Whether you have Scottish heritage, love the Scottish highlands, or simply relish the chance to enjoy Scottish food, drink, history or culture, Burns Night can be an amazing celebration to toast all things Scottish.
Held annually on 25 January, Burns Night conjures up images of cosying up around a fire, enjoying traditional Scottish fare and devouring a deliciously warming whisky. However, many of us may have forgotten the origins of the historical supper that has been passed down through many generations.
Join us in exploring the cultural significance of Burns Night and helping you pair your evening with the perfect whisky cocktail box from NIO.
The History of Burns Night
Burns Night is synonymous with the end of the festive season, when social events are starting to wind down and people are enjoying a wholesome supper in their own home.
But did you know that the Burns Supper is much more than a get-together? Burns Night celebrates the life and legacy of the poet Robert Burns, renowned as one of the world’s greatest poets and founder of the Romantic movement.
In his lifetime, Robert Burns became a Scottish icon and a source of inspiration to the founders of Liberalism and Socialism who went on to shape the United Kingdom that we know today.
Burns is considered a revolutionary figure and is celebrated not only for his beautiful words, but for his cultural significance and personality too. He was fond of writing on the topics of love and nature and explored the plight of the individual, revolutionary for his time.
As a true romantic, Burns was famous for living a poetic lifestyle - full of drinking and womanising! It was his cheeky personality, incredible talent and new way of thinking that made him a firm favourite in Scotland and later the rest of the world. In many ways, Burns could be considered one of the first celebrities in the UK. He rose from humble beginnings and created his own legacy based on merit and popularity, as opposed to birthright.
His passing on 21 July 1796 sent shock waves through Scotland and as a result, many of his friends, family and supporters began gathering in homes and pubs to celebrate his life. From this beginning, the Burns Night tradition was born.
Burns night traditions
It wouldn’t be Burns night without celebrating his poetry. Traditionally, The Immortal Memory, a tribute speech to celebrate the life of Robert Burns and remember all that he did for Scotland, is performed by an invited speaker. This speech can often be lengthy, lasting about 20-25 minutes and is followed by a toast to Burns’ enduring spirit.
Speaking of drinks, it wouldn’t be a proper Scottish celebration or Burns Night without the mention of whisky. NIO Cocktails has partnered with The Singleton of Dufftown, a malt like no other, to create The Singleton Plus Two Collection, Why not enjoy a limited-edition set of four ready-to-savour cocktails, perfect for enjoying at home on Burns Night?
A Burns Supper (Haggis included) is the traditional way to spend the evening with loved ones. Traditionally the Selkirk Grace is said and the dinner of Scottish fare follows. However, we’re all for making your own traditions, so if there’s a particular dish you’d love to try with a bit of Scottish flair, then that is to be encouraged.
Auld Lang Syne
The traditional celebrations include the song Auld Lang Syne (written by none other than Robert Burns). The host is to give thanks and play the Auld Lang Syne tune to which everyone sings along to the famous lyrics ‘For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, for days of auld lang syne’, while holding hands and making a big circle.
Then, on the line ‘And there’s a hand’ it’s time for everyone to cross over their arms and move in a circular motion in a big circle. If you haven’t got your bagpipes to hand, don’t fret. The upbeat Slade version of Auld Lang Syne should get people on their feet after a few delicious Singleton whiskey cocktails!
Singleton 12 Year Old whisky For Burns Night
The Singleton 12 year old single malt scotch whisky is the perfect partner for Burns Night. This light-to-medium bodied whiskey contains notes of fresh fruitiness and soft fragrances reminiscent of leather, sandalwood and vanilla. Matured in American oak casks and European oak casks, the result is an easy to enjoy single malt with fruit aromas, a sweet honeyed palate and a creamy lingering finish. The perfect match for poetry, folklore and family time.
The Singleton whisky is an authentic Scotch, created in the Scottish Highland town called Dufftown, renowned as ‘The Whisky Capital Of The World’. Our Singleton Cocktail set combines this malt like no other, with known classics. A choice of something fruitier, or something with a citrus kick - there’s something for all to share. So, although we are all currently at home, we think Burns Night is the perfect opportunity for a little celebration.
Why not create a new family Burns Night tradition that is full of whisky, poetry and Scottish foodie treats? Take your taste buds on a journey to the Scottish Highlands this Burns Night with our Singleton Plus Two Cocktail Set.