Whisky
Distiller Dean Jackson checks the color of a batch of whiskey in the barrel storage shed at Redlands Distillery, TasmaniaREUTERS/David Gray

Need an excuse to pour yourself a finger of whisky? How about celebrating World Whisky Day? On 20 May people across the globe will be raising their glasses to one of the world's finest spirits, as they gather to say 'cheers' to the liquid gold.

Bars, restaurants, hotels and distilleries in Ireland, Scotland and other countries have planned a series of events to mark the day, showing off their finest malts and helping to educate whisky lovers with drinking experiences.

Whether you like your whisky on the rocks, neat, or with a splash of coke (shudder!) just how much do you know about the drink? To help you show off some expert knowledge IBTimes UK has compiled a list of five interesting facts you can share with friends.

Water of life

More than just an affectionate name, whisky actually means "water of life" in Gaelic. "Uisge Beatha" phonetically contributed to the "usky" and over time rounded out to whisky.

Whisky starts off clear

Prior to being barrelled, whisky is actually clear in colour. It gets its golden hue from the wood of the barrel it is aged in. According to Chris Fletcher, assistant master distiller at Jack Daniels, 60% of the flavour and 100% of the colour of whisky comes from the wood he told Esquire magazine.

A forever drink

It's not just diamonds that are forever, apparently whisky can be too. If stored under the right conditions, an unopened bottle can last indefinitely. The sun affects the spirit the most, changing its original flavour and contributing to a musty taste.

Prince William, Kate
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, sample whisky as they tour the Famous Grouse Distillery at Crieff in Scotland in 2014REUTERS/Andrew Milligan/Pool

To your health!

Drinking excessive amounts of any alcohol can be severely detrimental, but some studies have shown that a whisky once in a while could have health benefits. One study suggested that like red wine, single malt whiskies have large amounts of ellagic acid — a natural antioxidant that can battle cancer cells. The same can be said of fruits... but for today we will make an exception.

Trading by the bottle

You can actually invest in whisky through the World Whisky Index. The online trading platform enables people to purchase and sell Scotch Single Malt Whisky.