Burns Night is an annual celebration of the life and works of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, who is widely considered to be the national poet of Scotland. The event is held on or around January 25th, which is the date of Burns' birthday. If you're interested in learning more about Burns Night and how to celebrate it, read on!
The History of Burns Night
So, what exactly is Burns Night and how is it celebrated? Burns Night is typically marked with a special dinner called a Burns Supper, which includes a variety of traditional Scottish dishes and plenty of whisky. The evening begins with the Selkirk Grace, a prayer said before the meal, and is followed by the "piping in" of the haggis, a traditional Scottish dish made from sheep's offal and oats that is traditionally served with neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes).
After the haggis is served, it is customary for a speaker to give a tribute to Burns known as the "Address to the Haggis." A reading of Burns' poetry usually follows this, and then the feast begins. The meal typically includes dishes such as Cullen skink (a creamy smoked haddock soup), cullenbie (boiled kale), and whisky-soaked fruitcake.
Now, on to the most important part - the cocktails! Here is a classic Burns Night cocktail recipe to help you celebrate in style:
The Bobby Burns
1 1/2 ounces whisky
1/2 ounce honey syrup (1 part honey mixed with 1 part water)
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce port
1 dash angostura bitters
In a shaker filled with ice, combine the whisky, honey syrup, lemon juice, port, and bitters.
Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy!
A splash of ginger liqueur for added spice.
A pinch of ground cinnamon or nutmeg for added flavor.
Whether you're a whisky lover or looking to try something new, this classic Burns Night cocktail will surely be a hit at your celebration. So gather your friends, don your kilts, and raise a glass to the great Robert Burns!
Don't forget to check out January's other cocktail and spirit holidays!