5 Tips to Help You Celebrate Burns Night

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It’s a month since Christmas, so you’ve probably done enough hibernating after the seasonal excesses. Celebrate the (slightly) longer evenings and banish the January blues with a Burns Night feast, held on January 25 in honour of Robert Burns – the Scottish bard who brought us “Auld Lang Syne.” And for true inspiration, visit Scotland with cheap car rental from Nova Car Hire.

1. Get your theme right: Whether it’s a formal dinner or a casual get-together, make sure there’s tartan involved somewhere and find some Scottish music that your guests will like.

 2. Choose the right menu: You can’t really have a Burns Night dinner without a haggis. Traditionally made from a mixture of sheep offal, onion, oatmeal,suet, spices, and stock stuffed into a sheep’s stomach, haggis is now more likely to be made in a sausage casing. Serve it with mashed turnip and potato.

 3 Remember the drama: At an authentic Burns Night, the haggis is piped in by bagpipes, toasted with a dram of whisky, and pierced with a dagger before the guests tuck in. (If you’re squeamish about haggis, try some traditional Scottish smoked salmon or Angus beef as an alternative).

4. Get into the spirit: Robert Burns was famously fond of whisky, so get your spirit right. Novices should choose a smooth, unpeated whisky that is easy to drink, or stick to whisky cocktails. If you know your whiskies, try serving a selection of smaller bottles.

 5. Don’t forget Burns: He is Scotland’s most celebrated poet, after all. Try reciting some of Burns’s most famous works, including the immortal “Address to a Haggis.”