Blend it like Beckham

Blame David Beckham and Old Blue Eyes if you will, but whisky is once again the drink of choice in the capital

Last year gin was very much in: the juniper based spirit was the drink du jour for Sloane Rangers, Notting Hillbillies and Hoxton hipsters alike and subsequently bijoux bars dedicated to gin popped up all across the capital.

But cool never stays still for long and in 2015 the gin revival is waning. We’re waving goodbye to gin and making whisky our tipple of choice.

Why whisky? Blame Old Blue Eyes if you will. For more than 50 years, whisky was a firm favourite of Frank Sinatra, regularly appearing in his hand (Sinatra loved the liquid gold so much that he was even buried with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s – his favourite brand – tucked inside his pocket). And given that 2015 marks the centennial of the king of cool’s birth, it’s little wonder that whisky that is back in the spotlight once more. As Sinatra himself once sang: “It’s all or nothin’ at all.”

 

But it’s not just Hollywood royalty that is responsible for the renaissance of whisky – once viewed as the drink of Grandfathers. Credit can also be laid at the door of footballing royalty, David Beckham who has teamed up with drinks giant Diageo and music mogul, Simon Fuller, to create Haig Club – a single grain scotch whisky. “I have always wanted to be a whisky drinker but I have never been able to so the Haig Club project really interested me,” reveals Golden Balls. Presented in a distinctive blue bottle, Haig Club is being marketed as “a drink for those who don’t think they like Whisky – yet!”

However if your already a fan of Scotland’s most famous export, there are plenty of places in the capital where you can enjoy whisky served in its purest form: neat. Wander to The Whisky Exchange to enjoy a range of whiskies from around the world. Or seek out the Soho Whisky Club ,The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Farringdon or Fitzrovia’s The Red Bar. The first two drinking holes serve a selection of Scotland’s finest, while the latter specialises in Japanese whiskies: choose from around 75 different varieties.

Close by at Claridge’s, the emphasis is on America where head barman, Denis Broci, has carefully curated an array of ‘time capsule’ whiskies, all of which were bottled before the prohibition.

Bottom line? The old-school brown spirit is back in fashion so get ready to raise your glass and slur: slainte mhaith! Sinatra would certainly have approved of that…