The first National Buckfast Day: what you need to know

From sausages to cocktails and buckateers, there’s more to buckie than a bad rep

The first National Buckfast Day: what you need to know

Buckfast: keeping Groundskeeper Willie crazy since 1989

Saturday 9 May 2015 is the first ever National Buckfast Day. A recent campaign started for ‘a much needed day dedicated to the World's Greatest Wine’, with plans to celebrate each year on the second Saturday in May. If you aren’t a regular Buckfast drinker here’s the low down on the phenomenon of tonic wine.

The campaign started on Facebook
The campaign has so far amassed 25K likes. If an online campaign seems unofficial World Whisky Day became in a similar vien in 2012, when student Blair Bowman launched the idea from his bedroom. Earlier in 2015 he sold the brand to Hot Rum Cow, for a six figure sum. So those Facebook entrepreneurs might be onto something.

It’s not from Scotland
Despite the green bottle being synonymous with Scotland, the Simpsons’ Groundskeeper Willie is depicted drinking Buckfast in one episode, it’s not a Scottish drink. The wine is made at Buckfast Abbey, in Devon, England, using a recipe attributed to the French monks who settled at the Abbey in the 1880s.

Its got its own lingo
Buckfast, full name Buckfast Tonic Wine, is affectionately shortened to ‘Buckie’ or referred to as ‘Wreck the Hoose Juice’ or ‘Commotion Lotion’ by drinkers, themselves known as ‘Buckateers’. Intrepid adventurers can seek out the ‘Buckie Triangle’, located between Airdrie, Coatbridge and Bellshill it doesn’t appear on any map.

It gets a bad rep in the press
Buckfast is often attributed to anti-social behaviour, coined ‘tonic wine crime’. In 2014 police had to apologise to the distributors after they encouraged retailers to ‘bottle mark’ Buckfast, a system that allows the police to trace bottles associated with crime back to the store from which they were purchased.

You can cook with it
Alcohol is a common ingredient in food, so why not Buckfast? Several innovative butchers have created recipes combining tonic wine in traditional meat recipes. DG Lindsay & Sons, a butcher in Perth and McKenzie Butchers in Greenock cooked up the idea of sausages made with Buckfast, branded as ‘Bucky Bangers’ Over in Clackmannanshire Rendall's Quality Butchers have gone to town with Buckfast pies, bacon, lorne, haggis and blackpudding all available.

You don’t have to drink it neat
If you fancy trying Buckfast but don’t want to brave it neat you can ease yourself in with a ‘Buckie Bomb’, following the standard formula ‘alcohol plus energy drink equals bomb’, this consists of a shot of Buckfast dropped into Red Bull or similar drink. You can also use Buckfast in cocktails, Lebowskis offer ‘Scotland’s answer to the white russian’ consisting of Buckfast, Kahlua and milk. I’m sure The Dude would have approved.

National Buckfast Day takes place on Sat 9 May … proceed with caution and inform someone of your plans.

Buckfast Abbey

Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0EE

Buckfast Abbey, in Dartmoor National Park, is home to a community of Roman Catholic Benedictine monks. The complex houses a church, restaurant, monastic shop, bookshop, accommodation and a conference centre. Events at the Abbey include concerts, theatre…


18 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8BJ

Quirky bar for thirsty folk coming from work, party animals and visitors enjoying the nearby entertainment venues on Lothian Road.


1008 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8LX

Burgers and White Russians at this popular Finnieston pub titled and themed after the famously laid-back star of The Big Lebowski.

DG Lindsay & Son

15 North Methven Street, Perth, PH1 5PN

This award-winning family butcher was established in Perth in 1863, and for those 150 years has been run by successive generations of the Lindsay family down to Mr Beaton Lindsay today. It's a true local business: the meat is sourced from Perthshire…


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