Atholl Brose – Whisky Cocktail Recipe

Atholl Brose is yet another one of those Scottish recipes where you probably have no idea what it is from the name. Don’t worry; you’ll soon be well aware of exactly what Atholl Brose is, how to make it, and why you’ll want to!

Atholl Brose Whisky Cocktail Recipe - without cream in cocktail glasses

What is Atholl Brose?

Atholl Brose is a Scottish cocktail that’s made from a combination of oatmeal, water, whisky, honey, and, if you want to be a bit more decadent, some cream. It’s a bit like the Scottish version of Baileys.

Brose is the name for uncooked oatmeal, which is made with a combination of oats and boiling milk or water. Usually, the oats are covered by milk or water and allowed to steep before being eaten.

In Atholl Brose, the oaks are soaked in water, and the mixture is then strained to separate out the oats, and the remaining water is mixed with whisky and honey to make the drink. If you want an extra strong version, you can soak the oats straight in the whisky!

Making Atholl Brose is a process that takes time, but it’s worth it for this honeyed whisky drink.

Why is it called Atholl Brose?

Legend has it that the drink is named after the 1st Earl of Atholl. He supposedly suppressed a rebellion in the Highlands in 1475 by spiking a well with whisky, oats, and honey (and some say cream). The “enemy” men drank from the well and went into battle intoxicated, and thus the Earl of Atholl won.

Atholl Brose is one of the first recorded whisky cocktails and was often drunk in celebration or when monarchs were visiting. King George IV was said to be fond of it after visiting Scotland in 1822, and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert also tried it when visiting Dunkeld Castle in the 1840s.

Sometimes Atholl Brose is used as a name for a dessert, especially when mixed with cream, as it has similar ingredients to Cranachan. However, we’ve most definitely made the cocktail version!

Atholl Brose Whisky Cocktail Recipe - two glasses

When should you drink Atholl Brose?

Atholl Brose can be enjoyed at any time of year, but it’s particularly popular at times of celebration like Hogmanay or Burns Night. A lovely whisky and honey drink by the fire is something to look forward to!

Plus, it’s the perfect accompaniment for something like Black Bun or shortbread.

Atholl Brose Whisky Cocktail Recipe - two glasses with cream
Ultimate Burns Night EBook for running the perfect Burns Supper Night.

Can you buy Atholl Brose?

Whisky blenders and bottlers Gordon & Macphail used to make a whisky liqueur called Atholl Brose that’s now discontinued.

It mixed honey and herbs with whisky to make a similar liqueur to Drambuie. Although it had the same name, it wasn’t the same thing as this whisky cocktail.

Things you’ll need to make Atholl Brose

Ingredients for Atholl Brose Cocktail

This recipe makes enough for two cocktails, so we would recommend increasing the recipe for whatever amount you need/want. Since it takes so long to soak the oats, the last thing you want is to not to have enough!

  • 20g (¼ cup) oats – coarser is generally better, but you can use rolled oats
  • 180ml (¾ cup, 6fl oz)) water
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 180ml (¾ cup, 6 fl oz) whisky
  • 120ml (½ cup, 4 fl oz) double cream (optional)
Atholl Brose Whisky Cocktail Recipe - Ingredients

Oats

You can basically use whatever oats you have available. However, using coarser oats is generally better as they are easier to strain.

Whisky

You can use whatever whisky you prefer! Drambuie, a whisky liqueur, is also an option and can add a bit more flavour as it’s made with heather, herbs, and spices that bring in some more flavours to the finished drink.

Cream

You’ll find Atholl Brose recipes made both with and without cream, and it’s really up to you which one you choose to do. The good thing is, you can try both! Mix up your Atholl Brose without cream first and store it, and then when you want to have a drink you can add always add cream then.

How to make Atholl Brose – Step-by-step method

Add the oats and water to a bowl or jug and stir. Cover and leave to soak for 24 hours.

Strain out the oats, reserving the liquid. You can use a fine tea strainer or muslin cloth to do this. Be sure to squeeze the oats against the strainer/cloth to get all of the liquid out.

Atholl Brose Whisky Cocktail Recipe -  straining oats

Mix the honey into the oat liquid.

Atholl Brose Whisky Cocktail Recipe - add honey

Add the whisky and stir.

Atholl Brose Whisky Cocktail Recipe -  add whisky

Add the cream and stir (optional).

Atholl Brose Whisky Cocktail Recipe -  finished cocktails with cream

How do you store Atholl Brose?

Store it in a sealed bottle. Atholl Brose can be stored with or without the cream for up to 5 days in the fridge.

Yield: 2 servings

Atholl Brose Recipe - A Whisky Cocktail

Atholl Brose Cocktail

Atholl Brose is a Scottish cocktail drink that's made from a combination of oatmeal, water, whisky, honey, and if you want to be a bit more decadent, some cream. It's a bit like the Scottish version of Baileys.

In Atholl Brose, the oaks are soaked in water and the mixture is then strained to separate out the oats, and the remaining water is mixed with whisky and honey to make the drink. If you want an extra strong version, you can soak the oats straight in the whisky!

Making Atholl Brose is a process that takes time, but it's worth it for this honeyed whisky cocktail.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Soaking Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 20g (¼ cup) oats - courser is generally better but you can use rolled oats
  • 180ml (¾ cup) water
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 180ml (¾ cup) whisky
  • 120ml (½ cup) double cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add the oats and water to a bowl or jug and stir. Cover and leave to soak for 24 hours.

  2. Strain out the oats, reserving the liquid. You can use a fine tea strainer or muslin cloth to do this. Be sure to squeeze the oats against the strainer/cloth to get all of the liquid out.

  3. Mix the honey into the oat liquid.

  4. Add the whisky and stir.

  5. Add the cream and stir (optional).

Notes

Oats

You can basically use whatever oats you have available. However, using coarser oats is generally better as they are easier to strain.

Whisky

You can use whatever whisky you prefer! Drambuie, a whisky liqueur, is also an option and can add a bit more flavour as it's made with heather, herbs, and spices that bring in some more flavours to the finished drink.

Cream

You'll find Atholl Brose recipes made both with and without cream, and it's really up to you which one you choose to do. The good thing is, you can try both! Mix up your Atholl Brose without cream first and store it, and then when you want to have a drink you can add always add cream then.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 170Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 3g

The above values are an indication only.

Other drinks to try:

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Atholl Brose Whisky Cocktail Pin

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