Planet Whiskies :: Scottish Single Malt Whisky, Scotch, Distilleries, American Bourbon, Japanese, Irish

World-Wide Whisky News by Planet Whiskies | Buy your whisky online

To advertise on Planet Whiskies visit our contact us page

A contemporary Burns Night: Hosting a modern take on the traditional celebration by Arran Whisky

Arran Whisky :: A contemporary Burns Night: Hosting a modern take on the traditional celebration by Arran Whisky

With Christmas a distant memory and spring a long way away, the end of January isn’t a traditionally cheerful time unless you follow Scottish tradition and throw a party to rival Hogmanay on the 25th. Burns Night is a celebration of the great Robert Burns, national hero and Scotland’s most beloved poet, and a great excuse to shake off the winter blues.

James McTaggart, Master Distiller at Isle of Arran Distillers who produce the world’s only official Robert Burns Malt, is well versed in how to throw a brilliant Burns Night celebration. Here he shares his top tips on how to welcome newcomers and make the evening an inclusive and modern affair:

1.Set the tone

“Are you going to strictly adhere to traditions? Will your guests appreciate traditional pipe music? Do you want a dress code? Before deciding on anything, work out what sort of evening you want.

“While there are many who believe there’s only one proper way to celebrate Burns Night, the most important thing is to have a good time. If a playlist of contemporary Scottish music is more appropriate to the atmosphere there’s certainly plenty to choose from!

2. Pick your traditions:

“Contrary to what many people may believe, Burns Night is traditionally a very structured affair. There are set times for welcome addresses, toasts, food and entertainment. If you’re not Scottish, or familiar with these traditions, it can be an intimidating itinerary.

“Instead, select activities that will suit your party and the preferences of your guests. Poetry is naturally considered very important though, so if there are any brave guests, encourage them to get up and recite some of Burns’ work. ‘My Love is a Red, Red Rose’ and ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ are firm favourites. Or, as host, take command of the Selkirk Grace as you serve dinner in a nod to the man who has inspired hundreds of years’ worth of parties.

The Selkirk Grace
Some Folk hae meat that canna eat,
And some can eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
So let the Lord be Thanket!
“Of course, no Burns Night is complete without a rousing rendition of Auld Lang’s Syne, helped by an evening of whisky, which everyone should be familiar with.”

3. Lay the table:

“Food should be absolutely central to the party. The star of the show is normally a haggis which, in a traditional sit-down dinner, is piped in by bagpipes, toasted with a dram of whisky and pierced with a dagger before being eaten.”

“For a more modern take on proceedings, create a Scottish tapas menu. Serve a guests a trio of small servings that include all the Burns night favourites such as neeps and tatties (swede and potato), haggis with a drizzle of whisky sauce and cock-a-leekie soup.

“Or, make the meal a simple celebration of Scottish produce with a sit down meal of salmon fishcakes, venison and local cheeses served with oat cakes followed by shortbread and coffee.”

4. Know your whisky

“Burns Night wouldn’t be complete without whisky and no table is set without a good selection of drams. Whisky has become very fashionable once again so you may find many of your guests will be more than happy to try something new.

“Add a modern twist by serving a flute of different varieties ranging from strong, peaty Scotch to those with lighter palates. Or, pick a distillery and present a variety of ages. Our core range, for example, offers slightly different taste profiles from the lighter, more citrus 10yo to the richer, fruity 14yo with a touch of spice.

“Whisky cocktails are increasingly popular and offer an alternative to a neat serving for those less familiar with a dram. Pick a softer whisky for mixing to give you the option of a varied menu. We developed a number of recipes with Robert Burns Single Malt, the only whisky endorsed by the Robert Burns World Federation, for this very reason.”

5. Make Merry

“At the core of any Burns Night is the entertainment. The most popular is probably the famous Toast to the Lassies and Reply to the Toast to the Lassies. Usually incorporating quotes from Burns, these are comical monologues, light hearted and positive (with the odd sharp observation). 

“Introduce a modern version of this to your night with men vs women games and competitions. The whole point of Burns Night to have an amazing time so fun should be at the heart of all your preparations.”

