What to drink on Robbie Burns Day


burnsIt’s a bit like St. Patrick’s Day, where everyone is suddenly Irish. On Robbie Burns Day, everyone is suddenly a lover of 18thC poetry. In honour of this Robbie Burns Day, I thought I’d post something other than the ever-popular “Address to a Haggis.” Instead, here are the opening stanzas of “Scotch Drink,” along with a recipe for Negus, which my Scottish ancestor used to drink (and which makes an appearance in Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and elsewhere).

“Scotch Drink”

Let other poets raise a fracas
“Bout vines, an’ wines, an’ drucken Bacchus,
An’ crabbit names an’stories wrack us,
An’ grate our lug:
I sing the juice Scotch bear can mak us,
In glass or jug.

O thou, my muse! guid auld Scotch drink!
Whether thro’ wimplin worms thou jink,
Or, richly brown, ream owre the brink,
In glorious faem,
Inspire me, till I lisp an’ wink,
To sing thy name!

Let husky wheat the haughs adorn,
An’ aits set up their awnie horn,
An’ pease and beans, at e’en or morn,
Perfume the plain:
Leeze me on thee, John Barleycorn,
Thou king o’ grain!

…and if Scotch Drink doesn’t appeal, here’s to Negus:

  • 1 quart Port
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg, to taste
  • Whole cloves, to taste
  • 1 quart boiling water

Heat Port but do not let it boil. Stir in the sugar, lemon juice, grated lemon rind, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Let the mixture stand in a warm place for about 15 minutes. Pour boiling water into the warm wine and serve immediately. Garnish with grated lemon rind, if desired.

Negus recipe courtesy of Epicurious; “Scotch Drink” can be read and heard here.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s