How to make atholl brose

Create your own whisky liqueur with this traditional Scottish recipe for Atholl Brose.

How to make atholl brose

A traditional whisky liqueur recipe, Atholl Brose is steeped in rich history and combines Scotland’s love of whisky with its love for all things sweet.

Perfect as an after dinner treat, Atholl Brose is usually served during Hogmanay and Burns Night celebrations.

There are many stories of how Atholl Brose came to be, though one of the original tales is that of Dougal and the Giant of Atholl. A long time ago, a great giant was said to terrorise the land of Atholl (what is now the upper parts of Perthshire). The giant – creatures that were apparently a common problem in those days – had nothing but contempt for humans and would often steal cattle. Worse, he would empty any grain stores he found, filling his great sack and leaving entire communities to struggle to survive through winter.

Fed up with the constant predations of this bothersome giant, Dougal, a young hunter from one of the many clachans surrounding the giant’s glen, hatched a daring plot to rid the lands of this nuisance.
Dougal was smart enough to know that to fight the creature head on would be foolish, as many had tried and their bodies were by now scattered across the glens.
Instead, Dougal sneaked down to where the giant kept his ill-gotten gains, finding there sacks of oats, jars of honey and incredibly, several small casks of whisky. It was then he began to formulate a plan.

Using his knife he cut open the sack of oats, he poured them into what was clearly the giant’s drinking cup (a hollowed out boulder that rested before a stone well), before adding the honey and both of the casks of whisky.
Coming across this bountiful surprise the giant drank his fill, and eventually fell asleep beneath an ancient oak tree. Seeing his chance, Dougal slipped out from his hiding place beneath the sacks of oats and slew the giant as he slept.
Dougal returned to his homestead as a hero and his recipe for the Atholl Brose was passed on from generation to generation.

The first official recipe for Atholl Brose was recorded in 1475, when Iain MacDonald, the Lord of the Isles was leading a rebellion against the king. The Earl of Atholl, who had been dispatched to capture the errant chieftan, discovered that MacDonald regularly used a well near where the rebels were said to be encamped.
The Earl ordered his scouts to stealthily fill the well with whisky, oats and honey (perhaps Atholl himself took inspiration from Dougal’s story). When MacDonald and his troops stopped to use the well, the recipe was so delicious they tarried there and were captured by Atholl’s troops.

Our step by step guide shows you how to create your very own Atholl Brose:

Ingredients:

• One bottle of Scotch whisky (A decent blend will do)
• (Optional) 1/2 Pint of double cream
• 450g of clear Scottish honey
• One handful of fine ground oatmeal

Pick whichever whisky takes your fancy but a decent blend will work just as well as a good malt. We recommend that you perhaps don’t use a peaty whisky as this can detract from the sweet flavour.

Atholl Brose also works well as a dessert just add raspberries and drizzle over a nice ice cream.

Step 1:

Combine the oatmeal and whisky in a shallow container. Cover with linen and leave in a cool place for several hours or overnight.

How to make atholl brose

Step 2:

Remove the liquids from your oatmeal and whisky mixture. Use linen or a spoon and strainer to squeeze every last drop of whisky out of the oatmeal solids. Discard the oats.

How to make atholl brose

Step 3:

This step is optional, some more traditional recipes don’t use cream, while others even recommend mixing the cream with egg whites. This step can be used or left out as per your preference.

Add cream and stir.

How to make atholl brose

Step 4:

Gently whisk in honey, until dissolved.

How to make atholl brose

Step 5:

Stir the final mixture well (according to tradition, this should be done with a silver spoon). Pour the brose into a bottle for storage.

How to make atholl brose

Step 6:

Store bottle in the fridge for up to a week, Atholl Brose is at its best when given a few days to mature, howe,ver it tastes great freshly made too.

Step 7:

Serve chilled from the fridge or over ice. Enjoy!

December 29th, 2018 | 51 Comments

Atholl Brose is an traditional Scottish drink made from oats and whisky, and usually served for Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve.

How to make atholl brose

Originally published December 31st, 2013.

