“Give Him Strong Drink Until He Wink”: L.A. celebrates Robbie Burns

Robbie Burns: "O you, my Muse! good old Scotch drink!"

Ms. Go Go has a wee touch o’ the Scots in her blood — the Ogilvie clan, doncha know — which may, in some small way, explain her appreciation of whiskey.

It doesn’t exactly explain her appreciation of rum, vodka, gin, tequila, and other assorted spirits; the latter is undoubtedly due to natural joie de vivre.

Fingers crossed.

And Go Go’ers, if there was ever a man who appreciated his whiskey it was Robbie Burns, Scotland’s most beloved poet, who romanced women all over the Highlands in the 18th century while writing odes to his native tipple as well as to a Mouse, a Louse, and a Haggis.

You’d expect nothing less from a bard whose Muse is “good old Scotch drink’.

“Burns suppers”, which celebrate the poet’s January 25th birthday, traditionally include the “slaying o’ the Haggis”.  Even bravehearted men and women  have been known to quail at the thought of eating haggis, Scotland’s national dish of oatmeal and offal, although Larousse Gastronomique assures anxious eaters that,  “Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavour”.

Burns doesn’t call it the “Great Chieftain of the sausage race!” for nothing, Go Go’ers.

But here’s even  better news.  Whiskey is an equally important component of Robbie Burns night — and every other night, in Ms. Go Go’s opinion — and with multiple “wee drams” being drunk and Burns’s odes being orated and bagpipes being…piped, you’ll be nibbling haggis like a native.

So raise a glass to the man who wrote, “I sing the juice Scotch barley can make us.”

You’ll be singing the juice too. Guaranteed.

“…a Glass of Whiskey Punch With Honest Men”

“Spirit Guide” Pedro Shanahan and his crew make whiskey palace Seven Grand a fave destination whether celebration or no but Shanahan promises special revelry for “Bobby Burns Night”.   In addition to a a specially crafted Bobby Burns cocktail and a $5 Punch Special — bring some honest men to drink it with, natch — Shanahan is offering discount flights of Glenrothes Vintage Bottlings of ’98, ’94 and ’85 with “free education” until 8 p.m.

You always like to immerse yourself fully in your studies.

Shanahan will be conducting a reading of Burns poetry at 10 p.m. .and encourages eager orators to get in touch (Pedro@213downtown.la) if they want to take part.

After drinking all that Glenrothes, “Oh Whiskey! soul of plays and pranks!” should roll right off the tongue.

(BOBBY BURNS NIGHT – Wed, Jan 25; 5pm – 2 am — Seven Grand, 515 W 7th St, 2nd flr,DTLA, 90014, 213.614.0737.  For more deets: http://213nightlife.com/bobby-burns-night-at-seven-grand-wednesday-12512-2?id=January%2025th,%202012)

"Rabbie" says "See you at The Gorbals."

“You Make Good Food”

Whiskey is the “life of  public haunts” according to Burns and Chef Ilan Hall, second season Top Chef  winner, is definitely the life of  the party at The Gorbals,  his downtown haunt of  daringly delicious Jewish-Scottish fare that would undoubtedly have Burns crying, “O what a glorious sight!”

“House tunes and a piper” will set the mood — ably abetted by The Gorbals’ usual selection of whiskey, bourbon, and single malt scotch — and Hall is offering an a la carte “Burns supper” with entrees such as “Wilted Leek Pie” ($9) and “Acorn Fed Pork Sausage, Crispy Poached Egg” ($15).   Hall promises that “everyone will get some salty short bread at the end!”

Yay to that!

And if you want to start — or continue — your haggis education in spectacular fashion, start off your Burns supper with  “Haggis, Clapshot, Lagavulin Cream (for two, $27)”

Great chieftain of the sausage race, indeed.

(BURNS SUPPERWed, Jan 25, 6 pm – midnight501 So Spring St,  DTLA, 90013, 213.488.3408; For info/reservstions: http://thegorbalsla.com/)

We will take a cup of kindness yet....

“Give Her a Haggis!”

If you’re looking for more of a traditional Burns night, want to extend the celebration, or just “need” a reason to drink whiskey (as if)  — head to Pasadena  on SUNDAY, January 29th for Beckham Grill‘s “Robert Burns’ 253rd Bagpipe Birthday Celebration”.

Beckham Grill will be serving their regular dinner menu but diners can enjoy Cindi McIntosh on bagpipes — Ms. Go Go says give her a haggis! — as well a toast and slaying of the haggis by Dr. Neil Stewart McLeod.  (McLeod’s a Life Member President of the Los Angeles Burns Club so you know he’s got his haggis slaying down.)

The Burns brohaha is gratis and haggis is available “if you dare”.  Since Beckham Grill has a solid menu of single malt scotch, you’ll definitely want to take the plunge.

To quote the poet’s ode to “Scotch Drink”:

“…oiled by you,
The wheels of life go down hill, careering,
With rattling glee.”

What single malt does for wheels of life, it can definitely do for haggis.

(ROBERT BURNS’s 253RD BAGPIPE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONSun, Jan 29th, 5 – 9pmBeckham Grill & Pub, 77 West Walnut Street,  Pasadena, 91103  Reservations: 626.796.3399, http://www.beckhamgrill.com/Events.html)

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

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