Isle of Arran Distillers produce the world’s only official Robert Burns Malt, it is available from specialist whisky retailers and online at www.arranwhisky.com for £29.99 RRP. The distillery is a Patron of the Robert Burns World Foundation.

 

Share Planet Whiskies on social media

Planet Whiskies on Twitter
Planet Whiskies on Facebook
Planet Whiskies on Google Plus
Planet Whiskies on Pinterest

Bowmore 25 Years Old Small Batch Release Islay Single Malt WhiskyBowmore 25 Years Old Small Batch Release Islay Single Malt Whisky

Bowmore's celebrated Single Malt has been distilled on this magical island, off the west coast of Scotland, ever since 1779. This makes Bowmore the first of Islay's eight distilleries by chronology certainly (and by taste too, many would say)... Read more

Bowmore 25 Years Old Small Batch for only £340.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

The Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch No. 2 Single Malt Scotch WhiskyThe Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch No. 2 Single Malt Scotch Whisky

To create the second batch of Tun 1509, David carefully hand selected 42 of the finest casks - 35 traditional American oak barrels and seven European oak sherry butts - from the distillery's precious aged stocks. Read more

The Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch No. 2 for only £279.90
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Buy from Spirits By Post:: Excellent whisky selection available to buy online today:: Click for more details

Latest Whisky News

See all whisky press releases for 2017

Isle of Arran Distillery toasts international drinks tourism award win: 26th May, 2017

Hunter Laing Unveils Six Exceptionally Rare Islay Whiskies & New Shop At Feis Ile: 26th May, 2017

Latest Gin News

Ian Macleod Distillers Acquires Edinburgh Gin :: 13th September, 2016

Crafted Upon Four Pillars :: The definitive Modern Australian Gin Debuts in the U.S :: 13th July, 2016

VisitScotland Interactive Whisky Guide

Visit Scotland Interactive Whisky Map

Found out about 105 whisky distilleries in Scotland's five whisky regions in this very exciting interactive whisky guide :: More information

Buy the Whisky Magazine Subscribe to Whisky Magazine

Subscribe to the Whisky Magazine and find out the latest news within the whisky industry. More details

Selection of Scottish Malts Whisky available from Spirits By Post

Highland Park Valkyrie Single Malt Scotch WhiskyHighland Park Valkyrie Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Highland Park

Plunging down from the dark heavens, the Valkyries would descend like avenging angels on horseback to comb the battlefields for the bravest of the fallen warriors, heroes fit to enter the great Norse god Odin's hall, Valhalla... Read more

Buy Now for £54.50
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Auchentoshan 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch WhiskyAuchentoshan 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Auchentoshan

Triple distilled and aged perfectly for over twenty one years in American bourbon and Spanish sherry casks. This creates a refined Lowland Single Malt Whisky... Read more

Buy Now for £119.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Auchentoshan 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky CaseAuchentoshan 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky Case

Distillery:  Auchentoshan

Triple distilled then matured for over twelve years. Our Lowland Single Malt Whisky has the tempting aroma of toasted almonds, caramelised toffee and the signature smooth, delicate, Auchentoshan taste... Read more

Buy Now for £213.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Glenfarclas The Family Cask 1982 Highland Single Malt Scotch WhiskyGlenfarclas The Family Cask 1982 Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Glenfarclas

2015 release, One of 206 bottles Cask Number 2074 Type 4th Fill Hogshead The Family Casks collection encapsulates the essential character of our distillery. Each bottle containing its own unique story and complexity of aromas... Read more

Buy Now for £760.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Glenfarclas 30 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch WhiskyGlenfarclas 30 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Glenfarclas

"This was distilled in my grandfather's time, so we have to thank him for the wonderful depth of the 30 year old. It is the casks he purchased that have made this so richly indulgent"... Read more

Buy Now for £388.55
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

More details about Spirits By Post can be found on their website at www.spiritsbypost.com

Planet Whiskies on Pinterest

Planet Whiskies on Twitter

Support us Google Plus