Of all my cookbooks, one of my favorites is by Janet Warren called A Feast of SCOTLAND which has many very traditional Scottish recipes.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What is Atholl Brose?

One of the many recipes I’ve always wanted to try from this cookbook is called Atholl Brose. which is a Scottish favorite for New Year’s Eve (or Hogmanay as it is called there). According to her book and Wikipedia, the drink was apparently “invented” in 1475 by the Earl of Atholl, who captured the Earl of Ross by filling a well with the alcoholic concoction!

The recipe for Atholl Brose in Janet Warren’s book only contains oatmeal, water, honey and whisky, which is apparently the closest to the original recipe. After searching the internet, it seems there are so many versions, but a lot of them now include cream.

How to make atholl brose Atholl Brose without cream

Seeing so many different variations on the theme, I wasn’t too concerned about getting the quantities right. I think it all depends on subjective taste buds. However, I did insist on good quality ingredients so it’s vital that you use a proper whisky (my Dad really likes Glenfiddich or Glenlivet).

I also decided I wanted to try both versions. First I made without the Atholl Brose without cream. Then I added cream to half of the small batch. I prefer the cream version, but I would recommend trying both to see which one suits your taste.

The end of December is a great time to make Atholl Brose recipe as it needs 24 hours for the oats to soak, and it will be ready for New Year’s Eve!

If you need some ideas for nibbles and small bites, I have gathered some of my recipes together in this post.

How to make atholl brose

How to make atholl brose

Atholl Brose
(with and without cream)

  • 1/2 cup (3 oz) steel cut (pinhead) oats
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) water
  • 3 tsp honey (heather honey is usually used)
  • about 8 oz whisky (equal to the amount of brose from the oats)
  • (optional: 5 oz heavy cream)

Soak the oats in the water for 24 hrs.

Drain the brose from the oats. Put some paper towel in a strainer, then squeeze the rest of the liquid out using a linen cloth.

How to make atholl brose

Stir in the honey (to do it properly, use a silver spoon)!

How to make atholl brose

Next, pour in the whisky and stir.

How to make atholl brose

This is the original Atholl Brose. Finally, add the cream, if you desire.

How to make atholl brose

Now you are ready to greet the new year in a traditional Scottish manner!

How to make atholl brose

Happy New Year!!
Lang May Yer Lum Reek!

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    • Classic/vintage cocktails
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  • How to make atholl brose

    Serve in a

    Garnish:

    Dust with grated nutmeg

    How to make:

    STIR honey with Scotch in base of shaker until honey dissolves. Add other ingredients, SHAKE with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.

    2 spoon Honey
    1 1 ⁄3 shot Dewar’s 12 Year Old Scotch whisky
    1 shot Oat milk / oatmeal water
    1 ⁄6 shot Drambuie liqueur
    1 ⁄6 shot Disaronno amaretto
    1 ⁄3 shot Single cream / half-and-half

    Difford’s Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above.

    To make Oat milk / oatmeal water:

    1. Soak 3 heaped tablespoons of oatmeal (porridge oats) in half a mug of hot (not boiling) water.
    2. Stir and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
    3. Strain to extract the creamy liquid and discard what’s left of the oatmeal.

    You must be logged in to add your own notes

    Review:

    Forget the porridge and kick start your day with an Atholl Brose. Consider using raw heather honey.

    History:

    Our adaptation of a Scottish classic.

    Legend has it that Atholl Brose was created by the Earl of Atholl in 1475 when he was trying to capture Iain MacDonald, Lord of the Isles and leader of a rebellion against the king. Hearing rumours that MacDonald was drawing his drinking water from a small well, the Earl ordered it to be filled with honey, whisky and oatmeal. MacDonald lingered at the well enjoying the concoction and was captured.

    Nutrition:

    There are approximately 157 calories in one serving of Atholl Brose.

    December 29th, 2018 | 51 Comments

    Atholl Brose is an traditional Scottish drink made from oats and whisky, and usually served for Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve.

    How to make atholl brose

    Originally published December 31st, 2013.

    Of all my cookbooks, one of my favorites is by Janet Warren called A Feast of SCOTLAND which has many very traditional Scottish recipes.

