Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Burns Night 2009

Our good friends Shelley & Rob invited us over for Burns Night on Saturday, January 25th. As before, it was a night of great conversations, great food (and yes there was haggis), and lots of Scotch.

Cocktails with Scotch
Last year, I made the Blood & Sand and the Robert Burns Cocktail. This year, the expected crowd was larger, and I decided to search for something even more accessible to make with Scotch. I figured those who like Scotch will just drink Scotch, so I was trying to offer something for those who aren't so sure.

Luckily, Paul Clarke over at Cocktail Chronicles posted a Scotch-based drink for Mixology Monday this month. I tried it out, it was great, so I went with it.

Here's the recipe, taken verbatim from Paul's site. I made this into batches, except for the float of Laphroaig of course, and it was a big hit (we ran out!):

Penicillin Cocktail
  • 2 ounces blended scotch (Famous Grouse)
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce ginger-honey syrup (see below)
  • 1/4 ounce Islay scotch (Laphroaig 10)
Combine blended scotch, lemon juice and syrup in a shaker, fill with ice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and float Islay scotch on top.

Ginger-honey syrup: combine equal parts honey and water in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk until well combined. Add an ounce or so of peeled, sliced fresh ginger for each cup of liquid and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely; strain.

Onto the Scotch
Every year, a few new bottles of Scotch arrive, and this year was no exception. Here's a sampling of the array we tasted this year. A couple of new ones on me:

Compass Box Asyla - we actually brought this one. It was a very nice, light blend - a good starter Scotch, with a balance of fruity & earthy notes and just a hit of peat.

Buchanan De Luxe 12 year - another nice blend. Shelley & Rob advised that the bottle had been open for several years, but it was still a standout - sweet and spicy at the same time, with rich wood & peat undertones that lingered on the finish. Can't find a web page for this one, just a bunch of stores selling it.

In Closing - A Song by Robert Burns

A Bottle and Friend
Robert Burns (1787)

There's nane that's blest of human kind,
But the cheerful and the gay, man,
Fal, la, la, &c.

Here's a bottle and an honest friend!
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o' care, man?

Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man:
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes not aye when sought, man.

1 comment:

Robby G said...

Not a big Scotch guy, but I'll give that blend a try. I'm a Rum guy myself. Cheers mate!