Food & dining


A tip of the hat — and the glass — for Robert Burns

Liza Weisstuch for The Boston Globe

Even if you’re not certain who Robert Burns is, you certainly know who Robert Burns is. Outside of his homeland, the Scottish poet is perhaps best recognized for “Auld Lang Syne,” that familiar new year’s anthem. And you don’t have to be an 18th-century poetry buff to have encountered “Oh, My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose.” Devoted Scotch whisky lovers, however, celebrate him for the nearly epic “Scotch Drink,” which is recited at Burns suppers throughout the world on his supposed birthday, Jan. 25. The more than 200-year-old tradition is commemorated with a ceremonial feast of haggis (he wrote an ode to that, too), song, and, of course, Scotch. We cannot direct you toward where to find that rarified organ-heavy meat pudding, but we can instruct you on how to make a cocktail created in his honor sometime around 1930, as far as drink manuals can tell. So this Thursday, should you feel lyrically inspired, pour a cocktail — or a dram of whisky — and toast “O thou, my muse! Guid auld Scotch drink!”

Liza Weisstuch

Bobby Burns Cocktail

Makes 1 drink

1½ ounces blended scotch whisky


1½ ounces sweet vermouth

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1 barspoon Benedictine

Lemon twist

1. Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass over ice. Stir to integrate.

2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Adapted from “Mr. Boston Official Bartenders Guide”

Liza Weisstuch can be reached at Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @livingtheproof.