We love an excuse to drink more whiskey, and Scotland’s old “first footing” tradition is perfect.
Scotland has a long history of extensive New Year’s rituals, due in part to Protestant laws against Christmas celebrations that came into effect during the 17th century. Hogmanay, the Scottish term for New Year’s Eve, has given us several traditions already, including New Year’s bells and Auld Lang Syne.
We think it’s time Southern Illinois adopted “first footing”, which is a similar tradition of bringing ceremonial New Year’s gifts to the households of friends and family. One of those gifts is whiskey, of course. But the lineup of traditional gifts also includes a lump of coal, salt and a loaf of shortbread. Traditionally, the preferred bearer of the gifts is a tall, dark-haired man, since the Scottish associated blonde hair with Viking invaders. Nowadays in 2017, though, you can probably forget about that part.
While it’s highly unlikely your friends and family will need a lump of coal in this day and age, we are certain that a hunk of good bread and a bottle of whiskey will be met with big smiles. And what better whiskey to give for first footing than True Kinship?
You can learn more about the history of this tradition here.