In the world of spirits, you’ll hear the term “dram” used a lot, especially when it comes to Scotch whisky. The term was coined in the 18th century and is derived from the Ancient Scottish measurement of a liquid.
But what exactly is a dram of whiskey?
A dram is a unit of measurement that is typically equal to about one-eighth (1/8) of an ounce or three-tenths of a milliliter. A dram of whiskey is enough to wet your whistle and get a sense of the spirit’s flavor.
The term dram might still be commonly used today – both in casual conversation and by bartenders when making cocktails, but the meaning would be different in various countries.
In this article, we’ll look at the dram – what it is, where the term comes from, and how it has become such an important part of the whisky world. Let’s get started!
What Is a Dram of Whiskey?
We’ve already established that a dram is a unit of measurement typically equal to about one-eighth (1/8) of an ounce or three-tenths of a milliliter.
In any given country, a dram of whiskey would be a small amount of the spirit, served neat or on the rocks.
The term dram is usually used to refer to a small amount of the spirit, especially when enjoying it neat or on the rocks. This standard serving size might not seem like much, but when talking about high-proof spirits like whisky, a dram can pack quite a punch.
When used in reference to Scotch whisky, dram now refers to the experience of enjoying the spirit. It’s not just about the physical act of drinking a whisky, but rather the entire sensual experience – from the aroma of the glass to the first sip.
The word dram is also used to refer to the glass into which a spirit is poured. This is more common when referring to cocktails or mixed drinks, as the spirit is usually diluted with mixers.
Why Is the Term Dram Used?
The term “dram” comes from the Ancient Scottish measurement of a liquid.
In the 18th century, when whisky became more popular, the term was coined to refer to a small amount of the spirit.
The term “dram” is used in the whisky world for a few reasons.
Convenient Measuring Unit
A dram is a convenient measurement for bartenders when making cocktails or ordering a drink at a bar. It’s also a way for bartenders to accurately measure how much whisky they’re pouring.
This is important because, as we mentioned before, whisky is a high-proof spirit. This means it contains more alcohol than other types of liquor, like beer or wine.
Because of this, it’s important to measure out drams when serving whisky neat or on the rocks so that people don’t overdo it and end up with a strong drink.
It’s a Small Tastable Amount
It would be best if you did not drink whisky (or any alcohol, for that matter) too quickly. Drinking a dram of whisky slowly will allow you to appreciate the flavor and aroma of the spirit.
This is why the dram is such a popular serving size for whisky – it’s just enough to wet your whistle and get a sense of the spirit’s flavor without being too much.
Part of the reason that dram is such a popular term in the whisky world is that it sounds good. It’s a bit of a poetic term that rolls off the tongue.
And, to be honest, it sounds much better than “one-eighth of an ounce” or “three-tenths of a milliliter.”
A dram is a small, convenient measurement for enjoying whisky. The term is derived from the Ancient Scottish measurement of a liquid, which refers to the experience of enjoying whisky and the glass it is poured into.
Whether you’re enjoying a dram of whisky neat or on the rocks, take your time and savor the flavor.