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Burns Night

The thought of knocking back whisky while swathed in tartan can seem unappealing, but celebrating Scotland's most famous bard is one of the highlights of the foodie calendar. So throw your own Burns Night bash with whisky picks and a recipe that will sway even the most ardant of haggis naysayers

About the Bard of Ayrshire

Few nights are steeped in treasured cultural heritage like the one dedicated to Robert Burns, perhaps the most recognised Scotsman that ever lived. The poet behind Auld Lang Syne and Tam o' Shanter has been honoured by feasting and toasting since 1801, when nine of his contemporaries gathered to mark the fifth anniversary of his death.

They had so much fun eating haggis and reciting his poetry that they decided to make it an annual party every January for Burns' birthday, and the rest is history.

Now celebrated by Scots and non-Scots alike from England to New Zealand, the night has become a time to gather old friends, raise a glass, try out your best Scottish accent and, of course, indulge in a banquet worthy of the great man himself.

Throw your own Burns Night this January with our recipes using the must-haves of the evening: haggis and whisky.

About the Bard of Ayreshire

Recipe: Macsween sliders

  • PREP: 260min
    COOK: 10min
    352 cal
Macsween sliders recipe

Nutritional info per serving

  • Calories: 352
  • Fat: 19.2g (5.7g saturated)
  • Carbohydrates: 23.6g
  • Sugar: 4.4g
  • Fibre: 2.3g
  • Protein: 13.3g
  • Salt: 0.9g



300g pork mince
227g haggis
5g fresh parsley
30g rapeseed oil
10 x mini brioche buns
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Little gem lettuces
Portobello mushrooms


  1. Chop the fresh parsley.
  2. In a large bowl, break up the haggis and gently mix with the pork mince.
  3. Add the chopped fresh parsley and fold in gently
  4. Form the mixture into 10 small 50g balls.
  5. Flatten the balls and place in fridge to firm up prior to use - it is best to chill them for 4-6 hours in order to rest and the flavour to develop
  6. Heat a skillet to a high heat and add a little rapeseed oil.
  7. Season the sliders to taste and cook for five minutes on either side until golden brown and piping hot.
  8. Serve in the mini buns with lettuce, fried mushroom and your choice of garnish.

A wee dram

The traditionalist

It doesn't get more classic than this creamy 12-year-old single malt made from the waters of the River Spey.

Shop the Speyside whisky

The American interloper

Go for bold with this spicy version made using Midwestern grains and cut with Rocky Mountain water.

Shop Tin Cup whisky

The conversation starter

Whisky from England? Yes, and made in the first working English Whisky distillery in over 100 years.

Shop the English whisky

The exotic choice

A rich, complex blend full of caramel, chocolate and spice from India's first Single Malt Distillery.

Shop Paul John Indian whisky

Recipe: Spiced hot chocolate with whisky

  • PREP: 20min
    COOK: 5min
    620 cal
Spiced hot chocolate with whisky recipe

Nutritional info per serving

  • Calories: 620
  • Fat: 45g (19g saturated)
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Sugar: 30g
  • Fibre: 4g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Salt: 0g



150g plain chocolate
4 tbsp whisky
Grated chocolate or cocoa to decorate
1 litre semi-skimmed milk
200ml double cream
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick


  1. Bruise the cardamom pods. Break the plain chocolate into pieces.
  2. Heat the milk, half the cream and the spices in a saucepan until almost boiling.
  3. Set aside to infuse for 20 minutes, then strain the liquid into a clean pan.
  4. Add the chocolate pieces to the pan and whisk over a medium heat, until melted.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the whisky.
  6. Pour into four heatproof glasses.
  7. Softly whip the remaining cream and spoon over.
  8. Sprinkle with grated chocolate and serve immediately.


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Dining table surrounded by tartan-print chairs

A touch of tartan

Whether you're celebrating Burns Night or not, add a touch of Scotland with our tartan-tastic ideas for your dining room

Shop tartan chairs

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