Wine, whisky and song to make Rabbie’s night

Celebrate spring with some special cocktails
Celebrate spring with some special cocktails

Burns Night, as we know, is the perfect excuse for a Scottish-themed party.

A pre-dinner cocktail will help get everyone into the spirit. Try mixing a drink with The Black Grouse, Famous Grouse (£17.95, 70cl, {http:// www.thewhiskyexchange.com|www.thewhiskyexchange.comk|Click here to visit The Whisky Exchange}) – its soft, peaty flavours with apple, spice and smoky notes will even appeal to ‘non-whisky’ drinkers.

A Smoked Orchard uses 25ml Black Grouse, 1 wedge of fresh lime, cranberry juice, apple juice. Half-fill a highball glass with ice. Add the whisky, squeeze the lime wedge into the glass and top with equal measures of cranberry juice and apple juice. Stir and serve with two cranberries.

Fans of rich, full bodied malt whiskies should try a wee dram of Old Harry 8 Year Old Malt Whisky (£25, 70cl, www.laithwaites.co.uk) which pairs well with the slight sweetness of cock-a-leekie. A blended malt, the sweet, fruity palate with orange peel, spice and a light peatiness has depth to last until the haggis is piped in.

If whisky isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other tipples to match a Highland feast.

A white wine punctuated with grapefruit and gooseberry is a refreshing aperitif or can be served with smoked fish starters as well as soup. Try Finest Boranup Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012, Western Australia (£9.99, Tesco) with a herbaceous nose, zesty, citrus fruit and a flinty minerality on the finish.

A red wine with gusto will complement the haggis, neeps and tatties. Try the rich, warm and plummy Saint Roch Cotes du Roussillon, France (£6.99, Morrisons) made from a blend of low-yielding, old vine syrah and grenache. This wine also has enough depth of flavour to go with Scotch beef with peppercorn sauce as well as the peppery stuffing and gravy.