We know that many of you will have this day marked in your calendar for months, but on Saturday, the 17th of May, the world will stop to celebrate World Whiskey Day. Well, it should anyway.

Although the Man-Cave can’t touch a drop for the next few weeks thanks to our cover model challenge, we will be partaking in spirit in so far as we can, so we thought we’d come up with a few ways that you can mark the occasion. As you might expect, they involve whiskey.

There are plenty of different types of whiskey (and bourbon and rye) from around the world, from Ireland to Japan, and there are different ways to enjoy them all. If you like your whiskey without any fancy nonsense, then you can choose between on the rocks, straight, and with a dash of water. If you want to get a cocktail down you, then an Old Fashioned is a classic that Don Draper himself would approve. Here’s your shopping list:

A bourbon of your choice (we like Maker’s Mark)
Maraschino cherries
Angostura bitters

Pic via liquor.com

Here’s what you need to do: We’re lazy so we’ll make a simple syrup the simple way. Put a tsp of sugar in a mug, boil the kettle, and mix a dash of water until you have a clear-looking syrup. Put a standard shot of whiskey into your glass and mix with the syrup, adding in few drops of bitters, two to three should suffice. Using a knife, cut a strip of the skin off the orange, and give it a twist. It releases the odour and flavours, plus it looks cool. Drop in a cherry, a couple of ice cubes and a splash of water (if you want it) and you’re done.

If you fancy something a bit more tropical, then get yourself some Bushmills, ginger ale and a few limes, and try an Irish Buck. Here’s what you need to do: squeeze up a lime to get the juice from it, and pour it into a glass. Add about a shot and a half of whiskey, a few ice cubes, and top up in a Collins glass with ginger ale to taste. Tasting is all important, of course, and when it comes to cocktails it can be a learning process, so don’t forget to try before you finish it all off. As the night wears on, you might end up making cocktails slightly stronger than you intend. Hey, it happens.

Pic via liquor.com

You can even get whiskey beers, if whiskey is not quite your thing but you still want to get in on the celebrations. If you want to start off with something light enough, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is a good entry point into this crossover market, and is not overly powerful. It still has an extra kick of taste though.

Pic via heavemedia.com

You can also try your hand at something from Brew Dog, who do a great range of beers, and have produced the goods again with their ‘Paradox Jura’. Similarly to the last one, it is aged in barrels that used to house Jara whiskey, which is where it gets its unique flavour, however, it is a limited release and may be difficult to find, so don’t get your hopes up.

Pic via WorldWhiskyDay.com

Of course, no evening of responsibly enjoying fine alcohol would be complete without a snack. With whiskey being so sweet, we tend to enjoy something salty to go alongside, from crisps to crackers, but if you want to go a little off beat, then the guys at World Whisky Day have a few suggestions of what cheeses would match well with what type of whiskeys that we will certainly be trying in the near future. Of course, since that smoky flavour of whiskey is often used in barbecue sauces and in cooking (in particular Jack Daniels) then you can match it with anything from pulled pork to barbecue beans, and maybe even a slice of pecan pie for afters. 

Finally, if you want to do a bit of sampling, then 57 The Headline bar in Dublin are participating in the celebrations and will have some special tasting trays and offers to celebrate, or you can head along to your local and ask for a recommendation from the bar man, just tell him to break out the good stuff. Sure it’s only one day a year…

Recipes via liquor.com, World Whisky Day  and the Bartenders Handbook. Main pic via Gourmeet.com