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A Night on Earth in Scotland Shortbread Whisky Pairing Ritual

E600CA23-A5CF-4F30-BC0F-7E8B830451E0@2x Nov 15 2021 · 4 min read

The Ritual

First footing (or the first foot over the door) still remains a strong tradition in Scotland on Hogmanay. 

The ritual is said to bring luck to the house for the year ahead. The tradition states that the first person over your door should be dark haired and bring with them gifts of shortbread, coal and whisky.

Each of these elements is brought to life in the A Night on Earth in Scotland serving ritual.

A Night on Earth Shortbread Making Sieving Ingredients for Shortbread
A Night on Earth Shortbread Making

To Experience

It is suggested that one finger or round of each of these tri-flavoured shortbread is served along with a dram of A Night on Earth in Scotland.

Head Chef Pawel Sowa at The Macallan Elchies Brasserie has created three versions of a classic Scottish shortbread that are then combined into a layered cookie, each of which represent an element of the first footing tradition.



Represents the shortbread that would be gifted

  • 1250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 550g caster sugar, plus extra to finish 
  • 1600g plain flour
  • 200g ground almonds


Represents the dark haired person who would “first foot” after the stroke of midnight

  • 1225g butter, softened 
  • 595g golden caster sugar 
  • 1400g plain flour
  • 14 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 700g dark chocolate
  • Zest of 3 oranges


Represents the coal that the “first footer” would bring

  • 1250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 550g caster sugar, plus extra to finish 
  • 1600g plain flour
  • 200g active charcoal powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth.
  3. Stir in the flour (almonds/cocoa/chocolate/orange zest, depending which recipe you are following) to get a smooth dough. Tip on to a work surface and gently roll out until the dough is 2.5cm thick. 
  4. Trim the sides making a large square, sugar and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Apply the same technique to all 3 doughs and stack them on top of each other. Black, brown, and then white on top.
  6. Cut into tri-coloured shortbread fingers (3cm x 9cm).
  7. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until ready. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy a  finger of each of this festive shortbread with a dram of A Night on Earth in Scotland. 

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