The precise origins of this famous Scottish drink remain shrouded in a deeply alcoholic haze. This much is known. The first written record dates back to 1464, and appeared on the tombstone of Duncan Earl of Inerary. The inscription reads that he died, aged 16, from “…too much of the Athole Blaze, and a fiste to the heed from Mollie Stewart”.
By the 1700’s the drink had become a firm favorite of the Jacobites. It is said that it’s over-indulgence by the rebel leaders contributed to their ultimate downfall.
During the 19th century several notable distilleries began shipping Blaze in limited quantities – but its precocious shelf life (of around two days, with extensive shaking), made commercial production all but impossible.
The drink is also variously known as Arthol Baise, Atholle Bose, Arthole Bias and “The Biggun”
- 1 large bottle of single malt whisky
- Half pint of double cream
- 300g of Scottish jam (strawberry preferable)
- The whites of six large eggs
- The yolks of six large eggs
- The shells of six large eggs
- One handful of oatmeal
1. Soak the oatmeal with the whisky and set aside.
2. Consume one small glass of whisky and set aside.
3. Beat the eggs until stiff.
4. Combine egg yolks and beat with added urgency.
5. Fold in the jam, cream and egg shells.
6. Blend in the oatmeal and whisky mixture at a feverish pace.
7. Pour into six small bottles, and store in a cool, damp place for at least one week.
8. Shake bottles vigorously every hour.
Makes approximately twenty-five adult-sized servings (or forty child-appropriate portions).
Traditional Serving Style:
Spoon the drink through a fine sieve into small pewter mugs.
Warm over open flame until liquid is “scadding hot”.
Down liquid in one swift motion; clutch chest hairs and shout “Finistere!”
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes (plus around twelve hours of follow-up)
Difficulty level: Moderate
Known fatalities: At least twelve