Toast the Bard of Ayreshire: Bobby Burns

Perhaps it’s fitting that a cocktail be named after Scotland’s national poet – Robert Burns. After all, Scotch is arguably the country’s most significant contribution to the world. Needless to say, Auld Lang Syne is sung with full throated ease whenever friends meet after a long time over a bottle of the finest malt. On Burns Night (25 January), the highlands echo with connivers’ rendition of the poet’s works, egged on by local spirits.

A number of lyrics by Scotland’s national poet form part of the drinking songs repertoire across the English speaking world. In fact, modern singers like Bobby Vinton, Luke Kelly or Dropkick Murphys seem to be carrying forward his rich and enviable legacy.

The drink is said to have originated during the early part of 20th century at the famed Waldorf Bar on New York’s 5th Avenue. Though the constituents are rumored to have changed over the years, malt whiskey remains the mainstay. One can however substitute Benedictine with Absinthe or Drambuie.

Mix your own Bobby Burns

75ml single malt, 30ml vermouth, 15ml Benedictine, and a shortbread cookie.

You have to fill a martini shaker with ice and pour all the ingredients into it. Shake the container well for a half a minute and strain the contents into a chilled martini glass. Garnish the drink with a shortbread cookie and serve it.

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