You’ve placed the haggis on a silver platter, mashed the neeps and tatties, set out your best dram glasses and found a brilliant recipe for cock-a-leekie soup. With all the essentials sorted, here are some additional ideas for a successful, and more importantly, absolutely delicious Burns Supper, whether you’re the host for the evening or a guest bringing along a dessert offering.
Mini Oatcakes for a veritably Scottish starter. Haggis, oatcake and rosemary canapés are superbly tasty if you’re not content with having haggis solely as a main. Fresh Scottish salmon laid out on oatcakes with a hint of lemon and crème fraîche is always a beautiful appetiser – serve on black pepper oatcakes to complement the smokiness of the fish.
Glenfiddich Highland Whisky Cake for a rich and fruity dessert. The spicy-sweet, whisky infused fruit mixture is perfect for teaming with a single malt – try a sherry oaked Macallan for a full on dessert experience, or Jura Superstition for its combination of spice, honey and slight peaty edge, if you like your whisky slightly less sweet.
Shortbread for after dinner nibbles. Choose from an array of tartan tins to commemorate the Bard’s birthday. The bright Saltire Keepsake Tin includes thistle-decorated shortbread, while there is also the Robert Burns Tin, especially dedicated to our national poet, with an assortment of thistle and lion-rampant stamped shortbread. Whether or not you’re planning on holding the full ceremony for the haggis and piping it in, the Scottish Piper tin with its assortment of shortbread shapes is a nice touch, and the iconic image of the piper standing on the banks of Loch Lomond never fails to impress.
Scottish biscuits and cheese. For pleasing guests who don’t have a sweet tooth, you can’t beat a cheese board laden with sweet digestives, classic oatcakes and of course, the all-important accompaniment – Isle of Mull is always a quality cheddar option, alongside a Lanark Blue if you like your cheese flavour strong, and some creamy Crowdie, or Clava Brie.
Finally…shake up some whisky cocktails. The potent Robert Burns cocktail would be the most obvious choice, mixing up whisky, sweet vermouth, orange bitters and a dash of absinthe. There’s also the classic Old Fashioned, which despite what the name implies, never goes out of favour…have Angostura bitters, sugar syrup, orange or lemon peel, and of course, whisky at the ready. Alternatively, just stick with your favourite single malt, whether sweet, smoky or full of whatever characteristics you’re partial to, and raise a hearty toast to the Bard.