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    What is Atholl Brose?

    One of the many recipes I’ve always wanted to try from this cookbook is called Atholl Brose. which is a Scottish favorite for New Year’s Eve (or Hogmanay as it is called there). According to her book and Wikipedia, the drink was apparently “invented” in 1475 by the Earl of Atholl, who captured the Earl of Ross by filling a well with the alcoholic concoction!

    The recipe for Atholl Brose in Janet Warren’s book only contains oatmeal, water, honey and whisky, which is apparently the closest to the original recipe. After searching the internet, it seems there are so many versions, but a lot of them now include cream.

    How to make atholl brose Atholl Brose without cream

    Seeing so many different variations on the theme, I wasn’t too concerned about getting the quantities right. I think it all depends on subjective taste buds. However, I did insist on good quality ingredients so it’s vital that you use a proper whisky (my Dad really likes Glenfiddich or Glenlivet).

    I also decided I wanted to try both versions. First I made without the Atholl Brose without cream. Then I added cream to half of the small batch. I prefer the cream version, but I would recommend trying both to see which one suits your taste.

    The end of December is a great time to make Atholl Brose recipe as it needs 24 hours for the oats to soak, and it will be ready for New Year’s Eve!

    If you need some ideas for nibbles and small bites, I have gathered some of my recipes together in this post.

    How to make atholl brose

    How to make atholl brose

    Atholl Brose
    (with and without cream)

    • 1/2 cup (3 oz) steel cut (pinhead) oats
    • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) water
    • 3 tsp honey (heather honey is usually used)
    • about 8 oz whisky (equal to the amount of brose from the oats)
    • (optional: 5 oz heavy cream)

    Soak the oats in the water for 24 hrs.

    Drain the brose from the oats. Put some paper towel in a strainer, then squeeze the rest of the liquid out using a linen cloth.

    How to make atholl brose

    Stir in the honey (to do it properly, use a silver spoon)!

    How to make atholl brose

    Next, pour in the whisky and stir.

    How to make atholl brose

    This is the original Atholl Brose. Finally, add the cream, if you desire.

    How to make atholl brose

    Now you are ready to greet the new year in a traditional Scottish manner!

    How to make atholl brose

    Happy New Year!!
    Lang May Yer Lum Reek!

    Don’t miss another recipe or travel post; sign up for my free subscription below.

    That’s it! 2011 is coming to a close, measured now not in weeks or days, but hours and minutes.

    The excesses of Christmas are over, now replaced with plans for more excess on New Year’s Eve. This year I have the good fortune to have been invited to friends, so no need for me to do much other than pitch up on time and with a few drinks.

    I’ve got champagne for sure, but I’ve also got a few fun things to take along. The sloe gin is ready, and I have discovered that it lends itself very well to what has been christened the Sloe Gin Fizz Royale – a dash of sloe gin in the bottom of the glass, and top up with quality sparkling wine (forgive me for being a snob…but I prefer champagne straight up!). It works perfectly as a apéritif.

    The other trick up the sleeve is a nod to the very Scottish nature of New Year’s Eve. Try calling it that in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile of Glasgow’s George Square. You might just be met with icy stares, but chances are a local will put their arm around you and explain that “we dinnae call it that here – it’s Hogmanay, laddie!”.

    Hogmanay is a big thing in Scotland. There are lots of fireworks, lots of drinking, lots of singing Auld Lang Syne. And the festivities go on to such an extent that the delicate Scottish people need not just one holiday – 2 January is also a public holiday north of the Border, and to this day, I still find the idea of going back to work on 2 January to be something of a liberty.

    So, in honour of this very Scottish night, the mystery drink I am making is…Atholl Brose!

    How to make atholl brose

    Just a wee word of warning – don’t dare call this a cocktail. It has an ancient pedigree (stories claim it originates back in the late 1400s) so those 1920s gin joint pretenders are but mere latecomers to the party.

    It you like this, you’ll be in royal company – it is said to have been a favourite tipple of Queen Victoria when she encountered it on one her visits to Scotland. It’s a mixture of oat milk, whisky, cream and honey. Now really…could a drink actually use any more typically Scottish ingredients?

