Sometimes regarded as an old man’s drink, whiskey has lately gained popularity among young people, who seem to have discovered the strong alcohol taste, backed by the more discrete aromas of wood or spices, and the elegance and sense of power that have always been associated with it. Whether they enjoy it in private after a day of work or discover it at parties where the ice maker fills the glasses with rocky cubes before the bartender pours the brownish liqueur over them, simple or combined with bourbon, lemon juice, syrup, egg whites in an enchanting Whiskey Sour cocktail, neatly adorned with a luscious cherry, it surely is a welcomed revival of this traditional drink.
Nonetheless, the old discussion about the impact it can have on the consumer’s health is still on. People are still debating if whiskey can have any benefit on the human body, or it is only another vice that causes the population to get ill and reduces work productivity. While we all agree that drinking a bottle of any type of alcohol per day cannot do you any good, moderately drinking may not be such a plague. So, stay with us as we explore this subject. We have some useful advice about how to drink whiskey as well.
Is Whiskey Good for Your Health?
Recent studies in this domain have highlighted some benefits people can enjoy by consuming whiskey moderately. While the downsides are still present, with the hangover being more intense after consuming dark liquors like rum or whiskey than after clear liquors like vodka (the first category contains more chemical compounds that need to be broken down by the body) and the tolerance to alcohol threatening to grow over time and push the consumer towards an additional glass every day, it seems that if the consumption stays moderate to low, nothing wrong can happen. You may even enjoy some advantages:
- It has fewer calories than most drinks – beer and wine are enjoyable, but they are also responsible for weight gain, as even one glass can concentrate a considerable amount of calories. Whiskey, on the contrary, has fewer calories and doesn’t include any carbohydrates and sugars. Nonetheless, if you prefer cocktails that are based on whiskey, you should take into consideration that any syrup or other ingredient will increase the calorie intake.
- It may help with colds – this property seems to have been discovered long ago, as in the 1920s when the prohibition ruled the US, whiskey was still imported and prescribed as medicine for different illnesses. How effective it was is still unclear, but today medicine has discovered that it can affect the common cold. It won’t cure it (we still don’t know how), but it will surely help alleviate the symptoms.
- It can boost your immune system – it may seem improbable, but hear out. A study performed by the Oregon Health and Science University proved that if alcohol is consumed in moderation, it actually strengthens immunity and can act as a prevention wall against infections. Surely, there are better ways of staying healthy and strong, but if you don’t have a family record of alcohol abuse and know you can stick to one glass of whiskey a day, why not give it a try?
- It may help you fight heart diseases – there’s a trick here. The study performed by Harvard University showed that one drink per day offers heart protection for people who are over 60 years old. However, in the case of 30-year old subjects, the risks showed up to be higher than the benefits.
How Many Whiskeys Should You Drink per Day?
The secret is moderation. But there’s still a debate about what drinking moderately means. Some people will see a few glasses of alcohol as being the key to enjoying whiskey while still living a healthy life. Others, on the other hand, see one glass per day as being enough. But what the studies say? According to Harvard T.H. Chan, you should drink only one drink a day, which, in the case of whiskey, means 1 1/2 ounces of alcohol. Some studies recommend two drinks for men and one for women. In any case, the limit is rather low, so if you are accustomed to enjoying half a bottle of whiskey every night, note that this is not moderate drinking.
How to Make the Most of Your Drink
Preparing whiskey is an art, but so is drinking it. If you are just discovering it, make sure you take time to try it in all its forms, before deciding if you prefer it plain, on the rocks, or just a bit diluted. Even you have been drinking it for some time, a brief look at our guide may help you discover another side of it.
- Pick your glass – to get the chance to discover both the taste and the aroma of this beverage, we recommend picking a tulip-shaped glass. Never drink good whiskey from a plastic cup, as it will alter the taste. On the other hand, if you want to try the old-fashioned experience, you can try drinking it from a tin cup.
- Pour yourself a drink – this doesn’t mean filling the glass (although it may be tempting). Try the recommended volume of 1 1/2 ounces. To make it easier to get the right dose, wrap your forefinger around the base of the glass and pour until you reach the top side of your finger.
- Enjoy the bouquet– smell the whiskey to get an impression of the aroma. The first time, you may only feel the smell of the alcohol, which is the strongest, so repeat this action two to three times to get the chance to feel the more elusive notes.
- Take a sip – you may be tempted to add water or ice, especially if it is summer, but don’t skip this step. You may enjoy the neat whiskey more than you think.
- Don’t swallow at once – allow your mouth to taste it, roll it around. And, even after swallowing it, wait a second before taking another sip. This will allow you to discover the fine notes.
- Add water – if you felt it to be too strong, try to dilute it with just a splash of water. Add it little by little, stir, and taste after each splash until you find the perfect balance.
- Add ice – if you are a big fan of ice, don’t let anybody change your perspective when it comes to your drink preparation tactic. However, pick larger lumps of ice that will take longer to dissolve to ensure they don’t dilute your drink too much. You can also avoid this phenomenon and still get an icy drink, by adding whiskey stones instead of ice.
- Try a cocktail – whiskey may feel harsh on your tongue, so, if you feel it is too much, it’s good to know that there are plenty of cocktails that use it as a base. Give them a try. Some of them are spectacular.
The Bottom Line
As shown, you can get your glass of whiskey every night and still live a long and healthy night. In fact, Grace Jones, which held the title of Britain’s oldest person for a long time, often recounted how she started drinking a glass of whiskey every night since the day she turned 50, and how her doctor encouraged her to do so, as the medical evidence showed an improvement in her health. Nevertheless, don’t forget that Grace Jones drank moderately, and so should you. Otherwise, you may experience the downsides of alcohol, which are far from being pretty.