Burn’s Night Libations


Even if you do not play the Pipes or wear a kilt, Burn’s Night is another good reason to raise a glass.  Here are two Scotch cocktails to help celebrate the Baird.

Blood, Smoke and Sand

This cocktail is simply a Blood and Sand with a little smokey twist.  According to an article by Gary Regan, the Blood and Sand first appeared in Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book and was probably named after the 1922 silent movie.  History aside, the Blood and Sand is an elegantly simple cocktail.  It is equal parts scotch, Cherry Herring, sweet vermouth, and orange juice, shaken and served straight up.  You can change the flavor of this drink a little by switching around different types of vermouth but the key ingredient is scotch.  I prefer a Highland Single Malt or a smooth blend for this cocktail.  The complexities of a Speyside are lost in this drink and an Islay can be over powering, but a touch of smoke is a great addition.  This version of a Blood and Sand gets that smokey twist from a mist of Laphroig as a garnish.  Just fill an atomizer with Laphroaig and you’re good to go.

  • 3/4 oz. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch
  • 3/4 oz. Cherry Herring
  • 3/4 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz. Fresh Orange Juice
  • Mist of Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch
  • Orange peel for garnish
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake to chill
  3. Double strain in to the chilled cocktail glass
  4. Express the orange peel over the drink and float the peel
  5. Apply 2 or 3 mists of Laphroaig from the atomizer over the drink
  6. Serve immediately

The Rusty Nail

I have seen Rusty Nail recipes use anywhere from 4:1 Scotch:Drambuie to 1:1.  Since the exact ratio is variable, you should get a decent cocktail even from an inexperienced bartender.  In addition, you can add bitters and/or a twist of lemon.  Muddle a lemon peel and bitters in an old-fashioned glass, and then builds the drink  adding ice, Scotch and Drambuie.  This is my version of this cocktail:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch
  • 3/4 oz. Drambuie
  • 1 dash Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters – optional
  • 1 lemon peel – optional
  1. Chill an Old Fashioned Glass with ice and water
  2. Combine the Scotch, Drambuie and bitters (if using) in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass over a large fresh ice cube
  4. Express the lemon peel over the cocktail and discard the peel.

I like adding the bitters.  They decrease the sweetness of the Drambuie without detracting from its flavors.  The lemon peel adds further complexity.

So, a fresh glass, a chunk of ice, some Scotch and a little Drambuie – you’re good to go!!

The Smokin’ Nail

For a twist on the Rusty Nail, try smoking the cocktail with Chai Tea.  The smoked chai tea really plays along with the background Drambuie. In addition, your guests will be impressed!  This requires a Smoke Gun.

Smokin’ Nail

  • 2 ozs. Scotch
  • 1/2 ozs. Drambuie
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 dash Jerry Thomas Bitters – sub Angostura
  • 1 tsp. Chai tea
  1. Smoke tea in gun with the tube placed in a lidded decanter.  When decanter is full of smoke, remove smoke tube and seal.
  2. Chill a single old fashioned glass with ice and water.
  3. In a mixing glass, muddle lemon zest with the Drambuie and bitters
  4. Add Scotch and ice.  Stir to chill.  Strain into smoke filled bottle and reseal.  Give the drink a few good shakes in the smokey bottle.
  5. Pour drink over fresh ice in the chilled old fashioned glass.
  6. You can use the smokey bottle for 2 or 3 drinks.