    The process for making Atholl Brose is quite easy, and the great thing is that it can be made ahead of time – indeed, many sources recommend making it several days ahead of time and allowing it to sit. However, I’ve come up with a version that can be made a few hours before, and so still have enough time to whip up a batch before the magic hour.

    You start with soaking oats in water, then mashing and straining them to make an oat “brose” or broth – something like an oat milk. You could just cheat and buy oat milk if you’re in a hurry, but many Scottish matrons would be aghast at this idea…

    Now…the whisky. Note the spelling, and more specifically, lack of an “e” in there. Scots don’t use the “e” and everyone else does. Yes, there are battles about who came up with it, who produces the best whisky/whiskey and how it should be spelled, but let’s just call a truce and say different people produce different drinks, and everyone has their own preferences. But regardless of whether you are using whisky, whiskey or bourbon, I would recommend a decent-ish drink, but not the fine rare malt that someone else was given as a Christmas present. The delicate flavours and aromas can get lost in the cream, oats and honey – the fine drinks should be enjoyed just as they are.

    The honey, in my view, should be heather honey. It is a rich, thick honey with lots of flavour rather than just providing sweetness. However, I leave the choice completely up to you as the mixologist, but just be careful not to use something that has an overly-strong flavour (such as chestnut or thyme). These types of honey are lovely, but can overpower everything else.

    The traditional ratios when making Atholl Brose are 7-7-5-1 (oat milk, whisky, cream, honey), and then these should be stirred with a silver spoon (if such a things is available). However, I’ve found that using a cocktail shaker or large jar gets a good result, but it’s still nice to pour out and stir each with a small silver teaspoon, more for drama than necessity. But it’s Hogmanay, and it’s all about show!

    Once you’d added all this, plus single cream, you get a drink that is a little like Bailey’s, but in my view with more interesting flavours, one which is stronger and also lighter. It’s unusual and rather more-ish.

    So, that’s it! I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts of 2011 – the quince, the Ecclefechan Butter Tart, the Chelsea Buns, the Royal Wedding special, the Mallorcan Pomada drink, the rockin’ Rock Buns, the luscious Summer Pudding, the visit to the Royal Gardens at Clarence House, the trip to Helsinki, the Scottish Macaroon Bars, the sloe gin and the sheer madness of Twelve Days of Christmas Baking!

    Wishing you a Happy Hogmanay and all the very best for 2012!

    How to make atholl brose

    To make Atholl Brose (serves 8):

    Step 1: the oat milk

    • 1 cup oats (rolled, pinhead…your choice!)
    • 2 cups lukewarm water

    Mix the oats and the water. Leave to sit for at least 30 minutes (longer doesn’t hurt). Put into a blender, pulverise, then pass through a cheesecloth. Towards the end, squeeze to get a much liquid from the mixture as possible.

    Step 2: making the Atholl Brose

    • 7 parts oat milk
    • 7 parts whisky
    • 5 parts good single cream
    • 1 part honey

    Mix the honey with the oat milk. Put everything into a cocktail shaker or large jar. Shake until mixed. Taste the Brose, then adjust according to taste (more honey, more cream, more whisky…). Serve chilled or over ice.

    Worth making? For sure! It’s a nice traditional Scottish drink and very well-suited as a post dinner drink on Hogmanay. It’s very easy, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that your guests have never had a drink made from raw oats before!

    How to make atholl brose

    One great guest bartender, one amazing cocktail—it’s just another Thirsty Thursday here on CHOW. This week: Erik Ellestad of The Coachman, a bar and restaurant that are part of Charles Phan‘s Slanted Door family in San Francisco.

    When Erik Adkins, bar manager for the Slanted Door Group in San Francisco, visited Clover Club in Brooklyn a few years ago he had a drink they were calling Atholl Brose: Scotch stirred with honey and topped with lightly whipped cream. In Scotland, Atholl Brose is a traditional beverage typically composed of the liquid from soaking oats—when you make oatmeal from raw steel-cut or stone-ground oats, you soak [the oats] in water so they prehydrate and don’t take as long to cook. To this, Scots would add honey, whisky, and cream.

