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Three easy whisky-based cocktails to make at home to toast The Bard this Burns Night

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It wouldn’t be Burns Night without toasting The Bard with a wee whisky tipple.

Ah Burns Night. And fit a nicht it is, although it is most certainly not what we are used to, what with virtual events taking place across the country instead of the usual shindigs and ceilidhs you’d expect.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t toast The Bard in the best way possible, with a little of Scotland’s nectar of course.

And yes, I’m talking about whisky.

While some love the golden liquid just as it is, others enjoy it more in longer and shorter drinks like cocktails, and we have three recipes you’re bound to like, especially as one is a twist on the traditional Scottish dessert, cranachan.

The perfect alternative to celebrate the occasion, these delicious drinks are easy to whip up and can be enjoyed at your own leisure.

Happy Burns Night everyone and here’s to you and yours.

Speyburn’s cranachan cocktail

(Serves 1)


  •  60ml Speyburn 10-year-old single malt whisky
  •  5 fresh raspberries
  • 15ml demerara syrup (you can easily make your own)
  • 20ml Old Pulteney Stroma whisky liqueur
  • 20ml ginger wine
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • Ice


  1. Muddle three raspberries into a shaker and add the measures of Speyburn 10-year-old, Stroma, the syrup, ginger wine and lemon juice.
  2. Add ice and shake for 30 seconds.
  3. Double strain into a tumbler over ice, allowing the froth to land on the top
  4. Garnish with the remainder of your raspberries and enjoy

If you’d like to make it a little sweeter, you can add Demerara syrup at step one.

To make the syrup:

  1. Add 150g demerara sugar and 75ml hot water to a saucepan.
  2. Heat and stir until dissolved.
  3. Pour into a sterile bottle or jar and leave to cool.

Robert Burns cocktail

(Serves 1)

A classic cocktail which is a delightful, sophisticated mix that builds on the scotch-vermouth combination of Rob Roy. The addition of absinthe brings in a nice contrasting flavour, though be sure to keep this accent to a dash, as it can easily overpower the drink.


  • 60ml Scotch Whisky
  • 20ml Sweet vermouth
  • Dash Orange Bitters
  • Dash Absinthe


  1. Add the Scotch and vermouth into a mixing glass, and then add the dash of orange bitters and dash of absinthe.
  2. Add a large cube of ice and stir for a few seconds.
  3. Strain into a whisky tumbler and enjoy with ice.

Recipe courtesy of The Bottle Club.

The Rob Roy

(Serves 1)

A Scotch version of the classic Manhattan cocktail, a Rob Roy replaces bourbon or rye whisky with Scotch. The Rob Roy ingredients are also similar to that of a classic Old Fashioned, but the Rob Roy recipe uses sweet vermouth instead of sugar syrup for a richer flavour.


  • 60ml Scotch Whisky
  • 25ml Sweet vermouth
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • Cherry (to garnish)


    1. Add the whisky, vermouth and bitters into a mixing glass.
    2. Add a large piece of ice and stir for a few seconds.
    3. Strain into a short whisky tumbler and add a little ice. Garnish with a cherry, preferably a glace cherry with a stalk.

Recipe courtesy of The Bottle Club.

For more on Scots…

Spikkin Scots: Listen to the different dialects of Scotland with our interactive map

Spikkin Scots Quiz: How many of these Scots words and phrases do you know?


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