Celebrate Burns Night with an alcohol-free whisky

A super close up of a man wearing tartan and playing the bagpipes

Burns Night is a celebration of the life and poetry of Robert Burns, a Scottish poet who is widely regarded as Scotland’s national poet. It takes place on the 25th January, the anniversary of Burns’ birth in 1759. 

The original celebration was held in 1801 by a group of Burns’ friends to mark the fifth anniversary of his death, and from that inaugural friendly gathering, it has grown into a popular annual event in Scotland and around the world, with people joining together to eat, drink and be merry while listening to Burns’ poetry. 

The traditional meal includes haggis served with neeps and tatties (mashed turnips and potatoes), followed by a dessert of cranachan, a traditional Scottish dessert made from whipped cream, honey, and raspberries. 

For drinkers, this could be accompanied by Scotch whisky, however if you don’t drink or aren’t a fan of whisky there are some great non-alcoholic alternatives these days. Some popular options include:

Glen Dochus

For an alcohol-free whisky alternative Glen Dochus is a great choice. Full-bodied and gently smoky while being 100% alcohol-free, it respects the long-held traditional process of Scottish whisky making - perfect for celebrating Burns Night.   

A drink being poured into a whisky tumbler, and splashing back out of the glass


Lyre’s have a range of premium, non-alcoholic spirit alternatives, including a non-alcoholic whisky called American Malt. For whisky connoisseurs, this is an alternative to a bourbon rather than Scotch whisky, but its flavours of vanilla and toasted nuts with herby notes will pair well with the traditional meal.

Freestar Lager

For those who aren’t a fan of spirits, Freestar Prime Time larger is an alcohol-free beer infused with natural flavours to create a unique, refreshing taste. It’s also gluten free, suitable for vegans, and the brewing process uses 50% less carbon dioxide than traditional methods, making it much friendlier for the planet.

Friends cheersing with bottles

Seedlip Grove

Although it’s a gin substitute rather than whisky, Seedlip Grove is an alcohol-free spirit alternative containing notes of citrus and ginger. The freshness of the citrus and lemongrass accompanied by the warmth of the ginger make a great pairing for tonic, as well as being delicious in more sophisticated cocktails.

Do you have a favourite alcohol-free whisky alternative that we’ve not mentioned? Please do let us know, we’re always looking for new alcohol-free spirit substitutes to try! 

Posted on January 24th 2023

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