A Burns Night Cocktail

As Burns Night is celebrated across Scotland – and well beyond – there will be many a haggis toasted with a tot of the finest whisky.

Robert Burns, himself, is well-documented as referring to whisky – ‘the guid Scotch drink’ – as his muse, something that repeatedly appears in his works. This year, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is paying a special tribute to Burns and several of his most famous works – with cocktails.

And not just cocktails, but aptly named cocktails – so if you don’t appreciate a good pun, look away now!

Festival organisers asked some of the world’s leading mixologists and whisky connoisseurs to blend together whisky and words in toast to the life of poet Robert Burns and the legacy he left behind. Canada’s Kaitlyn Stewart, the 2017 winner of the World’s Best Bartender title, and World Whisky Day founder, Blair Bowman are among those involved.

Six of Burns’ best-known poems and songs have been given the cocktail makeover: Auld Dram Syne (Auld Lang Syne), Dram O’Shanter (Tam O’ Shanter); Ae Fond Nip (Ae Fond Kiss);  A Dram’s A Dram For a’ That (A Man’s A Man For a’ That); The Speyside Grace (The Selkirk Grace); and Best Laid Drams (Best Laid Plans).

Another of the drinks is called Freedom an’ Whisky Gang Thegither, a phrase used by Burns in The Author’s Earnest Cry And Prayer, a satire written in 1786 on the government’s taxation of whisky.

The recipes start with Speyside whisky brands, then offer a contemporary twist, with some of the more unusual ingredients including: smoked honey, detox tea and shortbread (from Walkers of Aberlour).

Chairman of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, James Campbell, says: “There was a time when whisky was considered an old man’s drink but these contemporary and modern cocktails completely dispel that myth. The Festival has been introducing whisky to new and younger audiences for many years, and I hope those who are passionate about whisky, whether they have it neat or in a cocktail, will give these recipes a try.”

And if you’d like to experiment at home…

Ae Fond Nip (created by The Pot Still, Glasgow)

1 biscuit of Walkers of Aberlour Ginger Royals Shortbread

25ml Strathisla 12 year old

75ml milk

Squirting cream & Cocoa powder

Smash the biscuit into pieces (the whisky bottle makes an excellent tool for this!) Mix the crumbs with the milk and use a stick blender to reduce it to a creamy, thin porridge-like consistency. Blend in the Strathisla, serve in a Glencairn glass and garnish with a squirt of cream and a dusting of cocoa powder. The cream can be stirred in for a thicker consistency.

For further information about the Speyside Whisky Festival, which runs from 3-7 May 2018,  visit www.spiritofspeyside.com or facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *