Whisky-soaked celebrations for Burns Night 2022By Kate Malczewski
Raise a glass to the great Scottish poet with whisky-filled Burns Night events, cocktail kits and more.
On Tuesday 25 January, people around the world will honour the birthday of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, often with a dram in hand and a supper of haggis, neeps and tatties shared with family and friends.
To help you mark Burns Night in style, we’ve rounded up the best ways to celebrate Scotland’s literary legend – all with a major emphasis on Scotch whisky, of course.
What’s on the menu? You can take part in a virtual quiz and Scotch tasting with The Whisky Exchange team, tuck in to a Caribbean-inspired Burns Night meal at home courtesy of Dewar’s, enjoy Scotch cocktails at The Sun Tavern, and much more.
Read on for our pick of the best ways to celebrate Burns Night in 2022.
The Whisky Exchange Quiz
Test your spirits knowledge with the experts at The Whisky Exchange, as they host a Zoom tasting of a variety of Scotch whiskies, as well as a virtual quiz with a chance to win spirits-focused prizes.
The evening will be hosted by Whisky Exchange shop managers Alex Huskinson and Chris Bolton on 25 January. To take part, purchase the retailer’s Perfect Measure tasting set – which includes six 30ml bottles of Compass Box Orchard House, Whisky Exchange Exclusive Benromach 2010 Cask #390, Glenallachie 15 Year Old, Ardmore 2011 9 Year Old Watt Whisky and two mystery whiskies – and an invitation to the quiz will then be emailed to you.
If you prove yourself a quiz champion on the night, you could win two tickets to The Whisky Show, a bottle of Deanston 18 or free tickets to the retailer’s in-store tastings.
Looking to toast Robbie Burns with a cocktail? Glenfarclas has you covered. The independent Scotch producer has teamed up with The Drinks Drop to create two pre-mixed serves to mark the occasion.
The Coffee & Cacao Bobby Burns riffs on the classic – traditionally a mix of Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth and Bénédictine liqueur – by marrying cacao-infused Glenfarclas 105 with Mr Black Coffee Liqueur, chocolate wine, Bénédictine and chocolate bitters.
If fruity yet boozey drinks are more your style, try the Strawberry & Balsamic Rob Roy, made with Glenfarclas 105, Cocchi Rosa, strawberry apéritif, balsamic vinegar and orange bitters.
Both cocktails come in The Drinks Drop’s signature pouches, and are priced at £19.50 (US$26.55) for a box of two, available for delivery across the UK.
North London Whisky Club supper
The Scotch aficionados at North London Whisky Club have put together two events for those who want to indulge in a traditional Burns Night supper experience.
On Tuesday 25 January, the team will host a dinner at The Haverstock Tavern, complete with haggis, neeps and tatties. The meal will be punctuated by a tasting of five Scotch whiskies that have been hand-picked by Matt Chambers, co-founder of North London Whisky Club, and guests will learn about the history and traditions of Burns Night.
For those who can’t make the first event, a second dinner will be held on 26 January at The Albert. Tickets are priced at £45 (US$61.03) and can be purchased through North London Whisky Club’s Eventbrite page.
Dewar’s Burns Night in a Box
Enjoy a Burns Night feast at home complete with playful Scotch cocktails with this kit from whisky brand Dewar’s, created in partnership with bar expert Mark Low of Mr Lyan Studio.
Each box includes everything you need for a vibrant Burns Night meal and accompanying drinks. Dishes include haggis Scotch eggs and sweet chilli dip, jerk chicken, plantain mash and lime salsa.
To pair with the food, Low has developed two cocktails using Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth whisky. New Town mixes the expression with a spiced syrup and sweet vermouth, while the Cranachan on Holiday Highball pairs it with oats, coconut, strawberries, honey, allspice and soda water.
The kit is priced at £70 (US$94.91), and is available to purchase at allinabox.com.
The Sun Tavern cocktail menu
Sidle up to the bar at east London venue The Sun Tavern on 25 January for a one-night-only Burns Night cocktail menu, starring The Benriach whisky plus an ‘address to the haggis’ and live music.
Drinks will include Tam O’Shanter, featuring Benriach The Original 10 Whisky, manzanilla Sherry, spiced pear, citrus and Umbrella London Apple Cider, as well as a classic Bobby Burns cocktail.
For peckish guests, the Scottish street food experts from Deeney’s in Broadway Market will serve up free haggis bites.
SMWS Big Burns Bash
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) is inviting members and non-members alike from across the globe to join a celebration of whisky and culture on Thursday 27 January, broadcast through a livestream on Facebook and Youtube.
The virtual Big Burns Bash will be hosted by BBC Radio Scotland presenter Vic Galloway, and will feature everything from live music, to a reflection on the personal significance of Burns’ work, to live poetry performances.
For more information, visit unfiltered.smws.com/
Master of Malt poetry reading
Each year, Master of Malt hosts a Burns Night poetry competition – and the 2022 contest was its biggest yet, with 185% more entries than in 2021.
Tune into the online retailer’s livestream on 25 January, where Distell master distiller Brendan McCarron will reveal the champion and read the winning poem. He’ll then host a tasting of the Black Bottle range, so you can take in some whisky knowledge from one of the biggest names in Scotch today.
Aberfeldy x Canvas cocktail kit
Scotch whisky brand Aberfedly has partnered with at-home drinks platform Canvas to create a Burns Night package complete with cocktails from some of the UK’s top bartenders.
The brands tapped cocktail experts Stephen Mutty, Danny McManus and Kaitlin Wilkes-Back to each develop an Aberfeldy-based drink themed around the Scottish poet. The box includes these three serves, and also aims to create a full experience with an aromatic spray inspired by the Burns poem A Red, Red Rose, birchwood coasters handmade at The Workshop Aberfeldy, potato crisps, a curated playlist, videos hosted by the bartenders and an original poem.