January can feel like a long month, especially for those who choose to take part in Dry January!

One event that many look forward to is Burns Night and it will be upon us very soon.

Burns Nights have been an almost annual event since 1801, with the first one being held in Burns' Cottage on 21 July 1801, the fifth anniversary of his death. It was the following year that it was held in January, the month of his birthday, for the first time.

Traditionally, Burns Nights involve haggis, whisky and recital of his poetry.

However, don't let tradition put you off and you can still enjoy celebrating Burns Night even if you don't like haggis or whisky. In fact, Burns himself didn't limit himself to whisky and he enjoyed a number of tipples including rum, brandy, ale and port.

Therefore, we've put together a list of some alternative Scottish drinks that you can enjoy on Burns Night.

1. Makar Oak Aged Gin

(Price: £36.00 ABV: 43% Size: 70 cl)

Makar Oak Aged Gin

Gin is becoming Scotland's new national drink and there is no more fitting gin to toast Burns than Makar. The Makar name comes from the Ancient Scots word for poet!

Aged in tailor-made virgin European Oak casks for 10 weeks, the gin has a smokiness from the oak and a peppery finish which complements the haggis nicely. 

2. Wester Spiced Rum

(Price: £35.00 ABV: 40% Size: 70 cl)

Wester Spiced Rum

When you think of Scotland and alcohol you probably wouldn't automatically think of a Caribbean-style spiced rum. However, Glasgow actually has a long history of sugar refinement and rum production. Wester Spiced Rum is named after the Wester Sugar House Company, a sugar refinery and rum maker in Glasgow who were founded in 1667 and continued production of rum throughout Burns' life before going into decline in the 19th century.

The rum itself is extremely smooth and has a sweet vanilla flavour with the spice coming from star anise, ginger and nutmeg. 

3. Aelder Liqueur

(Price: £26.00 ABV: 17% Size: 50 cl)

Burns was known to enjoy a port on occasion and this is a great Scottish alternative to port. Made using blended Scotch whisky, wild elderberries, spices and other locally foraged Scottish botanicals, Aelder is a smooth liqueur with a beautifully warming finish.

A perfect way to finish the supper and enjoy during the toasts. 

4. UWA Resposado Tequila

(Price: £60.00 ABV: 40% Size: 70 cl)

UWA Resposado Cask Aged Tequila

Feel like it really wouldn't be Burns Night without some whisky? Get your fix from the UWA Resposado Tequila. Aged for seven months in Speyside Single Malt casks, this is a unique take on the classic Mexican drink.

Great when sipped over ice. 

5. Verdant Dry Gin

(Price: £34.95 ABV: 43% Size: 70 cl)

Verdant Dry Gin

If you're looking for a more traditional gin to start 2018 off with, you can't go wrong with 2017's Scottish Gin of the Year! Made in the first and only gin distillery in Dundee for nearly 200 years.

Burns had a strong connection to Dundee as he had family who lived close by in Montrose and travelled through the city when returning south from a tour of the Highlands. In a letter to his brother he described Dundee as ''a low-lying, but pleasant town with the old steeple and Broughty Castle, a finely situated ruin, jutting into the Tay.” There is also a statue of Burns in Albert Square which was unveiled in 1880.  

Verdant is a classic London Dry Gin best served with ice & a slice.