As Scotland’s green summer leaves turn to golden hues, the approach of autumn also heralds a busy social season that starts with Halloween and Bonfire Night before moving on to the full-blown hootenannies of Christmas and Hogmanay.
And if you’re partial to a moderate tipple to get things suitably swinging, you might be on the lookout for some seasonal spirit mixes that warm the cockles of your heart, charm significant others, mesmerise guests and pacify parents.
With that in mind, here are three Scottish cocktails for the party season – and the fantastic foods that accompany them perfectly.
- Scottish Dark and Stormy
As autumn winds its way toward winter, the weather can get a bit dreich – so what better way to warm yourself up than with a Scottish Dark and Stormy cocktail?
Mix lively Dark Matter spiced rum with Old Jamaica ginger beer and crushed ice, garnish with a slice of lime and serve with a straw.
This Caledonian/Caribbean fusion tipple tastes terrific and has enough kick to keep out the cold and make you feel sunny inside and out.
Soak it up with: jerk chicken from Fatboys at Sauchiehall Street’s Broadcast bar.
2. Caledonian Cosmo
Caorunn small batch Scottish gin is lovingly crafted in Speyside, and its sweet, fruity warmth makes it a magnificent main ingredient of a Caledonian Cosmopolitan cocktail.
The Caorunn website orders us to mix 50ml of its signature gin with 25ml Cointreau, 25ml framboise syrup and 25ml lemon juice, then to sit back and sip the night away – so who are we to argue?
The gin renaissance is still in full surge and with brands like Caorunn and Eden Mill, Scotland’s riding the crest of the wave.
Soak it up with: a homemade sumptuous salmon risotto courtesy of Italian foodies Riso Gallo.
3. Abbey Sour
Buckfast tonic wine isn’t made in Scotland, but we’ve embraced it as enthusiastically as if it bled tartan blood.
But the Buckie website now boasts a host of gourmet cocktail recipes which mean you’re no longer forced to guzzle the famous electric soup straight from the bottle.
The best of these blends is the Abbey Sour, which is created with 35ml of a good blended whisky like Chivas Regal, 25ml of Buckfast, 25ml lemon juice and 10 ml egg white. Add the Buckfast last and shake over ice cubes to chill.
Soak it up with: a mouthwatering haggis pizza from Scots-Italian scran specialist Cosmo’s – thank us later.
Any one of these three Scottish cocktails will put a spring in your step this autumn and winter, although it’s probably wise not to mix all three on any given evening and it’s always savvy to line your stomach with one of our recommended dishes.
Mix up some magic today and you’ll soon become a cocktail convert.
That’s our list! Share your own Scottish cocktail tips in the comments section.