A WHISKY festival has immortalised Robert Burns in the form of cocktails Dram O’ Shanter, The Speyside Grace and Best Laid Drams.

Organisers of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival asked some of the world’s leading mixologists to blend whisky and words together in a toast to the Bard.

Canada’s Kaitlyn Stewart — 2017 winner of the World’s Best Bartender title — World Whisky Day founder Blair Bowman and London’s favourite celebrity nightspot Mahiki are among those to put a creative spin on the poet’s work.

Six of the Bard’s best-known poems and songs have been given a makeover — Auld Dram Syne (Auld Lang Syne), Dram O’ Shanter (Tam O’ Shanter); Ae Fond Nip (Ae Fond Kiss); A Dram’s A Dram For a’ That (A Man’s A Man For a’ That); The Speyside Grace (The Selkirk Grace); and Best Laid Drams (Best Laid Plans).

Another of the new drinks is called Freedom an’ Whisky Gang Thegither — a phrase used by Burns in The Author’s Earnest Cry and Prayer, a satire he penned in 1786 on the government’s taxation of whisky.

The recipes offer a contemporary take on the Bard’s work, with some of the more unusual ingredients including smoked honey, detox tea and one of Speyside’s other exports, shortbread from Walkers of Aberlour. The base ingredients are Speyside whisky brands, all of which are leading partners of the festival.

James Campbell is chairman of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival — an annual five-day celebration which takes place in the region recognised as being the spiritual home of Scotland’s national drink. With over 50 malt whisky distilleries, around half of all Scotland’s distilleries are based here.

Campbell said: “Whisky and Robert Burns are perhaps Scotland’s greatest gifts to the world. Whisky is synonymous with warmth and friendship in just the same way as Auld Lang Syne — sung across the globe at New Year and other times of celebration — reminds us of spending time with family and friends..

“Burns referred to whisky — or guid Scotch drink as he called it — as being his muse and it features in many of his works. The popularity of whisky and Burns have both stood the test of time, so it seems fitting for us to pay tribute to these two great Scottish exports in a unique and interesting way.

“There was a time when whisky was considered an old man’s drink but these contemporary and modern cocktails completely dispel that myth. The festival has been introducing whisky to new and younger audiences for many years, and I hope those who are passionate about whisky — whether they have it neat or in a cocktail — will give these recipes a try.”

The unique range of cocktails was launched yesterday as the festival prepares to launch tickets for the 2018 event. The festival takes place from May 3 to 7, with almost 500 events taking place across Speyside.

The programme for the Festival will be revealed at 9am on Thursday, February 1, with tickets going on sale a few days later on February 6.