Athole Brose Recipe

No Scottish Dinner is complete without a haggis, and no haggis is complete without a dram or two of Scotch and ideally some Athole Brose. Fortunately all these ingredients were available for the Scottish Dinner at Lodge Devotion on Friday, 28 April 2006 contributing to the very successful night which was enjoyed by all. 
To many it seemed that Athole Brose was a new experience, indeed a bit of a mystery.  The back label on the bottles giving the recipe was written with a little license for a little amusement and added to the mystery.  

This is what it said:

This is the Athole Brose recipe prepared by descendents of survivors of the slaughter at the Battle of Culloden of 1745 for internal fortification.  It should not be wasted on Sassenachs.  It is a secret recipe revealed only, except for the last important step, to members of Lodge Devotion and its guests at the Scottish Dinner on Friday 28th April 2006. 



6oz oatmeal medium ground

½ pt spring water from the Highlands

  (we have had to do with Melbourne water on this occasion)

3 tbsps heather honey from the Highlands

  (again we have had to make do with Beechworth Victorian honey)

1 bottle scotch whisky (no substitutes on any account)

¼ pt  rich cream

Mist and heather



Soak oatmeal in a bowl with the water for 1 hour.

Drain off the liquid & blend in the whisky & honey.

Add the cream.

Leave overnight in a covered container.

Apply the mist and the heather in accordance with ancient custom for the required period, both known only to the descendents of the survivors.


The taste is to be adjusted by a clan elder over as long a period as necessary, and in the necessary quantities, to ensure the taste will suit his clansmen. 

The recipe for Athole Brose is really well known but there are wide variations to the quantities used.  The one above is on the strong side.  The most difficult part is to keep the oatmeal in suspension and sometimes an egg is added to the recipe.  More whisky can be added to the bottle to make use of the oatmeal dregs.  It needs to be well shaken before pouring and there is nothing wrong with using a spoon to finish the glass (or finger, or tongue, - if nobody sees you!).

Brose is a name dating from 1657 of a Scottish dish made by pouring boiling water or milk on oatmeal or oat-cake seasoned with butter and salt.  I recall that the Athole part of the name came from an English Lord Athole a hundred years before the Battle of Culloden who was captured after becoming drunk consuming this drink. 

Why mention Culloden on the label?  You could say a little nonsense on this occasion to go with the mist and heather.  But Culloden was an important event and we could explore that on another occasion. Meanwhile, why not have a Lodge Devotion Athole Brose making and tasting competition with a little more haggis