Recipes from Scotland 1680s to 1940s



By the 18th century, production of whisky had moved to farms and country estates. Surplus barley was malted and made into spirits there using pot stills.

The Malt Tax of 1725 saw the price of ale rise, and as a result many people changed to drinking illicit whisky. Much was quickly consumed at home to avoid detection, but sales of the rest often provided an important source of income.

By the 1760s whisky drinking had become fashionable.

Home distilling continued in Scotland long after it declined in England, with favourite recipes handed down the generations.

'All the men engaged in wood manufacture drank it [whisky] in goblets three times a day, yet except at merry-making we never saw anyone tipsy.'
— Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchas, 'Memoirs of a Highland Lady', 1845. [Library reference: Acc.9214]

Illustration of a man and an outdoor whisky still

'The Whiskey [sic] Still', illustration from R R McIan's 'Picturesque gatherings of the Scottish Highlanders at home, on the heath, the river, and the loch', London, 1848. [Library reference: FB.l.220]