Robbie Burns’ Day takes place January 25th to celebrate the life of famous Scottish poet Robert Burns. The celebration has a fun history, and we’re extra fortunate this year as Robbie Burns’ Day is on a Friday, since drinking Scotch Whisky is such a big part of the tradition!
As a poet, Robert Burns is famous for the New Year’s Eve staple “Auld Lang Syne”, and the famous poem “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose”. While surely Burns’ life is well deserving to be celebrated, perhaps just as notable is how legendary are Burns’ friends who started a party that still resonates 200 years later!
Burns’ passed away in the year 1796 in southwestern Scotland. As the story is told, soon after Burns’ friends began celebrating his life with annual supper party. The meal featured the “not for the faint of heart” dish haggis, which is a sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs cooked together in the sheep’s stomach, yikes! Not sure that I ever will try haggis, but I do love the imagery of a Scottish piper playing as the haggis is brought to the table! Scotch Whisky is the drink of the evening, with the celebration filled with toasts to Burns’ life, his poems, and the traditional “Toast to the Lassies”.
So if you're perpetually scratching your head for fun date night ideas, thank Robbie Burns’ and friends for a fun reason to celebrate a Scottish-theme date night this Friday. While attending a traditional Burns’ Supper may not be your thing, I can suggest some of my favorite places that may be perfect for your own Robbie Burns’ inspired night of whisky sampling :)
Cozy and stylish in downtown Montreal
Photo with my friend Claudia Emde above is at the Plateau Lounge
Best view in Toronto, cozy and quiet for a date night
Photo above is the patio in summer, but romantic in winter
Where many of Toronto’s most interesting characters socialize
It's a private club, but Spoke often hosts fabulous parties
As for some whisky drinks to try, Marc Laverdiere is the brand ambassador for The Macallan who says it's best to drink premium scotch "neat" meaning without any mix because of it's distinctive taste. In the case of The Macallan, the taste includes citrus, cedar, spice, and light smoke aromas. But you have options based on age, starting with 10 year old, then 12 years, 15 years, 21 years, and 30 Year Old single malt. As for cocktails, Marc suggests visiting the Famous Grouse blog for cocktails recipes such as the Cocktail of the Month: Mulled Ginger Grouse.
And for an added treat, one lucky reader can WIN a Robbie Burns’ inspired prize package including a bottle of Macallan 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky and a cozy tartan throw blanket (approx value: $150). To enter, please see the above form.
Good luck everyone, and happy Robbie Burns’ Day.
Congratulations to contest winner Jessica Schlombs of Thorold, Ontario :-)