Hosting the perfect Burns Supper

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So how do you host the perfect Burns Supper?  Across the globe we celebrate the life and works of our famous Scottish Bard on the 25th January.  Haggis, neaps and tatties followed by clootie dumpling are standard, but it is the additional treats that will make a special night.

In Geraldo’s of Largs we have a wide range of malt whiskies to toast Robert Burns.  We also stock deliciously moist Whisky Cakes and a wide range of Scottish shortbread to nibble on during the Burns recitals.  Here are some recommendations…..

Robert Burns Single Malt

This is the official Isle of Arran Distillery Single Malt endorsed by The Robert Burns World Federation. Made from 70% Bourbon Casks and 30% Sherry Casks, this light aromatic Single Malt is ideal for drinking with your haggis.

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Ashers Whisky Cakes

Choose from 3 single malt Ashers Whisky Cakes. Deliciously moist fruit cakes laced with single malt whisky from the Highlands, Islands & Speyside.

Shortbread House of Edinburgh

The perfect accompaniment to a wee dram has to be shortbread.  Shortbread House of Edinburgh pride themselves on making everything by hand to ensure that the taste, texture and appearance is far superior to mass produced products.

If you need some more suggestions on how to host your own Burns Supper, have a look at Visit Scotland’s guide.  No matter how you celebrate our great Bard, the main thing is to have fun.  We’ll raise a glass to that!

Slainte!

 

How are you celebrating Robert Burns night on 25th Jan?

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With less than a week to go you don’t have to be Scottish to celebrate the life and works of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, on the 25th of January.  Why not invite friends and family over for a Burns Night party? Include a mix of traditional dishes such as cock-a-leekie soup and spiced haggis, neeps and tatties followed by clootie dumpling or crannachan for dessert washed down with a small glass of warming malt whisky. And don’t forget some shortbread or Scottish tablet to nibble on whilst you all recite your favourite Burns poems.

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Here at Sugar & Spice we have a selection of whiskies and Scottish produce to help you add that all-important finishing touch to your supper table.  Our Burns Supper recommendations are as follows:-

Robert Burns Single Malt
This is the official Isle of Arran Distillery Single Malt endorsed by The Robert Burns World Federation. Made from 70% Bourbon Casks and 30% Sherry Casks, this light aromatic Single Malt is ideal for drinking with your haggis.

Robert Burns Malt

Walkers Shortbread 
With a vast range to choose from, our favourite as a ‘gift tae gie’ to your host or to your guests ‘tae go’ is their classic Keepsake Tin of four of their most popular mini shortbread varieties.

Keepsake Tin

Arran Handmade Chocolates
Keeping with an Ayrshire theme doesn’t everyone love some chocolates with their coffee after dinner? The Arran Chocolate Factory produce chocolates for Arran and chocolates for us.  If you haven’t tried them already we have 12 to choose from, all hand picked and boxed while you wait.

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If you’re still stuck for ideas on holding your own Burns Supper then download this handy eBook for all you need to know.  All that’s left to do is have fun and enjoy!

Slainte!

Robert Burns World Federation Dinner

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Recently I was asked to produce a Whisky Ice Cream for 300 people attending the inaugural dinner of the Robert Burns World Federation.

Dignitaries from around Ayrshire and beyond attended the event at Greenwood Academy in Dreghorn on Saturday, 13th Sept 2014 after holding their AGM and conference in the Menzies Hotel in Irvine.  North Ayrshire’s Facilities Manager, Ken Campbell, asked me to prepare a Whisky Ice Cream of my own choosing for the occasion so it had to be something special.  I’m slowly getting to grips with the complexities of the many fantastic whiskies out there but this was the first time I’d tried mixing it with ice cream.

After discussing some options with one of the ice cream industry’s advisors, I personally decided on the Bowmore 12YO Malt from Islay.  The late, great whisky writer, Michael Jackson, proclaimed it as “remarkably long and complex.”  For me, that was exactly what I wanted to achieve with my ice cream; a taste sensation that really lingered.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Even the distillery, one of the oldest in Scotland, say their Bowmore 12 YO is like vanilla ice cream at a beach bonfire.

I couldn’t have got a better combination.  My ice cream is almost 10% full cream and I needed something to cut through that without being too overpowering.  Bowmore’s trademark peaty smokiness balanced with a subtle taste of honey and lemon was ideal. The end result was a very intensely whisky flavoured ice cream (4% alcohol) with a light ripple of caramelised whisky sauce.

After posting some pics and and tweets of the resultant flavour, I have to say that customers have responded with requests for more, more, more!  It’s been on sale in my cabinet (at no extra cost) for the last few days and has been a huge success.  This one’s adults only of course (sorry kids) but has inspired me to try some more combinations as we start to go into the autumn/winter.  Any suggestions?

Sláinte!

Celebrate World Whisky Day on Sat 17th May…

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The month of May heralds the season for Whisky Festivals all over Scotland starting with the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival this weekend and Islay’s Malt and Music Festival at the end of the month.

Launched in 2012 by Aberdeen student Blair Bowman, World Whisky Day, now officially the 3rd Sat in May, is gaining huge popularity worldwide as more people discover the complexities of this fantastic spirit.

My first dram was only a few years ago after a busy day’s trading one Saturday night when my brother popped in at closing time for a chat. Sitting behind my counter, with the shop door locked, he commented on my range of whiskies and suggested we try one. Glenmorangie was the choice that evening and so began my love affair with “the water of life” and the ultimate instigator for a great night’s conversation.

I’m no whisky snob although I prefer mine with just a dash of water, as is recommended, but my top tipple for now is Aberlour’s A’bunadh Cask Strength from Speyside aged in Oloroso sherry butts. It’s strong, smooth and creamy and the most delicious whisky I’ve tasted; a drink to cherish and enjoy slowly and keep permanently stocked in my shop.

Another favourite of mine and much closer to home is the Robert Burns Malt from the Arran Distillery and for those of you who are new to the delights of Whisky and want to try something a little creamier, the Arran Gold Liqueur is one of my top sellers.

As with everything at Sugar & Spice I like to stock and promote “all things nice” whether it’s Whisky, chocolate, ice cream or fine confectionery. Throughout May we’ll be carrying out tastings of some of my favourite whiskies from each of the regions along with Gardiner’s of Scotland Whisky Fudges (the best there is) and some speciality chocolate bars I believe perfectly compliment Whisky. If you’re not a lover of the very peaty Ardbeg just wait till you try it with chocolate. Amazing combination!!!

So pop in, try something different and get ready to celebrate.

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Slainte!

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