Video: Five top tips for a perfect Burns Night from James Macsween

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From alternative haggis dishes to poems and whisky, James Macsween has you covered.

Edinburgh-based haggis producer James Macsween has shared his top tips for making the most of Burns Night on January 25th.

Haggis doesn't need to be eaten with neeps and tatties.

Haggis doesn't need to be eaten with neeps and tatties.

Around 30 per cent of Macsween’s annual haggis sales occur around Burns Night, with delivery trucks queueing up on the street outside to transport the national dish far and wide.

Macsween is the nation’s most loved haggis and now vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free foodies can all enjoy Haggis on the bard’s birthday.

Managing Director James admits he loves whisky, but not with haggis.

He said: “People presume that the Burns Supper needs to involve whisky, but actually haggis pairs wonderfully with beer and wine too.

“I always find a good hoppy beer really goes down well.”

Other top tips include organising entertainment for the evening and appointing a spokesperson to keep the party atmosphere going at a more formal soiree.

Read more: Theresa May to host Burns Supper at Downing street

He told us: “For me, it’s not really Burns Night without the address to the haggis.

“It’s a great way to get everyone in the spirit and it’s important to have an enthusiastic spokesperson at the ready for this.

“You might want to try throwing in some alternative poems and speeches – or sharing the verses amongst guests.”

Of course, not everyone is overly food of the traditional haggis, neeps and tatties, but the co-owner explains haggis is as flexible as any other meat.

Watch more: On the trail of Robert Burns in Edinburgh

“While many opt for ‘haggis, neeps and tatties’ for the main course of the Supper, there are many other haggis dishes you can choose to prepare if you’re looking to go for something a little different.”

Offering up some suggestions, he said: “Why not try haggis nachos or haggis sausage rolls.”

Watch James’ five top tips on the perfect Burns Night celebration in the video above, or look out for our quick recipe videos for haggis, neeps and tatties and haggis pakora.