How To Celebrate Burns Night At Home
While traditional Burns Night celebrations won’t be able to go ahead this year, brands have come up with alternative ways to mark the Scottish occasion. Read on for ideas on how to celebrate Burns Night at home.
What is Burns Night?
Burns Night is a celebration of the life of 18th century Scottish poet Robert Burns, who is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. It was initially organised as a memorial by family and friends after he died back in 1796, but over the years it has merged into a nationwide affair, taking place on his birthday, 25 January, each year.
Burns is considered to be a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. His iconic poem and song, ‘Auld Lang Syne’, is sung at Hogmanay, while ‘Scots Wha Hae’ was considered Scotland’s unofficial national anthem for many years.
How To Celebrate Burns Night At Home
Order a DIY recipe box or takeaway
Casa Calavera, the virtual pop-up from the team behind Hakkasan Group, is putting a Mexican spin on Burns Night with its haggis taco dish. Think corn tortillas stuffed with haggis, potato, swede and hot sauce, with the option to add a bottled cocktail such as the Ofrenda sagrada with Casamigos mezcal, charred pineapple, elderflower, bergamot and lavender tea and lime. Available to order via Deliveroo from 20 – 25 January. hakkasangroup.com
Order one of Stevie Parle’s Burns Night meal kits via his online shop, JOY. Inside you’ll find everything you need for a three-course feast: Scottish langoustines followed by pot-roast venison, with a walnut chocolate cake for dessert. Ingredients for two whisky cocktails will also be included, and there’s an option to go all out with added whisky pairings. £85 for two. Order here.
Mac & Wild
Scottish food group Mac & Wild certainly knows its stuff when it comes to Burns Night. The restaurant’s DIY boxes contain all the ingredients for haggis burgers or haggis tacos, with live cooking tutorials taking place on 22 and 23 January. You can also tune into their Scottish-inspired Instagram party on the night. From £25 for two. restaurantkitsuk.com
HAME by Adam Handling
Being a Scotsman himself, there was no question Adam Handling would be pulling out all the stops for Burns Night – lockdown or no lockdown. Order from his delivery service, Hame by Adam Handling, for a special Burns Night box containing everything you need for a Scottish-inspired menu, plus a tasting selection of Glenfiddich whisky bottles. All food will be pre-prepared, you’ll just have to finish it off at home. Dinner will kick off with Adam’s signature chicken butter and sourdough bread, followed by roasted scallops with black pudding. For mains, it’s Adam’s interpretation of the classic ‘haggis, neeps and tatties’ dish: a Lamb Wellington with chilly neeps and crispy tots. Finish off with a chocolate and cranachan mousse. £150 for two. adamhandling.co.uk
Bruichladdich x Farmison
Enjoy artisan-made haggis from Farmison with its Burns Night Celebration Box, created in collaboration with Bruichladdich Distillery. Inside you’ll find haggis made up of ‘sheep’s pluck’ – the offal from the Lamb – to which minced onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and homemade stock are added. There’s also sauce from chef Jeff Baker, plus a wee dram of The Classic Laddie (200ml), the flagship unpeated single malt from Bruichladdich. £35 per box. farmison.com
Marylebone’s 108 Brasserie is also offering a finish-at-home takeaway, featuring a cullen skink starter, venison and haggis wellington and a traditional Cranachan, made from Scottish oats, honey, raspberries and whisky cream. A Burns Night poem will also be included in the package to allow guests to take part in the classic tradition of ‘addressing the haggis’. Available for collection 25 January between 1pm and 7pm. £45pp. 108brasserie.com
The Ultimate Burns Night Box by The Gladwin Brothers
As tradition for farm-to-table trio The Gladwin Brothers, their Burns Night feast is all about making the most of local and wild produce – though this time, with a Scottish edge. Dine on Trout Gravlax, a haggis wellington served with neeps and tatties and and a red wine jus, and a twist on the classic Dundee Cake made with whisky and marmalade. Each box will contain a 20cl bottle of Bruichladdich Classic Laddie, plus a bottle of The Botanist Gin with Double Dutch Tonic and sprig of rosemary. £150 per box. gladwinbrothers.com
Tune into a virtual event
Burns Night at Boisdale
Boisdale has always gone big on Burns Night, so the London restaurant group is determined to celebrate the Scottish event despite lockdown. Tune into the Boisdale website on the night for whisky tastings, a Burns Night quiz, Auld lang Syne renditions and the traditional haggis piping. There’s also the option to order in a special Scottish-inspired dinner featuring treacle smoked salmon, Blackface haggis and Beef Wellington. 25 January, 7.30pm. boisdale.co.uk
Burns Night Drams with The Character of Islay Whisky Co.
Join Sam Simmons – also known as Dr Whisky – for a virtual gathering of storytelling, roaring fires, good company and a dram of whisky. Taking place on Islay Whisky Co.’s Facebook and YouTube channels, the event will take a look at the work of Robert Burns, plus show you how to make a delicious whisky cocktail. Buy a bottle ahead to dram along. 21 January, 8pm. characterofislay.com
Rogue Wolf by Regal Rogue and LoneWolf Gin
Robert Burns once wrote a poem entitled Parcel o’ Rogues, so it is no surprise that Scottish distiller LoneWolf, from BrewDog Distilling Co., collaborated with Australian quaffing vermouth Regal Rogue.
Fill a rocks glass with ice, add 25ml LoneWolf Gin, 25ml Regal Rogue Bold Red vermouth, 25ml Campari, a splash of pomegranate juice and garnish with a orange wedge studded with cloves.
Mulled Social (Distancing) Cider by Three Spirit
From botanical alchemy specialists Three Spirit, this non-alcoholic cocktail is ideal for those who live in larger households, as this recipe serves seven, ideal for a winter warmer before the main event.
Add 1 litre of cloudy apple juice, 350ml of Social Elixir, 3 slices of lemon, 3 slices of orange, 1 stick of cinnamon (broken into pieces) 5 cloves, 1 star anise, 1 black cardamom (cut open) and 5 allspice berries (crush) to a pan and heat gently. Once aromatic, serve in toddy glasses with an orange wheel as garnish.
Become a whisky expert
Check out the C&TH guide to whisky for everything you need to know about the Scottish spirit, including the best distilleries and how to do whisky tastings.
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