Whether you’re a fan of a wee dram or not, Burns’ Night is a good excuse for a knees up.
Falling today Friday 25th January 2013, a traditional Burns’ supper celebrates the Scottish poet, with readings of his work, music, whisky and a classic Scottish dinner.
A typical Burns’ supper menu would be cullen skink – a fish soup to start, haggis with ‘tatties and neeps’ (potato and swede mash), followed by a pudding of cranachan – a kind of oat-based Eton Mess. See recipes on BBC Food website.
Whisky throughout dinner could be a bit hard core for many, so here’s an Early Bird Burns’ supper for wine lovers, with just a few whisky recommendations for good measure:
Kick off the evening with a Whisky Mac cocktail: mix a lighter, sweeter, floral Highland whisky like Glenmorangie with a good quality ginger beer such as Fentimans.
Moules mariniere makes a popular, seasonal first course. Chablis is citrussy to match shellfish and zingy to cut the cream sauce. Buy a top example here.
If you balk at steamed haggis, fry it in slices with black pudding. The crunch contrasts well with pommes anna and Vichy carrots. The gamey note in aged red Burgundy is a good match for offal. Roberson has a great range.
White chocolate mousse with raspberries and whisky salt caramel sauce will please most people and is quick to make. Jurancon is a French sweet wine that tastes similar to Sauternes, made from grape Petit Manseng.
Sweet white wines also go with cheese. Neal’s Yard at Borough Market has a fantastic range. Especially good are the English Cheddars such as Keen’s.
Just around corner in Stoney Street is one of London’s top whisky shops, The Whisky Exchange. The knowledgeable staff will advise if you are new to whisky. Recommendations include creamy Oban and three from Islay in ascending levels of peaty, smokiness: Bowmore, Caol Ila and Ardbeg.
If you would like to learn more about whisky, see Eddie Ludlow‘s The Whisky Lounge and a book by whisky expert and wine writer, Tom Bruce-Gardyne.
(photo – No|More|Saviours / Flickr Creative Commons)