Jewish whiskey lovers have scheduled their second annual “Whiskey Jewbilee” for October, after the High Holidays, following last year’s stunning success of the first festival that was arranged after the wider known WhiskeyFest was held on the Sabbath.
Drinking a glass of “schnapps” and saying “L’Chaim” is not a Jewish law or even an ancient tradition, but it has been ingrained in modern Jewish life. There is barely a single Bar Mitzvah, wedding or other “simchah” without whiskey. And on Purim, the corks pop faster than one can drown out “Haman.”
Last year’s WhiskeyFest was held on Friday night Saturday, precluding many observant whiskey lovers from attending.
The relatively new Jewish Whiskey Company staged a “counter festival” on a week night at a West Side synagogue and drew 250 people, according to The New York Times , and delivered the proof that one can enjoy a whiskey festival and still observe the Sabbath.
Whiskey companies that were not represented at the Jewbilee realized that the WhiskeyFest’s Saturday event cost them customers.
Although whiskeys are often kosher without special procedures, many producers are attracting Jewish drinkers by offering their bottles with kosher supervision.
An estimated 50 percent of former WhiskeyFest events were attended by orthodox Jews, but many of them were drawn last year to the Jewbilee, which is hoping to attract a lot more this year, with a second event in Westchester County.
The Jewish Whiskey Company pushes Jewish identity and uses a watermark of the Star of David on the front of its bottles.