Order your special whisky miniatures early for Burns night. Have a look on the Just miniatures web site for plenty of suitable single malts for toasting.
A Burns supper is usually held on or near Burns night (25th January). This is traditionally when the life and works of the famous poet and philanthropist Robert Burns are celebrated.
So that you can have a great Burns night here are a few of the things that you might want to do.
The host welcomes the guests with a specially prepared speech and says grace, for example:
The Selkirk Grace
- Some hae meat and canna eat,
- And some wad eat that want it;
- But we hae meat, and we can eat,
- And sae let the Lord be thankit.
This is a grace as was recited by Robert Burns at Selkirk.
Then the first course is served, often a soup along the lines of Cock-a-leekie, Scotch broth or potato soup.
The Entrance of the haggis
The haggis is brought in on a dish and everyone is upstanding. If you can get hold of a piper it is even better!
It is then that the poem Address to a Haggis is recited by the host or a talented guest.
Once the poem is completed a whisky toast will be proposed to the haggis. The guests may then be seated and tuck into the meal. The haggis forms the main course, along with mashed neeps (diced or mashed swede) and potatoes (tatties).
The remainder of the meal often consists of traditional Scottish recipes, such as Lamb hot pot or Potato, cheese and bacon pie. For desert there could be oatcakes and cheese along with cranachan (mixture of whisky , whipped cream, honey, and fresh raspberries topped with toasted oatmeal) or Tipsy Laird (whisky trifle). This would all be washed down with uisge beatha – the “water of life” – Scotch whisky.
Usually at this point various speeches and toast can be made and given.
The host will proclaim a toast to the health of the ruling monarch “A toast tae the Queen!”
One of the guests can give a short speech about an aspect of Burns’ poetry or life. It is up to the speaker to decide whether to be serious or light-hearted but the ultimate aim is provide entertainment.
Then all present would drink a toast to Robert Burns.
Usually the host will thank the previous speaker and may comment on some aspects of the speech.
There is then a “toast to the Lassies” and a reciprocal “toast to the Laddies” with short speeches complete with appropriate toasts to each others health. Stylistically it can be very effective if the two speakers collaborate with each other so the toasts complement each other.
Once the speeches have concluded there may be singing of songs and reciting of poems by Burns — Ae Fond Kiss, Tam O’Shanter etc.
To close the evening the host can call for a vote of thanks for those who prepared the food, after which everyone is invited to stand, join hands and sing Auld Lang Syne.