Canada’s Best Chefs + a Whole Lot of Whisky + You: Here’s How to Get Into Toronto’s Coolest Whisky Event


Each year on January 25th, literary types and Scotch whisky lovers (there’s a lot of overlap in that Venn diagram) celebrate Robbie Burns Day, commemorating the birthday of 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns. At traditional “Burns suppers,” revelers eat Scottish food, drink Scotch whisky, and recite Scottish poetry, by Burns and others. As writerly legacies go, Burns’s annual light-hearted celebration of art and drink seems hard to top. Hemingway Day, which would be spent alone, bitter, hiding from God, wouldn’t have the same allure.

This year, a new twist on Robbie Burns Day is coming to Toronto: The Scotch Egg Club, a pop-up speakeasy sponsored by Dewar’s Whisky, is bringing together six renowned Canadian chefs for a Scotch egg cook-off. Each cook will put his or her own twist on the delicious Scottish favorite (typically, but not always, consisting of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat and bread crumbs, then baked or deep fried). Then, at a special, one-night-only tasting event on January 25th hosted by acclaimed Scottish chef James Forrest, it’s up to the public to decide which of the three semifinalists did Robbie Burns the most proud.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Robbie Burns Day without plentiful high-quality Scotch, which is where Dewar’s comes in. Each of the competing chefs’ Scotch eggs will be paired with Dewar’s whisky, of course, which you’ll appreciate once the evening’s promised, but unspecified, “chicken games” begin. This is no gimmick: In the 19th century, Dewar’s co-owner Tommy Dewar was famous for a passion for chickens that rivaled his affinity for whisky. Dewar and his sons raised a collection of pedigree chickens whose eggs were considered some of the best, and the relationship between Scotch eggs and whisky was born.

A limited number of tickets to the January 25th Scotch Egg Club are available to the public at Don’t be a Hemingway; make Robbie proud.

Can’t make it to the Scotch Egg Club on January 25? Here are a couple cocktail recipes you can serve at home to pay tribute to Robbie Burns in true Scottish style.


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2 oz. Aberfeldy 12
1 oz. Martini Rossi (Sweet Vermouth)
3 Dashes bitter cube Corazon bitters
Garnish with lemon twist
Method: Stir and strain in a rocks glass over large cube of ice


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1.5 oz. Dewar’s 12 Blended Scotch Whisky
0.75 oz. Lemon juice
0.75 oz. Honey/Ginger syrup
Aromatize with Smoky Isla Whisky
Garnish with candied ginger
Method: Shake and strain in a rocks glass


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1.5 oz. Craigellachie 13
0.5 oz. B&B
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish with orange twist
Method: Stir and strain in a rocks glass over large cube of ice


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1.5 oz. Dewar’s 12 Blended Scotch Whisky
3 oz. Green Tea
3 oz. Soda Water
Garnish with lemon twist
Method: Stir and strain in hi-ball glass over ice