On and leading up to January 25, bars around the UK honour the life and work of Scotland’s immortal poet Robert Burns.
Burns Night marks the anniversary of legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns’ birthday. Whisky, haggis, and poetry combine in abundance every year as people come together to celebrate this national treasure and his enduring legacy.
This year, Port Charlotte, a heavily peated single malt whisky from Bruichladdich Distillery in Islay, will be raising a toast to its Scottish provenance through a series of activations across the UK, with participating venues including Cub, The Little Blue Door, Pollen Street Social, High Water in Stoke Newington and Clove Club Shoreditch.
Mr Lyan’s Hoxton venue Cub will be presenting a Burns Feat to remember as Scottish chef Craig Crozier takes the reins of the kitchen. Working with the team, Craig will be developing a Burns-inspired ten course set menu of five dishes and five drinks – all celebrating the best of modern Scotland and showcasing Port Charlotte and its sister brand The Botanist gin.
The signature cocktail of the evening will be the Neo Caledonia, a martini-style drink created with both Port Charlotte 10-Year-Old and The Botanist. These two spirits offer a nod to the island of Islay while Great British Vermouth pays homage to Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh.
Joined with wild foraged berries fermented with birch syrup to deepen the flavour, pepper dulse to give an umami edge, and a touch of barley vinegar from Orkney to brighten and balance, the serve is topped off with a pickled berry and pine infused Port Charlotte spritz.
It doesn’t end there. A Bobby Burns’ House Party is taking place at The Little Blue Door where the bar team will be serving the special Tarte Tartan cocktail, a blend of Port Charlotte 10-Year-Old, cinnamon and salted caramel, alongside trademark haggis pops from Mac & Wild.
At High Water in Stoke Newington, three special Bruichladdich cocktails have been carefully crafted and paired with Robert Burns’ poetry. These include the herbal Immortal Memory, featuring Port Charlotte 10, and the fruity and refreshing Auld Lang Syne.
A further activation is to be held at Clove Club in Shoreditch, where a limited edition flight of Bruichladdich drams will be served, alongside a Port Charlotte cheese pairing.
Elsewhere in the UK, Islay and Bristolian provenance meet at Hyde & Co, with a Port Charlotte neat dram, cocktail and food pairing flight, while an indulgent tasting of all three Port Charlotte expressions, accompanied by live music, will take place at Albatross & Arnold in The Range, Manchester.
Meanwhile, Glenfiddich whisky will be taking over Skylight at Tobacco Dock. In honour of the great Scottish poet, the London rooftop space will undergo a ‘boozy makeover’, offering a selection of signature whisky tipples to its customers. Upon arrival, guests will be greeted with a Glenfiddich cocktail and can enjoy the vast array of entertainment on offer. Aside from the venue’s rooftop ice rink, traditional Scottish musicians will play alongside the spectacle of a highly-anticipated rooftop ceilidh.
The London Edition is transforming its Lobby Bar into a celebration all things Scottish for Burns Night 2019. From 7pm until 9pm on Friday 25, the public can mingle to the sound of London’s top Scottish Ceilidh five piece Licence to Ceilidh and sample a selection of Chivas Whisky-based cocktails.
Examples include The Bard, made with Chivas 12, rhubarb bitter, cyan amaro and a cherry garnish, and Sentimental Burns, combining Chivas 12, suze, rin quin quin aperitif, lemon juice, simple syrup, soda water and a lemon wedge garnish.
Complimentary traditional Scottish bites will also be making the rounds including both vegetarian and meat haggis balls, followed by a traditional shortbread. Meanwhile in The London Edition’s intimate drinking den, Punch Room, guests will be able to bend their own whisky with experts from Chivas’ team.
Timed to coincide with Burns Night, DrinkUp.London’s Scotch Whisky Weekend, taking place from 23 – 27 January, will encourage whisky connoisseurs and novices alike to try a specially created selection of scotch whisky drinks in top bars across the capital.
The five-day festival will be hosted in conjunction with scotchwhisky.com, and is divided into two parts: The Cocktail Tours and The Events Schedule. The Cocktail Tours will be self-guided, enabling drinks lovers who have downloaded their free Festival Pass on the DrinkUp.London app to sample a selection of bespoke Scotch Whisky Weekend cocktails for the duration of the festival, each priced at £6. These will be available from a selection of London’s most renowned bars including Black Rock, Callooh Callay, Iron Stag and many more. The Events Schedule of free and paid-for experiences will also be available to book.
To celebrate Burns Night and Drink Up London’s Scotch Whisky Weekend, botanical mixer brand Sekforde is joining forces with Black Rock underground whiskey bar in Shoreditch. Together, they have created a peppery Scotch Gimlet cocktail with a hint of rosemary, pineapple, orange and gentian (recipe below).
40ml Craigellachie 13-Year-Old
20ml Handmade pineapple black pepper cordial
30ml Sekforde for Whiskey Mixer (flavours of Sicilian orange, rosemary and gentian)
Shake the scotch and cordial with ice and strain into a coupette glass, top with Sekforde for Whisky mixer.
Highland Park’s Whisky Fizz
50ml Highland Park 12
10ml Sugar syrup
25ml Lemon juice
25ml Egg white
Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker, seal and dry shake. Fill the shaker with ice and shake for a further 15 seconds. Fill a second chilled glass with ice and ¼ soda. Strain the ingredients into the glass over ice. Top with ice if necessary and garnish with a lemon twist.
Laphroaig’s Blood and Sand
25ml Orange juice
25ml Cherry liqueur
25ml Sweet Vermouth
Pour all ingredients into a shaker. Fill with ice and shake hard for eight seconds. Strain into a chilled coupette glass and garnish with a cherry.