Drambuie or “An Dram Buidheach” is The Drink That Satisfies in Scottish Gaelic:
The stories of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart) and the Jacobite Uprising of 1745 are part and parcel of any visit to the Scottish Highlands. Charlie’s insurrection ended in a defeat at the Battle of Culloden, but his flight from Scotland after the uprising continues to be the stuff of legends. One such legend surrounds the creation of Drambuie, a malt whisky liqueur well-known to drinkers around the world.
The Drambuie Legend
When Bonnie Prince Charlie was fleeing after his failed Jacobite Uprising, a loyal supporter Flora MacDonald formulated a plan to smuggle the Prince to the Isle of Skye. She disguised the Prince as her Irish maid ‘Betty Burke’ and took him in a small boat across to Skye.
Prince Charlie was given sanctuary by Captain John MacKinnon of the MacKinnon Clan. He stayed in Portree on the Isle of Skye for a while before leaving the country for France.
Bonnie Prince Charles was known to be very fond of malt whisky. He used to carry with him a secret drink with protective properties that had been created for him by the Royal Apothecary. Charlie was so grateful to the people of Skye that as a present, he gave them the treasured secret formula to his golden elixir.
The name Drambuie, comes from An Dram Buidheach which in Scottish Gaelic means “the drink that satisfies”. It is believed that this name wasn’t coined until 1893. The Drambuie ingredients are believed to include a selection of secret herbs, spices and Scottish heather honey which are then infused by hand into the Scottish whiskey base. And for the Prince, only the best of ingredients would have been used.
Whether one believes the Isle of Skye story or not, the marketing gurus at the Drambuie company have incorporated the legend into its latest branding for Drambuie. On its new Drambuie bottle you’ll see the sword-slashes on the neck of the bottle which are a reminder of the brand’s legendary origin of the 1745 Jacobite Uprising and the four diamonds are intended to represent those values that are closely associated with Bonnie Prince Charlie – Risk, Rebellion, Passion and Mystery. And, The Drink That Satisfies has now become “The Spirit Lives On”.
So next time you imbibe this Highland spirit, drink a toast to Bonnie Prince Charlie!