8 easy-to-make whisky cocktails to celebrate Burns night - including an Irn Bru old fashioned

Crack open the home bar and try these easy to make whisky cocktails, which are ideal for Burns night.

Published 23rd Jan 2024
Updated 23 rd Jan 2024

It's almost Burns night, which means many will be partaking in a dram or two. If you'd rather drink your whisky as a cocktail or cocktails then there are plenty of options,

With this in mind, we've compiled a list of easy-to-make cocktails from classics to those with a modern twist.

The Rusty Nail

whisky cocktails


  • 1 part (recommended 25ml) Drambuie
  • 1 Large rock of ice
  • 1 individual Lemon Twist
  • 2 parts (recommended 50ml) Scotch Whisky


Build over ice in a rocks glass and stir. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Tomatin Rob Roy

whisky cocktails


  • 60ml Tomatin Legacy
  • 15ml Carpano antica formula
  • 15ml Ginjinha liqueur or cherry liqueur
  • 3 dash angostura
  • 3 dash angostura orange
  • 2 dash barrel-aged bitters 


Add the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Classic Old Fashioned

whisky cocktails
Picture: Loch Lomond Old Fashioned, supplied


  • 50ml whisky
  • Sugar
  • Three dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Orange peel
  • Lemon peel


Rub a piece of orange peel on the inside of a glass.

Add a pinch of sugar.

Then add three dashes of Angostura bitters and 50ml of whisky - Loch Lomond 12 or Glen Moray Elgin Classic.

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Add three ice cubes.

Garnish with a twist of lemon peel and then it’s ready to serve.

The Bobby Burns

Bobby Burns


  • 40ml Glen Grant 12 year old
  • 30ml Cinzano 1757 Rosso
  • 7.5ml Benedictine


Add all the ingredients for the Bobby Burns into a glass or mixing jug, and stir with ice until cold.

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If using a jug or shaker to stir, pour into a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Whisky sour


  • 50ml whisky of your choice (we recommend a decent blend, though nothing too smokey – unless you want to experiment)
  • Half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • soda water


Pour the whisky – over ice – into an old fashioned whisky glass (the fat bottomed tumbler kind if you have one, if not any tumbler will do),  then add the juice of half of the lemon and half a teaspoonful of sugar.

Shake the glass before adding the soda water to serve. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Irn Bru old fashioned


  • 50ml whisky
  • 15ml Irn Bru syrup*
  • splash of water
  • Dash of bitters (such as Angostura bitters)
  • Block of ice


Add all ingredients to a small tumbler or mixing glass.

Stir down with a bar spoon until chilled.

Serve with a garnish of sliced orange or orange peel.

*To make Irn Bru syrup - boil equal parts sugar and water (for example 400ml of each) until reduced to a syrupy texture. Add Irn Bru and boil for about five minutes.

Hidden Gem whisky cocktail

Taylor Brown, bar manager at Duck & Waffle Edinburgh has shared this easy to make whisky cocktail recipe, which you can also enjoy at the bar this month.


  • 20ml Macallan 15 year old
  • 10ml Oloroso sherry
  • 10ml orange and Tonka bean syrup*
  • Splash champagne


Pour ingredients over ice into a coupette or martini glass and stir, top with Philipponnat Champagne
and serve.

*How to make your own orange and Tonka bean syrup

Gently heat 500ml of strained fresh orange juice, 500g sugar, 100ml water and 5 whole Tonka beans
cracked in 2.

Mix until all the ingredients are combined (don't let this boil).

Let the syrup cool down to room temp naturally, before straining and bottling to use in your cocktail.

The Walker's 125

Walker’s has put a contemporary twist on a classic cocktail to create The Walker’s 125.

Based on the classic Old Fashioned, the cocktail celebrates Scottish heritage by incorporating whisky, honey oat liqueur and Walker’s Shortbread Fingers to create a well-balanced cocktail. A modern dram fit to toast the bard!


  • 37.5ml Glenlivet Founders Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • 37.5ml Liquid Oats Sweet Vanilla and Honey
  • 2 Walker’s Shortbread Fingers (You can find Walker’s Shortbread in major grocery stores including Sainsburys, Waitrose and Morrisons and online)
  • Honey or sugar syrup


Start by crushing one Walker’s Shortbread Fingers and set to the side

Coat the rim of your chosen glass (a fancy lowball or rocks glass works) in honey or sugar syrup

Dip your glass into your shortbread crumbs to coat/decorate the rim

Carefully pour The Glenlivet Founder's Reserve and Liquid Oats Sweet Vanilla and Honey Liqueur into your glass and stir down until smooth on the palate, or approx. for 20-30 seconds

Serve with the remaining Walker’s Shortbread Finger and enjoy!

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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