In lieu of haggis, I am celebrating Burns Night with a Bobby Burns Cocktail.
This deep rich, slightly sweet tipple boasts a light spicy edge and while I don’t think it’s actually named for Robert Burns (no one knows for sure), it’s a far better option for the “offally” offended.
Robert Burns, poet and lyricist, was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland on January 25, 1759 and is one of the country’s most notable figures. He was dubbed the Bard of Ayrshire and was simply called- The Bard. He gave us “Auld Lang Syne” which often, folks can be found crooning out after a long night of drinking on New Year’s Eve, so it’s only fitting that we celebrate his birth night with a cocktail bearing his name.
Of course he also gave us “Red, Red Rose” , “A Fond Kiss” and “Tam o’ Shanter“. But on Burns Night it’s traditional to grab the bagpipes, have a Scotch and recite Burns’ “Address to A Haggis”.
So take a sip or three and read along.
Bobby Burns Cocktail
2 oz. Scotch Whiskey
2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
Dash of Benedictine
Stir all ingredients with ice in a glass, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Serve with a twist of lemon peel.
Address To A Haggis
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang’s my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’ need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An’ cut ye up wi’ ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve,
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An’ legs, an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thrissle.
Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o ‘fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!
– Robert Burns
And if you’ve managed to get this far, make yourself another drink- you deserve it!- and wish The Bard a Happy Birthday! Cheers!
(Always drink responsibly. Don’t drink and drive and never get into a car with anyone who has been drinking. Take a Taxi if you must.)