the revenue of the whiskey market worldwide in 2021.

The Philippines contributed $756 million to the whiskey market. The top country? India. The country accounted for roughly $16.6 billion in whiskey sales last year. Following in close second? The United States, locking in $16.5 billion in sales of the distilled spirit.

Of course, the threat of alcoholism always lingers, and that when it comes to consuming liquor, moderation is key. However, an article published on WebMD suggests that there are potential health benefits to drinking whiskey:

First, the drink is known to carry fewer calories among other alcoholic drinks and has no sugar or carbohydrate. Second, its ellagic acid may lower the risk of obesity. Last, whiskey is proven to have high levels of polyphenols (plant-based antioxidants) which are linked to the lowering of risk of heart disease. These antioxidants decrease LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and increase HDL (“good” cholesterol).

This is not an excuse to go on a drinking spree. According to an old Indian (how timely) proverb: “Excess of everything is bad.”

In terms of its spelling, both whiskey and whisky are correct. It just depends on the country of origin. The U.S. and Ireland spell it with an “e.” Scotland and Japan prefer to omit the vowel.

Happy World Whiskey Day—drink responsibly!