The Bobby Burns is named to recognize and remember Robert Burns, a late 18th-Century poet probably most well known for his New Year's anthem "Auld Lang Syne," that song that no one really remembers the words of. Robert Burns is adored in Scotland, and I mean they almost worship this guy. He wrote a lot of poetry, much of it somewhat bawdy, and all of it fit to be set to music. And most of it has. It's no coincidence that the drink named after him is made with Scotch. As Bobby Burns himself wrote about the excise tax on whiskey,
Scotland, my auld, respected mither!
Tho' whiles ye moistify your leather,
Till, whare ye sit on craps o' heather,
Ye tine your dam;
Freedom an' whisky gang thegither!
Take aff your dram!
I enjoy a good Scotch, but it isn't the kind of drink I can drink quickly or drink more than one or two of. I keep a good single malt in my cabinet. I enjoy the Deanston 12, so I generally keep that for sipping. But the Bobby Burns is a mixed drink, so I figured a decent Scotch would do, something like Chivas Regal. I was excited about trying this one.
Stir together these ingredients:
Then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- 2 oz. Scotch
- 0.75 oz. Italian sweet vermouth (Martini and Rossi)
- 0.5 oz. Benedictine
Now if you're not familiar with Benedictine, it's a liquor first made by monks in 1510. It's sweet with a strong hint of cloves, and it reminds me of Drambuie, so I thought this would taste like a Rusty Nail, a drink I will describe in a later blog, I hope.
But it doesn't taste anything like a Rusty Nail, at least not the drinks I made. In fact, I had trouble finishing it. Two of our Stay at Home Cocktail tasters left their classes half full.
First of all, there's the smell, strong and sweet and somewhat rancid. And the taste was nothing like a Rusty Nail. The terrible taste made me wonder whether my Scotch had gone bad, or if it was just bad Scotch.
All in all, the Bobby Burns we made would have made the poet shriek, not sing. It was the first failure of our Stay at Home Cocktails, and it made me rethink making each person a whole drink the first time we try something. After all, wasting shots of Scotch and Benedictine is quite expensive.
The verdict: don't try the Bobby Burns at home.