As the festive season draws nearer with every passing week, South Africans are bracing themselves for a long-overdue season of celebration. You don’t need us to tell you just what a challenging year 2020 has been and with Dezemba on the horizon, we are excited to be welcoming back groove, braais, social gatherings and get-togethers.
Good times go well with good whiskies and when it comes to fine whiskies you don’t find many that will suit the occasion as well as Johnnie Walker.
This week we had the pleasure of working alongside brand reps from the Johnnie Walker team as well as Langa Mavuso, with whom they have partnered for their latest campaign ahead of the South African summer. Langa, fresh off the back of his newly released album is our latest coverstar and we spoke to him about his new record titled Langa here.
We then sat down for a smooth conversation with Livhuwani Makungo from the Johnnie Walker team to find out more about their plans for the next few months, as well as their advice on enjoying good times and good whisky responsibly.
The country has “opened up” and we can all enjoy Johnnie Walker once again. What can whisky-lovers look forward to in the coming months?
There is so much that we are looking forward to over the next few months. We have been actively working in the background to surprise and excite consumers and hopefully have our greater Johnnie Walker family celebrate the last few months of our 200th anniversary with us with a delicious Johnnie Walker highball. We are also looking forward to continuing our work with the great team we have around us and growing the brand’s family in order to bring vibrancy to the whisky category with some key collaborations both locally, with Rich Mnisi, Langa Mavuso, Kamo Mafokwane, Cassandra Twala, Andile Ncube and Mmanaka Kelobonye, and globally, through a few partnerships which we can’t wait to announce to everyone.
Covid-19 and the pandemic have presented some challenges for the entire alcohol industry. How has the Johnnie Walker team had to re-strategize in this turbulent year?
To be completely honest, as an industry we have been extremely patient and industrious in the background in trying to support communities and work with government consistently to achieve the one common goal we are all behind, saving lives. With this, as a team we have had to focus on our key imperatives to get all the industry stakeholders who were impacted by the pandemic back into trading efficiently and driving value for not just ourselves but our customers and consumers, while looking to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Langa Mavuso is a great friend of the brand and has just released an album which he says is as smooth as your whisky. What do you have to say about your relationship with Langa over the years?
It has been a joy and a pleasure to work with Langa over the last 3 years, he has been an influential part of how the brand is perceived and watching him grow both professionally and personally has been incredible. I look forward to seeing him continue to make waves as he pushes his boundaries to taste more out of life.
If you’re new to the whisky game – which Johnnie Walker would you recommend one starts with?
The one thing we always advocate for is enjoying your whisky however you feel best. With this a Johnnie Walker Black Label is always a good idea, particularly in a highball cocktail. We have diligently crafted 3 different flavoured highball cocktail that will suit any palette, these being; The Johnnie and Ginger Highball, Johnnie and Lemon Highball and Johnnie and Peach Highball. Recipes for these cocktails are available on our social media pages. Try them out and tell us what you think.
Lastly, amid fears that we could return to level 4/5 if we are not careful – what advice do you have to the country on how we can enjoy Johnnie Walker responsibly during level 1?
The key here lies always in moderation, we advise consumers to always drink responsibly and to Drive Dry. We are all aware of the dangers of irresponsible consumption and while we are still going through this pandemic, this is heightened. Please drink responsibly, do not drink and drive and stay safe. Should anyone be interested to know more about alcohol they can visit www.drinkiq.com