    When we started talking about the Coachman, Atholl Brose was on the short list of cocktails Erik Adkins wanted to do, but we didn’t want to just replicate Clover Club’s drink. Plus I wanted to include some form of the traditional oat infusion, which the Clover Club had left out.

    I tried a bunch of different combinations of these ingredients in various iterations and was starting to think I wouldn’t find a really good drink. Then one of the Coachman’s cooks, tasting an early test version, told me I needed to find some way to heighten the flavor of the oats. I took the roasted and soaked oats home and made oatmeal from them.

    Eating them for breakfast the next day, I realized that my coffee was heightening the roasted flavor of the oats without overwhelming them, kind of like bitters behave in a typical cocktail. I bought cold coffee concentrate on my way to work. As soon as I tasted the combination I knew we had a winner.

    How to make atholl brose

    Atholl Brose
    Makes 1 cocktail

    1 1/2 ounces blended Scotch whisky
    1/2 ounce honey syrup (recipe follows)
    1/4 ounce cold-process coffee concentrate
    2 ounces oat-infused milk (recipe follows)
    Freshly grated nutmeg

    Combine Scotch, honey syrup, coffee concentrate, and oat-infused milk in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. (It is also really tasty warm, instead of chilled.)

    How to make atholl brose

    Honey Syrup
    Add 1 cup honey to 1 cup hot water. Stir until honey is dissolved. Store in the fridge.

    Oat-Infused Milk
    Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread 1 cup steel-cut or stone-ground oats onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes, then stir to redistribute and bake another 5 to 8 minutes, until they’re evenly tan and smell a bit like popcorn. Set aside to cool.

    How to make atholl brose How to make atholl brose

    Pour 1 quart whole milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Warm until almost simmering (i.e., scalded). Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 cup sugar, and the roasted oats. Add the hot milk, cool at room temperature, and refrigerate overnight.

    How to make atholl brose

    Next day, strain the oats, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.

    How to make atholl brose How to make atholl brose

    Save the oats—you can make oatmeal by adding 2 to 3 cups of water and cooking over a low heat for about 45 minutes.

    How to make atholl brose

    While working in technology, Erik Ellestad found himself partially unemployed. To occupy his time and teach himself about his other enthusiasm, cocktails, he began a quest to make and blog every cocktail in the Prohibition-era cocktail tome The Savoy Cocktail Book, on his blog Savoy Stomp. During the course of that adventure he made many friends in the drink industry and eventually found himself behind the bar. He currently works at the San Francisco restaurant the Coachman. Bio photo by Alanna Hale.

    Photos, styling, and animated GIF by Chris Rochelle

    Atholl Brose Recipe
    Preparation Time 10 Minutes
    Cooking Time 15 Minutes
    Difficulty Easy
    Recipe Type Veg.
    Serves 4
    • 25 g Medium Oatmeal
    • 2 tbsp Clear Honey
    • 2 tbsp Whisky
    • 284 ml Double Cream (heavy cream)
    • Raspberries or Blueberries, to taste
    • Heat a non-stick pan, over medium heat and toast the oatmeal in it, while stirring continuously. Let it cool down.
    • Take a small bowl and whip the double cream in it, so that it forms soft peaks.
    • Mix honey and whisky in another bowl and add this mixture to the whipped double cream.
    • Before serving, add this mixture to the roasted oatmeal and mix well.
    • Put raspberries or blueberries in a tall glass, followed by the oatmeal mixture.
    • Stir it with Atholl Brose (silver spoon) and serve.

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    Ingredients

      • 1/2 cup oatmeal
      • 1-1/2 cups of Scotch
      • 2 TBSP of honey
      • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream

    Preparation

      1. Soak oatmeal in 1/2 cup water for 30 mins. Put through a food mill or push through a sieve into a bowl. Stir in scotch and honey. Separately beat creamuntil it begins to thicken. Gradually add 3/4 cup of the scotch mixture and continue to whipcream untilit forms soft peaks. Serve dessert in 6 stemmed glasses. Store remaining whiskey mixture in a covered jar.

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