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We often wonder what a modern day Robert Burns would be like. A man whose spirit and heartfelt eloquence, poems and prose made him the true ‘People’s Poet’; perhaps he would be exactly that, a modern day poet or maybe he’d be a copywriter, an ad man, a lyricist, a rock star, a politician, a campaigner, a journalist. A man whose extraordinary talent and creativity was matched by his enthusiastic appetite for wine (we can't help but wonder if gin may have been in his repertoire too!), women and song; well, there are numerous modern day celebrities he could be!
On the 25th January, people all over the world will celebrate Burns Night with an evening of poetry, prose and song, enjoying the traditional supper of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with family and friends or work colleagues at special events. An evening with such a rich tradition, structure, format, running order and ritual that it’s practically unheard of to deviate from the institution for the formal events, so it it possible to put a modern twist on Burns Night and still retain the traditional element?
We think so.
Synonymous with a starter of Cock-a-Leekie Soup, followed of course by the centerpiece, the haggis accompanied by neeps and tatties with Clootie Dumpling to follow and if you’re planning on a sit down supper, then you can’t go far wrong with that as your Burns Night staple menu but what if…you don’t want the fuss of a formal sit down event?
What if…you fancy a bit of a Burns Night party with a twist instead, taking the most important elements of the traditional event and putting a bit of 2018 and of course, your own personality into it?
We would say that there are five elements that must be part of your evening.
It’s up to you what Burns Night traditions you draw on and how formal you want different aspects of your evening to be; whether there are speeches and songs, pipes and poetry or if you simply want to gather some great friends together and enjoy an evening of music, fun, laughter and great food.
There are lots of ways you can turn a traditional Burns Night menu into something deliciously informal, drawing of course on Scotland’s exceptional natural larder. Think mini-haggis shepherd’s pies, or baby potatoes baked and served with a spoonful of haggis and neeps, haggis sausage rolls, smoked salmon and dill crème fraiche served on mini oatcakes and how about this absolutely showstopper for desert?
Devised by Lifestyle and Food Blogger, Claire Justine (check out her blog ‘I Wasn’t Expecting That’) for food, fashion, health, fitness and lifestyle news and some amazing ideas), these awesome little servings of sweetness are made using Caorunn soaked fruit, guaranteed to put a special swing into your Burns Night!
Caorunn Gin Soaked Fruit:
How To Create:
Place blackberries in a food container with a lid on and defrost for a few hours.
Break the Scottish shortbread finger biscuits in half and place into a food processor. Blitz until they have turned to crumbs. Or simply place the biscuits into a food bag and bash with a rolling pin until all biscuits are crumbled.
Pop butter in a small pan over a low to medium heat and gently stir until melted. Pour the mixture over the biscuits and mix together. Share the biscuit base between 4 nice glasses and push them down with the back of a spoon. Leave to set.
Place the butter and sugar for the caramel filling into a small pan and heat gently whilst stirring until melted. Add condensed milk, turn up the heat. When bubbling rapidly allow 2 more minutes. Very important to continually stir to avoid caramel burning. Remove from heat and leave to cool. Stir the caramel mix occasionally checking it does not set. Once cooled enough add to your glasses. Once completely cooled pop into the fridge to set.
Caorunn Gin Soaked Fruit.
Chop some Strawberries and Clementines into small chunks, mix with the defrosted blackberries and add 6 Tbsp of Caorunn Gin. Pop the container into the fridge to infuse.
Wash the 4 big Strawberries and leave to dry completely on some kitchen towel.
Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave checking every 20 seconds or so. You want the chocolate melted not burnt!! Once melted dip the strawberries into the chocolate, holding the green stalks. Place on some greaseproof paper and once cooled, pop into fridge to set.
Whip the double cream in a bowl with an electric whisk until lightly whipped. Cover and place in fridge until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, share the fruit and gin between each glass, top with whipped cream, place a chocolate covered strawberry in the middle with a Scottish shortbread finger. Serve straight away.
Burns Night is the ideal opportunity to bedazzle your guests with an array of Caorunn cocktails. We would recommend the following to toast the Bard!
As party games go, you can’t beat the classic ‘Who Am I?’ game, and for your Burns Night party, you can make it a tribute to some of our homegrown celebrity names for the past and the present. Don’t forget the Post-Its!
Scotland has always had one of the most exciting music scenes in the world, so why not enjoy some geek out time on Spotify ahead of your super Scottish soirée
and put together a carefully curated selection of all types of Scottish music. A delicate blend of the Bay City Rollers, Altered Images, Texas, Simple Minds, The Corries, Franz Ferdinand, Primal Scream, Gallagher & Lyle with some Emile Sandé should do it!
If you’re keen to make songs and poetry part of your evening, you will love this special ‘Host Your Own Burns Supper’ e-book VisitScotland have produced which has a guide to speeches, poetry and a whole host of other things that will make your Burns shindig a night to remember!
Where to enjoy
A Truly Scottish Gin
Please note: Before visiting your local stockist, it is advised that you call ahead to check that Caorunn is currently in stock.