A Modern Burns Night – Canvas Bars

A Modern Burns Night


 A Modern Burns Night with Aberfeldy

Celebrate Burns Night a little differently this year with an immersive evening of Scotch whisky cocktails with our friends at Aberfeldy. Hosted by Global Brand Ambassador Matthew Cordiner and three of the UK's top bartenders, we bring you an evening that looks at Burns Night in a modern way, celebrating traditions old and new, and of course, inspired by some of Robert Burns' iconic poetry. This is A Modern Burns Night.

Inside the box there is:

  • The Tae an Apple (two serves)
  • The Scot's Mile (two serves)
  • The Róisín Spritz  (two serves)
  • Two Handcrafted Birchwood Coasters
  • Mackie's Haggis Crisps
  • A bespoke playlist of modern Scottish music
  • A Sea Rose-scented Canvas Room Spray
  • Videos to guide the experience from your bartenders 

The Bartenders

Currently heading the bar at zero-waste pioneer restaurant Silo London, Stephen certainly knows his way around a delicious drink. Having worked for the Lyan group in London and former World's Best Bar, Dandelyan he is now taking the opportunity to delving deeper into the ethos of zero-waste in the food & drink industry and we're super excited to see this in his drink, 'Tae an Apple'. 

Self-confessed as 'Charmingly Canadian', Kaitlin has a flair for making Scotch Whisky cocktails that challenge out-of-date stereotypes around how it 'should be' consumed. The Róisín Spritz certainly fits this brief with a deliciously refreshing floral aroma. Before a recent move to Edinburgh with her Scotsman husband, Kaitlin was most recently managing the fantastic team at The Blue Bar, The Berkeley Hotel in London and legend has it she was a global finalist in the 2017 Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition.

Originally from the small west coast town of Saltcoats, Danny now considers himself a full Glaswegian and works in the city's best bar (The Gate) and bottle shop (The Good Spirits Company). When he's not working behind either of these bars/counters, Danny is one of the best drinks photographers in the game. Check out his instagram if you haven't already for the true meaning of 'the first sip is with the eyes' (extra points for spotting cats Walter or Essie in the background). Danny's drink The Scot's Mile takes inspiration from his favourite way to drink Scotch Whisky, 'a hauf an hauf' - a whisky and beer together.

Your host and a local to Craigellachie in Speyside with over 12 years’ experience in the whisky industry, Aberfeldy Global Brand Ambassador Matthew brings with him an abundance of industry knowledge. An expert in immersive whisky education, he is the embodiment of Scottish hospitality and a passionate storyteller - so much so he wrote the Ode to the Haggis Crisp featured in A Modern Burns Night.


(L-R: Matthew, Kaitlin, Danny, Stephen)

The Drinks

First up is 'Tae an Apple by Stephen. Inspired by Auld Lang Syne, Stephen wanted to explore the disconnect between 'old friends' society and nature. Looking to reacquaint us with nature, Stephen used the age old method of preservation to brine the humble apple to create an ingredient which compliments the light and honeyed nature of the Aberfeldy 12. This results in a drink that delivers a full array of apple nuances which, when partnered with the Aberfeldy, acts as the perfect opener to the evening.

Inspired by the Burns' poem A Red, Red Rose, The Róisín Spritz by Kaitlin is a totally unique and fresh take on a Scotch whisky cocktail. A mix of Aberfeldy 12, Fino Sherry, Honey and - of course - a touch of Rose, this drink brings to life a different side of the whisky. One we think works perfectly to refresh and brighten the palette.

Finally, Danny's drink The Scots Mile is a cocktail inspired by the stories & the characters in the Burns poem Tam o Shanter. Reminded of days in the pub with friends, Danny looked to create a drink in tribute to his favourite way to enjoy Scotch whisky, a hauf an hauf - a dram of whisky and half pint of beer. This is brought to life in a homemade IPA Honey to add the beer notes, and then balanced with a bitter aperitif and raspberry liqueur. The final drink is a full-bodied complex sipper, a perfect way to end the night of celebrations.


'Tae an Apple - Aberfeldy 12, 'Sour Apple', White Port, Cold-brew white tea (Allergens: Sulphur dioxides & Sulphites)
The Róisín Spritz - Aberfeldy 12, Fino Sherry, Rose Honey, Bittered Sling Lem-Marrakech bitters (Allergens: Sulphur dioxides & Sulphites)
The Scot's Mile - Aberfeldy 12, IPA Honey Water, Chambord, Bitter Aperitif, Orange bitters (Allergens: Gluten - cereals, Sulphur dioxides & Sulphites)


Beyond the drinks

Looking at such a traditional celebration like Burns Night, we were conscious of striking the balance between keeping certain traditions and challenging others. When it came to the snack for the evening, we felt we simply had to include an element of Haggis. The Mackie's Haggis & Black Pepper crisps are first and foremost, properly delicious, and secondly they now come with their own 'Ode to the Haggis Crisp' thanks to host, Matthew Cordiner. A new tradition you might say? Check out the full video, out soon!


No evening of cocktails feels quite right without some bespoke coasters to serve the drinks on. For A Modern Burns Night, we worked with the amazing team at The Workshop Aberfeldy to create some handcrafted Birchwood coasters that feature the icons representing seven of the stories central to the Aberfeldy distillery. Made from Birch as a nod to the trees found in the Birks of Aberfeldy, these coasters are 100% bespoke for this Canvas Experience.

Setting the ambience with an aroma is always such an integral part of a Canvas Experience and so with this it felt like an opportunity to create a space that felt a little different to perhaps what you would expect. A bright Sea Rose scented Room Spray will help lift the room and transport you to a blustery spring day on the coast.

Finally, to set the mood and to act as the backdrop to the evening is a bespoke playlist of modern Scottish music, celebrating the diversity in the music scene in Scotland. 


This Canvas Experience box is designed to share between two.