Raspberry cranachan trifle, the national dish of Scotland!

I love to drink whisky, but I also love to cook with the drink too. And I don’t mean ‘drink while cooking’, although that is good as well!

Forget haggis, neeps and tatties, for me cranachan wins every time.

The word ‘cranachan’ comes from the Gaelic word, meaning ‘churn’. Originally, the dish was made to celebrate the harvest of raspberries in June/July. I think ‘churn’ is an appropriate description for this fine dish.

This is one of my favourite recipes, a very traditional Scottish dessert made with cream, fruit and oatmeal. The raspberry cranachan trifle is a lovely dessert for the summer months.

Here are the ingredients (makes enough for six people):

  • 900ml double cream
  • 250ml mascarpone
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp Scottish whisky (a single malt is best)
  • 1kg frozen raspberries, defrosted (Scottish raspberries are best!

For the crunchy oats:

  • 140g butter
  • 4 tbsp honey (Scottish heather honey is wonderful)
  • 200g porridge oats
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 100g roughly chopped hazelnut
  • 85g plain flour

First, make the crunchy oats. Melt the butter and honey in a large saucepan, then stir in the other ingredients until everything is well coated. Spread out on a baking sheet, then bake in a preheated oven (160C or gas 4) for about 20 minutes until crisp. Cool, crumble into pieces and leave to the side.

For the whisky cream, beat the double cream with the mascarpone, icing sugar and whisky until it is smooth and holds peaks.

In a separate bowl, stir in two tbsps icing sugar with the raspberries.

In a glass bowl, spoon in some raspberries and then add a layer of cream and then a layer of oats. Repeat this two or three times. Scatter a final layer of oats over the top.

This is an awesome summer recipe and the flavour of the whisky really cuts through the raspberries.


Let me know if you tried the recipe, and let me know which single malt you used. A nice peaty island malt will add a smokiness to the flavour, while a lowlands malt will give the taste a more mellow whisky flavour.






A distillery returns to St Andrews

Eden Mill began with a mission; to return the lost art of distilling to the picturesque and famous town of St Andrews. In 2019, they released a wonderful single malt whisky, as a limited release of only 3,000 bottles.

Inspired by the pioneering spirit of the Haig family, who built a distillery at Eden Mill in1810, Paul Miller and his team began alcohol production from the old derelict site in 2012. But whisky wasn’t the main aim when the mill opened, instead gin was the principal produce. In 2015, they released a ‘Golf Gin’ as a nod to the town’s renowned home of golf.

Paul and his team are challenging the traditions within the whisky industry. They feel that there is a realisation that the value of good whisky is no longer just about age. Re-determining value and quality is opening up a new world for this producer, and for their customers.

In 2019, Eden Mill released their single malt, which incorporates a selection of oloroso hogsheads, pedro hogsheads, American bourbon barrels and a cask of chocolate malt spirit. The resulting whisky has a wonderful taste of sweet spice and tasted fruits.


St Andrews, located on the east coast of Fife is home to the University of St Andrews, the oldest university in Scotland. The town, named after the Apostle, has been an important centre of religion since at least 740 AD. The cathedral is an iconic Scottish landmark.

Known worldwide as the ‘home of golf’, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews was founded in 1754. Major championships are held on the famous links courses and visitors travel from around the world to play a round of golf, and to visit the historic town.

Usually around this time of year I run a series of tours, called¬† A round at the sea. I take my guests on a tour of some of the lowland distilleries and then organise a round of golf for them on the famous Old Course. These tours are popular with my American and Chinese customers. Alas, not to be this year! Coronavirus has put a stop to these tours, so¬† instead I have incorporated a dram from the Eden Mill into my ‘new and old’ appreciation session in August.