TODAY is World Whisky Day and Scots should be using the events surrounding it to sell not just our national drink but the country itself.

The founder of Whisky Day, Blair Bowman (pictured, right), started the event while a student in Aberdeen in 2011 and by 2017 it had grown to involve 25,000 participants in 47 countries. This year there will be around 300 events – with details to be found at Bowman says: “World Whisky Day invites everyone to try a dram and celebrate the water of life. Events are taking place all over the globe.

“If you can’t find an event happening near you why not host your own? All you need is a bottle of whisky to share with your friends. It is all about making whisky fun and enjoyable. You can drink it however you enjoy it – ice, water, mixer – whatever works for you. We want to be all inclusive.”

An enthusiastic backer of Whisky Day is Russell Wardrop, co-founder and chief executive of Glasgow-based training agency Kissing With Confidence. He points out that whisky exports were up in 2017, 1.6% by volume and 8.9% by value, at £4.36 billion. “That’s a lot of peaty water being shipped abroad,” he says. “Amber bead is our finest ambassador, and one that pays its way.

“Whisky’s emotional pull is about our landscape and weather and history as much as it is about the splash in the bottom of a tumbler. Just as it takes the rain percolating through the hills and grain in the fields pushing through the earth and years of love and attention, selling takes time. But products don’t sell themselves. Scotland needs to be ready to sell and post-Brexit we will need to be better than ever.”

Wardrop believes every Scot should sell Scotland. He says: “I wonder if we could collectively up our game, sharpen our focus and work on getting the entire nation selling Scotland from dawn until dusk. Imagine every single Scot changed their attitude and simply decided to go for it. To be more positive. To take personal responsibility for all their own stuff and went out with a view to selling Scotland every day. I can hear the moaning already but the miserablists using up their excuses should read Jungle Safari, where Loki concludes that, despite his difficult upbringing and lack of life chances, he is not waiting for anyone before he starts to sort his stuff out. He decided to take responsibility and see where it took him.

Government, as Loki attests, can shift things along and should get on with setting a fair wind for business. But we can’t wait for that, so what about your personal strategy? When was the last time you did a selling job for your country? When did you last hear yourself say it was so cool that a Scottish business was doing stuff?”

In a further boost for our national drink, the world-record price for a bottle of Scotch whisky was broken not once but twice at the same auction in Hong Kong yesterday. The previous record for a bottle of whisky at auction was set in 2014 when a six-litre Macallan was sold for HK$4.9 million (£460,000).

That was beaten by a bottle of Macallan Peter Blake 1926 60-year-old which went for HK$7,962,500 (£751,703) but that was then topped by a Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60-year-old which went for HK$8,636,250 (£814,081), according to Bonhams.

Daniel Lam, head of fine wine and whisky at Bonhams Asia, said: “Active bidding came in from around the world but we saw new bidders from south-east Asia including Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, reflecting the growing appetite and appreciation for whisky among Asian collectors.”