the most stylish Burns Night Cocktail


by Camilla Ridley

Celebrating my birthday on Burns Night has been the perfect excuse to sample various Scottish themed cocktails over the years. But without doubt the very best and our Burns Night family cocktail of choice is the Flying Scotsman. Tasty, stylish and incredibly easy to make. There really is no better way to get your Burns Night off to a bang!


A super stylish and tasty Flying Scotsman whiskey cocktail, our favourite Burns Night cocktail alongside one of our fully customisable Ridley London silk tartan velvet maxi skirts, a timeless addition for your Burns Night wardrobe.

As I'm sure you can well imagine, sharing a Birthday with the great Rabbie Burns has lead to an awful lot of Burns Night themed birthday bashes over the years. Some of them have been incredibly raucous events and others more elegant affairs. But in my mind no Burns Night Celebration would be complete without a stylish cocktail to get your evening off to a bang and for me nothing comes close to this very tasty, simple and visually elegant Flying Scotsman. Especially if it's served shaken in a frozen Martini glass. You can always use a good quality tumbler if you prefer.

You may have heard of the legendary Flying Scotsman steam locomotive which was without the most stylish way to travel across the border in the roaring twenties. The train broke the speed record for steam at more than 200 km/h, a record which still stands to this day. Given this status, it wasn't going to take long for the mixologists to get cracking and the eponymous cocktail was created by the Savoy Hotel in London's legendary barman Henry Craddock. But the Flying Scotsman cocktail wasn’t just named after the famous locomotive, it was actually created for it and served on board as the house cocktail of choice. I mean seriously, what could be more stylish, authentically Scottish and guaranteed to transport you back to a time where style, elegance and speed were all the rage.

As a rule, I'm not a whiskey drinker, I despise its flavour and tend to run a mile from any whiskey cocktails fearing an apocalyptic hangover the next day. However this one really is special. The whiskey flavour is hidden by the other ingredients and of course you can reduce the strength and drink it long without any noticeable impact to flavour. This classic Whisky cocktail is made by blending single malt whisky with sweet vermouth and adding a splash of bitters and syrup. We tend to use a blend whiskey as it's way more cost effective and my husband doesn't believe anything should be mixed with a good single malt apart from a few drops of water to get the flavour going.


60ml Single Malt Whisky (2oz)

60 ml Sweet Vermouth (2oz) – We used Martini Rosso

1 tsp Sugar Syrup (0.3oz) – We made our own, see below

1 tsp Angostura Bitters (0.2oz)


Lemon twist

Cocktail Shaker


Frozen Martini or Rocks Glass


A Images showing the beautiful Flying Scotsman Locomotive complete with it's on board cocktail bar which was advertised in the most stylish way


Fill your shaker and glass with ice to cool. Pour the Whisky, Vermouth, Syrup and Bitters over the ice. Cover and shake well for 20-30 secs. Empty ice from your now cooled glass. Use your strainer and pour the cocktail into your glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon. This cocktail can be made by stirring rather than shaking, it’s not the traditional method but will work and means you can make the Flying Scotsman without a cocktail shaker. 

To make a lemon twist cut your lemon in half then cut a thin slice, leaving you with a round slice of lemon. With a sharp knife cut around the outside of the lemon, keeping in the pith but not making it too thin.

Ridley London's collection of customised dresses, skirts, tops, and tailoring is available to purchase online and in Ridley's Barnes store. Celebrate your individuality this season with a unique piece that's  individually crafted to flatter from your choice of any of our stunning new printed floral or solid silks or cottons. Or call us to arrange a virtual fitting: 

Ridley London, 82 Church Road, Barnes, London SW13 0DQ T: 01730 823097

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