Most guys have heard of Burns Night, we recognise it as a good chance to have a wee dram or two but how many of us know what it is or even who it celebrates?
Whether you’re partying in Glasgow, having a stag night in Edinburgh or inviting some mates round it’s a great excuse for drinking whisky and laughing like Ronnie Corbett on steroids (another fine Scot).
And this year if you book your stag party before Burns night we’ll send you a free bottle of whisky to celebrate. Enquire today…
Well there’s good news and there’s good news. Firstly, this year Burns Night falls on a Saturday so you can have a proper stab at it without having to go into work with a foggy head. Secondly we have all the info you. So Jamie Oliver style here’s our ingredients for a proper Burns Night;
Burns Night Ingredients
• 4 – 10 Like minded friends – Stew in Tennent’s Lager or scotch before bringing to the table.
• 2 – 3 bottles of Scotch whisky – Its nice to have a variety of malts and types of whiskey for you all to sample. The simple thing is to ask everyone to bring either a bottle of something or some other part of the evening (game, desert, etc).
• Burns Night supper – This should consist of the traditional haggis neaps and tattties.
• Whisky cocktails – Unless you’re whisky purists in which case this is a crime.
• Whisky chocolate tablet – A traditional sweet treat which will make a light snack after the joys of the haggis.
• Some Scottish music – The sound of pipes and drums would be good but any great Sottish music will do, The Proclaimers, Biffy Clyro, Susan Boyle, etc.
• Whisky Cocktail Recipes – Just a little something to wash it all down with.
Robbie Burns – The man of the hour…
Robert, Robbie Burns (or “Rabbie”) was born on the 25th of January 1796, and was Scotland’s finest poet. Sadly the passage of time means that most of the things he wrote now need translating but there are things that have righty stood the test of time.
Still feeling none the wiser? The traditional New Years knees up ‘Auld Lang Syne’ was one of his lyrics.
The big night…
“The best laid plans of mice and men…” If you plan this right you’re in for a night that Billy Connolly would be proud of.
Firstly you’ll need some liquid Scotland, the purest form is obviously a drop of mountain water, but if you can’t lay your hands easily on some melted Aviemore snow then we reckon the next best thing would be whisky. We won’t profess to be experts but it is nice to have some different blends to sample and as well as the good stuff have a bottle handy for cocktails.
Burns Night Dinner. You can get haggis from any good supermarket or better yet, get the really good stuff from a local butcher. People get a bit squeamish when you mention haggis but it really is just a Scottish sausage. Both are traditionally animal stomachs filled offal, we admit that’s not too appetising. However modern haggis and sausages are made with slightly better cuts of meat, the joy of haggis though it is mixed with oats and herbs and if you’ve never tried it then you should because its damn fine stuff.
Normally served with gravy, mashed turnips and mashed potatoes as well as red cabbage in vinegar.
If you want some good recipes and ideas we’d recommend the following websites;
A Burns Night dinner should be a lavish comedic affair, with a number of speeches given. Traditionally once you’ve herded everyone to the table the assembled crowd stands as the haggis is carried aloft and piped into the room by a lone bagpiper. We’re going to guess you haven’t got one of those so if you can’t download some bagpipe tunes then a bit of The Proclaimers might do.
The Address to a Haggis can then be given, the full poem is rather long so often people use the slighter shorter Selkirk Grace;
Some hae meat and canna eat, (Some have meat and can’t eat it)
And some wad eat that want it; (And some don’t have meat but want it)
But we hae meat, and we can eat, (But we have meat and can eat)
And sae let the Lord be thankit. (And so thank the Lord)
Everyone will then raise a glass of whisky to the mighty beast and down it before sitting to dine. Like a fine roast the haggis is carved and served at table.
• After dinner one of the guests will give a prepared guest speech about Burns, the dinner and have a few digs at the host and assembled guests in turn. And offer a toast to Robbie Burns.
• The host will then give his comedic response, again this will be partly prepared and partly just digs back at the previous speaker.
• He or another speaker will then give a ‘Toast to the Lassies’, again this is all filled with humour.
• Finally there will be a reply from one of the ladies or “Toast to the Laddies” as it is sometimes called.
Of course you don’t have to go to as far as writing speeches but if you have a couple of comics in your crowd it can be a great laugh if everyone really enters into the spirit.
Whisky Cocktail Recipes
Pour over ice
Do bad Brando impression
1.5 cl Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes angostura bitters
Pour all the ingredients into a shaker over ice
A quick light shake
Strain and serve
Poured over ice
If you’re breaking away from scotch whiskey you can try
6cl Jack Daniels
1 can of Dr Pepper
Pour over ice
Hang your head in shame for not sticking with scotch