Excluding haggis and the deep-fried Mars Bar Scottish cosine can be a bit of an unknown factor, Scottish drinks on the other hand are extremely famous, particularly Whisky.
So, in the next part of our national drinks series, what are the best Scottish drinks you simply have to try?
The best Scottish Drinks – 10 must tries
We have picked 10 drinks from Scotland that we feel help complete a trip to this wonderful land, but as always they are not in order, but by category. Check out our Scottish drinks list and let us know if we missed any out.
Best Scottish soft-drink
Made in Scotland from Girders! OK, so Whisky, rather than Whiskey would probably top most peoples list, but Irn Bru is also right up there. AS the marketing campaign says “Scotland’s other national drink”.
Produced in Westfield, Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, by A.G. Barr of Glasgow it is notably available throughout the UK, but even the world. I just purcahsed Iron Bru in Cambodia! It is carbonated drink with a really unique flavor, almost like a Champagne Cola. It goes fabulously with vodka might I add!
Most comparable with Colombiana which you can read about here.
Scottish drinks – Scotch
There’s whiskey and there’s Scotch Whisky, other countries might try do it, but no one does it like Scotland. To qualify as a proper scotch just three ingredients are used, water, barley and yeast. A true scots must then be aged for at least 3 years, although true greats like Glenfidich, or the Glenlivet need 12 years to mature. A glasss can cost a few quid, or hundreds and any time spent in Scotland should include trips to distilleries.
Fun fact North Korean Whisky was inspired by Scottish whisky making methods.
Scottish Drinks – Tennents Lager
Whisky and Irn-Bru are popular, but Tennents Lager outshines them all. Not only is it in the top ten lagers in the world, but local sales make it the national drink of the country. They also make a Super Tennents, which is popular among bums, teenagers and amazing for some reason the Italians.
Not to be confused with Special Brew, which you can read about here.
Best Scottish Liquor – Drambuie – Scottish Liquor
You cannot talk about Scottish drinks without eventually getting to Drambuie. Of course and as expected it is whisky based, but also includes heather honey.The MacKinnon family have produced Drambuie for over a hundred years in Edinburgh and it goes sinto probably the most famous Scottish cocktail, a “Rusty Nail” – we will delve into cocktails later on.
Scottish Craft Beer
Much ike has been seen in the rest of the UK and indeed tthe world Craft Beer is really starting to become a thing in Scotland. Much like in England the high cost of pus has seen a growth in the Micro-Brewery and Micro-Pub scene, great, but small bars not held under the noose of a brewery. From Glasgow to Aberdeen, you can now find some great Scottish Scottish craft beer and micro-breweries.
Scottish drinks – Cider
Cider has of ocurse seen somewhat of a renaissance over the last few years, with stuff like Sotherby’s being known the world over. Sotkand though also have a vibrant Cider scene, although it is more traditional than the new local upstarts.
There are lots of great Scottish ciders, not all may I add made from Apples, but if AI were to pick a top one it would be Clyde Cider a classically strong dry affair.
Best Scottish Gin
Gin might be more considered quintessentially English, but the Scots drink a fair share of the stuff and you will not be out of place ordering a G&T in the highlands!
The most famous Scottish Gin is Caorunn, which is found the world dover, but in fact Scotland makes almost 200 varieties of Gin, all of it well worth a try.
Scottish Drinks – Scottish cocktails
There’s an amusing anecdote that goes a little something like this – guy goes into a bar in Glasgow asks for a lager top (lager with a dash of Sprite) only for the bartender to reply “We don’t do cocktails”. Things have changed somewhat and Edinburgh in particular has lots of hipster cocktail bars and of yourse Long Island Iced Tea is popular in Glasgow…
The original Scottish cocktail though is the Rusty Nail, as previously mentioned. Drambuie and Scotch, the beauty being the simplicity. Another classic of course is the Whisky Old Fashioned, which also utilizes bitters and sugars. You can of course find this the world over, but you’ve only truly had it in Scotland. Amusing “Old fashioned” is now a euphemism for masturbate, but again I digress somewhat.
Is there Scottish Wine? Yes believe it, or not tehre is and much like English wine is enjoying somewhat of hipster fashionable renaissance. True you will not exactly see it in every bar and restaurant, but there are at least five well known Scottish wineries.
Probably the most famous grape winery in Scotland is Chateau Largo, located in the Fife region, which is north of capital city of Edinburgh. It is by the sea, has a lightly warmer climate and could be said to be the most wine-friendly part of Scotland. Started on 2015 they use a hybrid grapevines, such as Siegerrebe, which can stand the harsh cold realities of the region. Now whilst the first batch was deemed “undrinkable” since then they have made a bit of a name for themselves. Ironically if gobble warming continues as it does Scotland could be one of the wine powerhouses of the future.
You can check the Scottish wine scene here
And the most infamous of Scottish drinks? Buckfast Tonic Wine
An extremely strong Tonic Wine originally made by transit monks that goes back to the 1890’s. All nice so far right? The classic Green, or White bottle is 15% proof and is the favorite drink of alcoholics and underage drinkers. One bottle will not only get your drunk, but has the equivalent caffeine of 8 cans of coke.
Buckfast was the the original Vodka Red Bull before anyone had even thought caffeine and booze were a good idea! Along with Whisky and an Irn Bru, there is no more iconic a Scottish drink than Buckfast!
Scottish drinks bonus round – Can you drink the water?
Scotland has some of the best tap-water in the world and bottles many a brand from springs to sell around the world. Indeed the only correct mixer for Scotch Whisky is Scottish Water!
How do you say cheers in Scottish?
It is important to know how to say cheers in any language and while the Scots mostly speak English (kinda) there is Scots Gaelic – to say cheers in this brogue is
“slàinte mhath” , which similarly to the Irish word for cheers means “good health”.
And that is the overall skinny on Scottish Drinks scene, and of course the latest in the Street Food Guy’s national drink series!