Four fun Buckfast twists on classic cocktails for World Buckfast Day

We asked food writer & drinks aficionado, Leila Kean of LUX - The Food & Drink Agency, to come up a Buckfast twist on four classic cocktails to celebrate National Buckfast Day.

Published 14th May 2016
Updated 7 th Apr 2017

National Buckfast Day is back for a second year and it's got us thinking. Why has Scotland's favourite 'tonic' become so oft left upon the shelf when it comes to cocktails?

Stepping up to the plate in a bid to challenge perceptions of 'Bucky cocktails' is drinks aficionado Leila Kean. Here Leila gives us the lowdown on four classic cocktails given a unique Buckfast makeover.

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The Bloody Buckie Mary


Everyone’s favourite brunch cocktail given the ‘Buckie’ makeover? Buckfast has a crazy-high caffeine content, so this is an obvious meeting (or melting of) minds for the morning after the night before.

We’ve seen it done with sherry and port before, so why not tomato juice, vodka and tonic wine?

Verdict: 4/5

Leila says: "A decent Bloody Mary that’d be good enough to kick any hangover into touch, but that sweet red wine-y note wouldn’t be for everyone."

Glasgow Takes Manhattan


We swapped out the usual rye with a blended Scotch, and Buckfast for the usual red vermouth. Did it work? Well, actually...almost.

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That medicinal tang was there, but didn’t altogether fail the whisky.

Verdict: 3/5

Leila says: "Maybe a little on the ‘too fruity side’ for a classic Manhattan, but not altogether awful."


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We tried to avoid this pun, we really did, but we couldn't help it. Could we swap out vermouth for Buckfast in the grown-up gin drinker’s cocktail of choice?

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Verdict: 5/5

Leila says: "Actually, this was the hit of the test session. If you like punchy cocktails, Buckfast is a logical choice and this worked well. A good balance between the bitter and sweet.

"Make sure you give it a healthy stir with ice, pro-bartender style."

The Buckie Royale


Right. So legend goes that this is a bit of a pre-drinks classic in Glasgow, and the liqueur-esque viscosity of Buckfast does mix nicely with fizz.

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Verdict: 3/5

Leila says: "The dark colour was a bit off-putting, if you’re used to the berry hues of say, Chambord or Casis, then this could be right up your street.

"Cherry notes came through first, but it finished with the cough syrup side of things. Don’t think that this will be a challenge to the usual apéro-hour drinks."

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