Bobby Burns Recipe

Often associated with the Scottish poet, the Bobby Burns recipe is a delicious whisky cocktail.
Bobby Burns Recipe







Bobby Burns Cocktail Recipe Ingredients

50ml Scotch Whisky
45ml Sweet Vermouth
22.5ml Bénédictine

How To Make The Bobby Burns Recipe

Chill a martini or coupe glass. A Nick and Nora glass will also work nicely.

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with cubed ice. Stir well with a bar spoon for around 30 seconds.

Strain the mix into the chilled glass and then garnish with a chunk of shortbread. Simply delicious.



Tell Us About The Bobby Burns Recipe

Many people see the name and immediately associate the cocktail with Scottish poet Robert Burns.

Whilst this may be true, and the cocktail is a staple at Burns Night celebrations, this may not have been the original inspiration.

Drinks expert Simon Difford writes that this drink was first recorded in 1900 as the “Baby Burns” in Bishop and Babcock Company’s Fancy Drinks Recipe Guide.

This version of the drink included only a teaspoon of vermouth, a teaspoon of Bénédictine liqueur, and a pony (around 28ml) of Scotch.

A version of the cocktail then appears in Albert Steven Crockett’s Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Days from 1931.

This book of cocktails from the famous hotel calls the drink the “Robert Burns”.

Crockett notes that whilst the drink may have been named after the poet, “chances are, however, that it was named after a cigar salesman who ‘bought’ in the Bar.”

The Waldorf Astoria cocktail tweaked the recipe slightly, adding in a dash of orange bitters and absinthe!

This delightful whisky cocktail recipe is then listed in it’s recognisable form in Harry Craddock’s seminal The Savoy Cocktail Book.

In it, Craddock calls for a mix of equal parts Scotch and vermouth, with only three dashes of Bénédictine.

The Cocktail Society’s modernised recipe adds more of the herbal liqueur which adds a dash of spice.


Variations On The Bobby Burns Recipe

Bobby Burns – The Savoy Cocktail Book

1/2 Italian Vermouth
1/2 Scotch Whisky
3 Dashes Bénédictine

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Squeeze a a twist of lemon peel on top.


Baby Burns – Fancy Drinks Recipe Guide

1 Teaspoon Vermouth
1 Teaspoon Bénédictine
1 pony Scotch Whisky

Stir the ingredients, squeeze a lemon peel over the top and strain into a cocktail glass.

A pony works out to around 28ml in modern measurments.


Robert Burns – Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Days

Dash of Orange Bitters
Dash of Absinthe
One-quarter Italian Vermouth
Three Quarters Scotch Whisky

Stir all ingredients with ice, and then strain


Expert Tip

Sampling variations on the Bobby Burns cocktail recipe will pay dividends.

First try, the original recipe from the Savoy Cocktail Book above, then try our version to see how the levels of Bénédictine adapt the drink.

Or you could take David A. Embury’s advice. In The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks he mentions that in some versions the Bénédictine is switched for Drambuie.

The liqueur has a Scotch whisky base and so complements the drink well.


What to Try If You Liked The Bobby Burns Cocktail?

Firstly, check out our collection of other great whisky cocktails to enjoy on Burns Night. These easy cocktails with whisky will ensure you have an enjoyable evening commemorating the bard.

Our mixologists even go into detail on the best whisky brands to drink for Burns Night.

Gifts for Whisky Lovers

If you’re looking for some inspiration for a cocktail gift our Old Fashioned Cocktail Making Kit is a great way to celebrate.

With everything you need to make bar quality cocktails at home, our kits include only the finest ingredients – Woodford Reserve Whisky and Angostura Bitters for a delicious quality cocktail.

Old Fashioned Cocktail Making Kit from The Cocktail Society

Or, take the hassle out of Burns Night with an Old Fashioned bottled cocktail.

Hand-batched by our expert mixologists, the delicious smoky notes combine with Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey to make this is a whisky lovers dream.

Bottled ready-to-drink and deliciously smooth, our bottled cocktails are available in both 200ml and 500ml. Just add ice.

The Cocktail Society Smoked Old Fashioned Bottled Cocktail

Find out more