Burns Night cocktail recipes

Burns Night is a big night on the Scottish calendar, and sees the life and work of the great Scottish poet, Robbie Burns, celebrated with Scottish food and drinks on 25 January, every year.

So as this year’s celebration approaches here’s a selection of recipes from the team at drinks retailer Bottle Club who have compiled their most popular scotch whisky cocktails, plus other whisky recipes we’ve had shared with us.

Robert Burns Cocktail

A delightful, sophisticated mix that builds on the scotch-vermouth combination of Rob Roy. The addition of absinthe brings in a nice contrasting flavour, though be sure to keep this to a dash, but if absinthe is a bit too much, a variation called the Bobby Burns omits absinthe for Bénédictine.

  • 60ml Scotch Whisky
  • 20ml Sweet Vermouth
  • Dash Orange Bitters
  • Dash Absinthe


  1. Add ingredients into a mixing glass with ice
  2. Stir well and strain into a tumbler
  3. Ice and orange twist optional
  4. If you do not have absinthe, try an anise-flavoured liqueur as a substitute.

Rusty Nail

A Scotch classic, but you can switch from blended to single malts, explore various brands, choose a variety that is as top-shelf as you wish, and even adjust the ratio of the spirits to suit your taste.

  • 45 ml Scotch Whisky
  • 20 ml Drambuie


  1. Simply combine the liquids into a mixing glass and stir well before pouring over ice into a tumbler.

The Rob Roy

A Scotch version of the classic Manhattan cocktail, a Rob Roy replaces bourbon or rye whisky with Scotch. Best served by putting the cocktail glass in the freezer to ensure the Rob Roy stays cold, as the drink is served without ice.

  • 60ml Scotch Whisky
  • 25ml Sweet Vermouth
  • Dash Angostura Bitters
  • Cherry (Garnish)


  1. Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice (minus the garnish)
  2. Stir well
  3. Strain into a cold Nick and Nora or Martini glass
  4. Garnish with a cherry.

Hot Toddy

Maybe more suited to a Scottish winter, than an Australian summer, the Hot Toddy is still a great whisky cocktail. This recipe comes from San Francisco bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout and features whiskey, hot water, demerara sugar and a clove-studded lemon peel.

  • 4 Cloves
  • 1 Lemon Peel
  • 2tsp Demerara Sugar
  • 8ml Lemon Juice
  • 60ml Whisky


  1. Grab your favourite mug and heat it with some boiling water
  2. After a minute or two, throw away the water
  3. Build your drink in the same mug by combining your spirit with sugar, lemon juice and peel, cloves and more hot water.

Ruby Queen

The Ruby Queen recipe was developed by Rob Krueger of Extra Fancy in New York City. Though it is filled with a couple of unusual ingredients, the Ruby Queen is quite easy to mix up. You will need to prepare or acquire fresh beet juice and take a few minutes to make a fresh honey syrup.

  • 45ml Scotch Whisky
  • 30ml Fresh Red Beetroot Juice
  • 25ml Honey Syrup
  • 25ml Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Fresh Dill or Tarragon (Garnish)
  • Lemon Twist (Garnish)


  1. Combine everything except the garnish into a shaker with ice
  2. Shake for 30 seconds
  3. Strain and pour into all tall, high-ball style glass
  4. Pour and shake like any other drink and you will have a savoury drink that will rival any Bloody Mary.
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