“Unmatch’d at the bottle, unconquer’d in war, He drank his poor god-ship as deep as the sea; No tide of the Baltic e’er drunker than he.”
― Robert Burns, Poems and Songs of Robert Burns


All my friends will tell you, my favorite excuse to drink more than my fair share of whisky is, “But I am a quarter Scottish!” This terrible excuse apart, I never really refer as myself as being Scot. I don’t know a thing about some of their traditional celebrations. That was until someone mentioned Robert Burns Day to me and I decided to dig a little bit more into it.

Held in honour of Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns Day is celebrated at the end of January every year. Burns, also known as Rabbie Burns, and several other names, is considered to be a pioneer of the Romantic movement.

The first Burns supper was held in 1801 when nine of Burns’ close friends got together to mark the anniversary of their friend’s death. The night included a traditional meal of haggis (I will pass on that, thank you very much). performances of Burns’ work, and a speech in honour of the poet. The night ended up being such a success, so they decided to hold it again (this time in honour of Rabbie’s Burns’ birthday), beginning the ritual we still enjoy to this day.

One of the traditions regarding the event that I am more than willing to get on board with includes a massive dose of scotch. Actually, Robert Burns Day is overall a really great excuse to get some good whisky to enjoy by itself or mixed into tasty drinks. In that spirit -no pun intended here- here are some drinks ideas to take full advantage of the celebrations.


Dewar’s Penicillin

1.5 oz DEWAR’S 12 Blended Scotch Whisky 0.75 oz Lemon juice
0.5 oz Honey syrup
0.5 oz ginger juice

Spritz of Islay whisky Candied ginger garnish

Add the blended Scotch, lemon juice, ginger juice, and honey syrup, and fill shaker with ice. Shake until well chilled. Double strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and spray the Islay Scotch over the top. Garnish and serve.


Ardbeg 10 yo

Named World Whisky of the Year in 2008 due to its perfect balance of smoke and fruit character, this scotch is a no brainer when comes the time to celebrate with some good friends over. I personally always make sure I have a bottle at home and I am pretty sure Robert Burns himself would approve of this habit.




Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban Old Fashioned

1.5 oz Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban
4 dashes aromatic bitters
1 bar spoon of white granulated sugar
Garnish: orange twist

Combine the ingredients in a glass. Mix and muddle to dissolve sugar. Add ice (block ice preferred) and stir to chill and slightly dilute. Finish with an orange twist.