Robbie Burns Day Is the Wildest Holiday You Don’t Know About, and This One-Night-Only Toronto Whisky Bar Is the Best Place to Celebrate It


Every New Year’s Eve, drunken revellers belt “Auld Lang Syne” while stumbling into one another at the stroke of midnight. We’d wager most of those carousers (and their old acquaintances) are unaware they’re actually quoting a song written in 1788 by radical Scottish poet Robert Burns. (Face it, most people don’t even really know the words.) And there’s a good chance those sadly uninformed folks go about the rest of the year with nary a thought about ole Robbie B.

But for Scotch whisky enthusiasts and literary types in the know, New Year’s Eve is but a prelude to the real barnburner: Robbie Burns Day. Taking place on January 25, Robbie Burns’ birthday, the fete commemorates the life of the bard (who would have turned 258 this year). At traditional “Burns suppers,” merrymakers eat haggis, drink Scotch whisky, recite the poet’s works, and do that whole bagpipes-and-kilts thing that Scots are so good at. It’s a well proper riot.

This year, the good people at Dewar’s Whisky are putting a modern spin on Robbie Burns Day with their Scotch Egg Club: Snack + Dram Bar. The one-night-only pop-up event on January 25 in Toronto will feature live music, comedy, and a mash-up of traditional Scottish and Canadian bar foods, each snack being paired with a fine Dewar’s cocktail. The celebration will be hosted by award-winning UK comedian and cook George Egg, who we hear has a propensity for repurposing and abusing power tools, gardening, equipment, and office supplies all in the name of irreverent, nonsensical good fun.

The riotous whisky pop-up started in Brooklyn and has since made appearances around the world to toast Tommy Dewar’s three passions: whisky, games, and chickens. Yes, chickens. Besides making the world’s most awarded blended whisky, Tommy Dewar and his sons raised a collection of pedigree chickens whose eggs are said to have been some of the best, whenceforth the storied relationship between scotch eggs and Dewar’s began.

A limited number of tickets to Scotch Egg Club: Snack + Dram Bar on January 25 are available to the public at eventbrite.caHeid doon arse up!

In case you can’t make it to the Scotch Egg Club: Snack + Dram Bar — or are looking to pre-game beforehand — here are a few cocktail recipes you can serve at home, each featuring Dewar’s 12, which is double aged for a smoother taste. Toast the Ploughman Poet in true Scottish style.



1.5 parts DEWAR’S 12 Blended Scotch Whisky
.75 parts Lemon juice
.75 parts Honey syrup
3 slices fresh ginger
Candied ginger garnish

Method: Using a wooden muddler, muddle the fresh ginger in the bottom of a cocktail shaker until it is well mashed. Add the blended Scotch, lemon juice, and honey syrup, and fill shaker with ice. Shake until well chilled (about 20 seconds). Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass (you may wish to double strain through a fine tea strainer to remove the small flecks of ginger), and spray the Islay Scotch over the top.



2 parks DEWAR’S 12 Blended Scotch Whisky
1 part Martini Rossi (Sweet Vermouth)
3 Dashes bittercube Corazon bitters
Garnish with lemon twist

Method: Stir and strain in a rocks glass over large ice cube



1.5 parts DEWAR’S 12 Blended Scotch Whisky
.75 parts Lemon juice
.50 parts Simple syrup
.25 parts. Crème du Mure
Blackberry garnish

Method: Add all ingredients (minus crème de mure) to the glass. Fill with crushed ice and stir. Top with more crushed ice and then drizzle crème du mure on top. Garnish with a fresh blackberry.