Christmas Cocktails: Atholl Brose

Atholl Brose is a Scottish drink made by mixing oatmeal brose, honey, whisky and sometimes cream, depending on the recipe you wish to follow. Our favourite is the version made public some years ago by the Duke of Atholl – he should know, after all – and most of the ingredients are available in our Whisky Lovers Hamper

According to legend it was his ancestor, the first Earl of Atholl who made brose in 1475 to quash rebellion in the Scottish Highlands.

Hearing that the rebel leader Iain MacDonald, Lord of the Isles drank from a particular well, Athol filled the well with a mixture of honey, whisky and oatmeal. MacDonald, entranced by this mystical liqueur, stayed at the well for some time and was captured.

Now we can’t guarantee that serving this liqueur at Christmas will prevent rebellion at your home, but it is well worth a try.

Three ingredients for Atholl Brose


What you will need:

3 rounded tablespoons of medium oatmeal
2 tablespoons heather honey
Scotch whisky to taste


  • Place the oatmeal in a basic and mix it with cold water until it is the consistency of a thick paste.
  • Leave for about 30 minutes and then press through a fine strainer with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • Throw away the oatmeal and use the creamy liquor from the oatmeal for the brose.
  • Mix four dessert spoonfuls of heather honey and four sherry glassfuls of the prepared oatmeal and stir well. (Purists insist on a silver spoon for stirring!)
  • Put into a quart bottle and fill with malt whisky.
  • Shake before serving.

And enjoy!




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