Monday marks what may be the most pared back Burns Night in living memory. While on a normal year swathes of the country head to special dinners to celebrate the life of the Scottish bard, this year we’ll all be stuck in the house watching reruns of Jools Holland.
Still, there are a few ways you can mark the occasion and remain Covid-safe: here are a few of our favourites.
Hide at Home Burns Special
For Burns night Hide is offering two versions of the classic Rob Roy cocktail. In essence a Manhattan but made with Scotch instead of Bourbon, Hide is using Clynelish 14 year old single malt with Cocchi di Torino sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters.
It is also offering a luxury version made using Glengoyne 18 year old. Aged in beeswax to highlight the honeyed notes and complement the fruit in the whisky, this cocktail is made with Cocchi di Torino sweet vermouth, bitters and a splash of Oloroso sherry.
Each cocktail is accompanied by two bar snacks, cured highland lamb with rosemary wild mushroom, and an oatmeal fried bun.
Do it yourself recipes from Wild and Game
Game specialist Wild and Game is encouraging people to do it themselves this year with a list of Burns Night recipes that are perfect for cooking with its fresh game produce. Go to its website to get the full list of ingredients as well as the lowdown on how to make Burns Night a smash hit in your own living room – just add whisky.
One Fine Dine Burns Special
The excellent finish-at-home fine dining service One Fine Dine has devised a special Burms menu available throughout next week. Each course in the indulgent three-course feast is named after a famous poem or line penned by Rabbie, starting with “Selkirk Grace”, a Cock-A-Leekie terrine of pressed St Bride’s chicken & confit carrots.
Next is “Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race”, a traditional course of haggis, neeps and tatties, followed by “A Red, Red Rose”, a twist on the tradition Cranachan cheesecake.
The Burns Night Supper is available to order online now for delivery between 21–31 January priced at £169 for two people including wine and delivery. Vegetarian and Vegan options are available.
Bruichladdich x FarmisonFarmison & Co Burns Night Celebration Box
Whisky distillery Bruichladdich collaborated with game specialist Farmison to create a special Burns Night box filled with all you need for a belter of a Burns supper. It includes a premium haggis as well as a bottle of Bruichladdich’s The Classic Laddie.
Craft Whisky Club subscription
Burns Night is the perfect time to start your journey through the world of craft whisky.
Experts at the Craft Whisky Club handpick small batch and artisan whiskies, selecting exciting and innovative distillers from across Scotland.
Each box includes up to two full size bottles, as well as specially selected food pairings to match with the whiskies, alongside plenty of information about the distillery and how the whiskies are matured, developed and brought to life. Choose from either one or two full sized bottles every two months.
The Art in Whisky
If you’d like to read about the process behind Rabbie Burns’ favourite dram, we recommend The Art in Whisky, a “visual journey” through the crafting process from grain to bottle to glass. This sumptuous tome guides you through both old and new world whisky, from Bushmills in Ireland to Bowmore in Scotland, and further afield to Kavalan and Nikka in Taiwan and Japan.
Limited to 1,000 hand-numbered copies, this is the ultimate guide to the ultimate spirit and should be on the shelf of every self-respecting whisk(e)y connoisseur. Burns would approve.
Once you’re all set for the big night, you can play a great reading of the famous Address to a Haggis here:
Or if you wahnt to read it yourself, here’s the original, tongue-twisting text:
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm :
Weel are ye wordy o’a grace
As lang’s my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll mak it whissle;
An’ legs an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thrissle.
Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer
Gie her a haggis!