The holidays are here and I’m launching a new mystery series, so I feel like celebrating. Plaid and Plagiarism, book #1 in the Highland Bookshop Mysteries comes out tomorrow. The stories take place in Scotland, a place I dearly love, in a West Coast Highland town called Inversgail (which doesn’t exist except in my head and in the books). What better way to celebrate the season and the book, then, than with a traditional Highland drink—Atholl Brose.
According According to F. Marian McNeill in her 1929 book, The Scots Kitchen, “Atholl Brose emerges from the Highland mists in the year 1475, but may well be much older. It is mentioned by Scott in The Heart of Midlothian, and by Robert Louis Stevenson in Kidnapped.”
There are various recipes for Atholl Brose. All of them call for oatmeal, honey, and whisky, with the addition of cream for festive occasions. This is kind of a festive occasion, so I’ll share my favorite recipe from McNeill’s book—it’s one she got from Williamina Macrae.
Beat one and a half teacupfuls of double cream to a froth; stir in one teacupful of very lightly toasted oatmeal; add half a cup of dripped heather honey and, just before serving, two wine-glasses of whisky. Mix thoroughly and serve in shallow glasses.
Good health to you! Slainte mhath!
(Having a larger celebration? Click here for a recipe that serves 1,100.)