Laphroaig birthday cake by Butter & Scotch Brooklyn, photo courtesy Laphroaig

Even if you are not celebrating Robert Burns night, to honor the late, exceptional 18th century poet Scottish poet, it is still the perfect time to celebrate a good Scotch. Here are a few suggestions to keep your Burns Night burning, your throat roaring and your tummy glowing during the cold months of the year. If you are already a Scotch drinker, then why not try something a little different from your habitual Scotch neat or on the rocks? If you have previously sidestepped from Scotch due to its robust nature, these cocktails are the perfect introduction, with the ability to control the smokier side of Scotch by adding complementary ingredients.

The Blood & Sand cocktail may have outstayed its welcome in the eyes of many who love a decent Scotch and want try something a little more palatable. Spit the sand out of your mouth and get your blood pumping with excitement – there are new, lip-smacking Scotch cocktails to try! Go out and buy yourself a good bottle of uisge beatha, meaning ‘water of life’, aka whisky. Have it straight up or try one of these yummy concoctions:

photo by Danielle Macdonald

Burns Coffee

In a mug or thick glass with a handle, pour one shot of espresso. Add Scotch and Nocello. Pour steamed milk in glass while stirring. For an optional touch of decadence, scoop whipped cream on top of the hot coffee.

Glen Green

A good single malt deserves to be single, or does it? For those of you who not only appreciate a good malt whisky but are also health conscious, this cocktail is for you. With the antioxidants and brain function benefits of green tea and the cleansing properties of ginger, not only will you be taking care of your body but will be treating yourself to the delights of a good whisky.

  • Brew 4 ½ oz/133 mL green tea
  • Add 2 tsps. of sugar to tea, stir and let cool
  • Pour 2 oz/60 mL single malt whisky into a good quality whisky tumbler (recommended Benromach 10 Year for its aromas of a roaring bonfire, the taste of a rich fruit cake and the smoothness of a good quality chocolate bar).
  • Add ¾ oz/22 mL ginger syrup
  • Place all ingredients into shaker, shake vigorously then pour into a good quality tumbler with one large block of ice.
photo by Danielle Macdonald

Mary’s Bloody Hot

  • 1 1/2 oz/44 mL of blended whisky, such as 2017 NYISC gold medal winner Cutty Sark Prohibition (replacing the traditional vodka)
  • 6 oz/177 mL tomato juice
  • small squeeze of lemon juice
  • couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • dash hot sauce
  • Garnish as you please

Pour tomato juice into an ice-filled glass. Add whisky and lemon juice into the glass. Stir (do not shake as the tomato juice becomes frothy). Add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce and stir again gently. Garnish.