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MAKE THE DRAM OUR LEGAL MEASURE; Whisky fest organisers' campaign.

Byline: Charlie Gall c.gall@dailyrecord.co.uk

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to reinstate the dram as a legal measure for the sale of our national drink.

The organisers of the Spirit of Speyside whisky festival had hoped to sell drams to the thousands of visitors who are expected to flock to the event next month.

But their request to have the measure, which hasn't been used for 50 years, reinstated was knocked back by bureaucrats.

The National Measurement Office insist alcohol can only be sold in 25ml or 35ml measures.

But festival manager Mary Hemsworth said the European Union allow butchers and grocers to sell goods in both imperial and metric measurements.

She added: "It seems silly haggis and shortbread can be sold in weights other than metric but the same rules don't apply to the most iconic of all Scotland's products.

"Even since the introduction of the metric system, beer and cider continue to be sold in pints.

"We strongly believe there's a case for parity for Scotch whisky and for it to have its own unit of measurement."

Officially, a fluid dram is an eighth of an ounce - or 3.7ml - but in whisky measures it simply means "a wee bit".

A festival insider said: "Our campaign's more about bringing back the term 'dram' as opposed to an exact measurement.

"In reality, a dram's only about a teaspoonful but no one holds a measuring spoon when they're pouring drams."

Organisers said if they couldn't have the traditional dram brought back, they would push for the metric measurements to be renamed exclusively for the sale of Scotch whisky in Scotland.

Hemsworth said: "The NMO appear set on the prescribed limit of 25ml and 35ml, so we feel the only way forward is to press to have these measures officially named a dram and a large dram."

The festival, which was first held 13 years ago, attracts visitors from the US, Canada and Scandinavia to Speyside.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 5, 2013
Words:328
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