Raise a Glass of Scotch to the Scots on National Tartan Day

The Irish get St. Patrick’s Day and the English get just about every other day on the calendar. What do the Scottish get? “Shite,” as they might say.

Well, that’s not entirely true. April 6 is National Tartan Day, a holiday meant to honor the considerable contributions of Scots and Scottish Americans to our society. Said contributions include television, MRI scanners, and, of course, the works of Sir Sean Connery.

About National Tartan Day

tartan plaid kilt
Georgeclark/Getty Images

Tartan refers to patterns of crisscrossing lines that you’ve likely seen on kilts, scarves, hats, or rolls of Scotch tape. Different tartan patterns are associated with different regions or clans; generally speaking, the simpler the tartan pattern, the newer the family.

National Tartan Day has been officially observed in the U.S. since 1997. The April 6 celebration commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath on that date in 1320. In the declaration, the lords of Scotland declared themselves independent of English rule, and many say the document had a significant influence on our own Declaration of Independence. How’s that for a contribution to American society? Though Scotland is not currently an independent sovereign state, the declaration is still a source of Scottish pride.

How to Celebrate

New York City Tartan Week parade
NYC Tartan Week/Facebook

More and more U.S. cities are holding National Tartan Day celebrations. New York City goes above and beyond with an entire New York Tartan Week, which culminates with a parade on Saturday, April 7, 2018. You can check with with your local Scottish heritage societies … or you can drink.

As you might have guessed, drinking is a popular pastime in Scotland. Even if you can’t make it to an official Tartan Day celebration, you can still raise a glass to your Scottish friends or ancestors. You might enjoy a pint of dark ale, a glass of neat Scotch, or perhaps a Scottish-themed cocktail. The lads at , a distillery on Scotland’s Isle of Islay, were kind enough to provide us with a special cocktail recipe.

Laphroaig Plaid and Peated

national tartan day laphroaig quarter cask

Method: Combine all ingredients in mixing glass with ice. Stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Food & Drink

A Brief History of Oktoberfest and Why You Should Celebrate in 2018

How did a Bavarian wedding in the 1800s turn into the biggest beer celebration in the world?
Food & Drink

Jim Beam Reveals Limited-Edition Repeal Batch Bourbon

Prohibition has been over for almost 85 years. Jim Beam is celebrating that fact with the brand's new Repeal Batch bourbon.
Living

Ikea is Revisiting Its Biggest Hits in Honor of Its 75th Anniversary

The company is celebrating a milestone birthday but we are the ones getting the gifts.
Travel

5 Best Cities to Celebrate Oktoberfest Outside of Germany

Munich isn't the only place that loves lederhosen, märzen, and oompah bands.
Culture

Logrolling Is the Historic Sport that Should Be Your New Fitness Obsession

Time to pull out your granddad’s Stormy Kromer cap, find yourself a pair of spike-soled shoes, and get (re)acquainted with logrolling.
Culture

How to Smoke a Cigar Like You Actually Know What You’re Doing

There are subtle conventions that cigar smokers tend to follow, and while you won't be ridiculed for not knowing them, nobody wants to look like a beginner.
Food & Drink

One of the Last Blockbuster Stores Now Has Its Own Beer

It's probably worth pouring one out — even if you can't get to one of the last remaining Blockbuster locations.
Culture

The Best Weed Strains for Budding Cannasseurs

Cannabis tastemaking has gone from an underground network based on word-of-mouth to an elite level of connoisseurship on a par with fine wine, coffee, and truffles.
Food & Drink

Nothing Else Matters, Because Metallica is Launching an American Whiskey

As the liquid is aging, the barrels are surrounded by intense, low-hertz sound waves, which supposedly intensify the molecular interaction and finish.
Culture

A Beginner’s Guide to the Most Common Types of Cigars

Even if you're not a cigar aficionado, you should know enough to know what you like.
Culture

How to Break Up with Someone the Right Way

All people are different and all relationships are different, but there remains a cardinal set of principles and do-nots.
Podcast

Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The James Bond Episode

Who is the best Bond? What's the most ridiculous gadget ever wielded by 007? Shaken or stirred? We answer all these questions and more.
Culture

Burt Reynolds, Man’s Man and Unconventional Movie Star, Dead at 82

Standout moments in his career include turning down an offer to play James Bond and, of course, his famous 1972 centerfold in 'Cosmopolitan'.
Culture

Why You Should Max Out Your 401(k) Now for a Better Life Later

If you’re like most millennials, you associate a 401(k) with retirement and don’t put much thought into maintaining it. That's a big mistake. Here's why.