Scotland has a wet and cold climate. It’s quite possible, therefore, that the food and drinks of Scotland give its population the strength to withstand it. Many think that the Scottish drinking culture is similar to the Irish drinking culture. This is far from being true. It’s quite common to see pubs and bars in larger cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh.
As there’s less of a drinking culture in smaller towns and villages, they won’t have many pubs. Smaller villages in Scotland would have very few or no traditional pubs. The hotels in them are home to bars that can have the feel of a traditional pub. Such places are generally open for locals as well and not just for the guests or tourists.
Here are some of the best traditional Scottish drinks you can enjoy in the country’s drinking establishments:
1. Scotch Whiskey
You won’t be surprised to hear people say ‘whiskey’ when they’re asked what is Scotland famous for. In Scotland, this drink is made using barley, yeast, and water. What makes this drink so special is that it gets better with age. It must be aged for at least three years in Scotland.
The type of barrel used and the length of maturation determine the whiskey’s taste and price. In recent times, there are over 100 distilleries that produce Scotch whiskey. This makes it really difficult to tell which one is the best. You can savor one when you visit any of the pubs or bars in the country.
This Scottish liquor is produced in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It is a sweetened form of whiskey made by combining honey, whiskey, and herbs. Drambuie is popularly used in a cocktail called Rusty Nail, which is a mix of whiskey and Drambuie. Rusty Nail is one of the most famous Scottish cocktails, but most people don’t know what it contains.
3. Scottish Beers
Beer lovers can find an excellent selection of Scottish beers during their visit to this country. They include pilsners, lagers, Scottish cask ales, Scotch ale, and craft beer. When you look behind the bar in a pub, you’ll mostly see two types of beer taps.
One would be the tall, traditional tap and the other would be a shorter tap. Lagers and craft beers are drawn from the tall tap and cask ale from the shorter one. Cask ale is unfiltered and unpasteurized beer unique to the UK. There’s another variety of beer in Scotland known as Scotch Ale. This kind of beer is dark, malty, and sweet.
4. Scottish Cider
This is a good alternative to Scottish beer and is widely available across the UK. Among the most popular commercial brands of Scottish cider is Magners. If you like cider and are interested in tasting one at a local pub, simply ask the bartender.
Some of the local ciders are Waulkmill Cider, Thistly Cross Cider, and Clyde Cider. Gordon Castle, located in a government council area called Moray, produces an uber-local whiskey cask cider. This would be the best drink to try if you happen to visit Moray.