It may seem surprising but there aren’t that many scotch cocktails that can be considered classics, The Blood and Sand, however, has made it into the ranks! It is strong because of whisky, but also sweet, light, and offers the wonderful balance of flavor.
I love the fact that this classic cocktail was said to have been named after the silent movie of the same title released in 1922. This box office hit of Latin lover Rudolph Valentino was an adaptation of the 1909 Spanish novel of the same name (Sangre y Arena) by author Vincente Blasco Ibáñez
However, the original recipe was mentioned in “The Savoy Cocktail Book” by Harry Craddock in the 1930’s. It is believed that the deep red color of cherry liqueur is the fresh blood, whereas the fresh orange juice represents sand.
Unfortunately you don’t see it on the bar menu very often, but ask for it and I assure you every bartender will have this classic scotch-based cocktail in their oeuvre! It was a favorite of legendary barman Dale DeGroff. It is a favorite of the scotch lover who wants to tap into their inner Valentino!
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Where to find ingredients for Blood & Sand cocktails
What goes into a Blood and Sand
Here is the list of ingredients you will need to make this cocktail:
- Scotch: Scotch is the base spirit and, although we love our single malt Scotch whiskey for its peaty flavor, I recommend for this classic Blood and Sand cocktail recipe is go for a scotch that is not too intense or peated.
- Sweet vermouth: This fortified red wine has a mildly sweet and spicy flavor, unlike dry vermouth. You can use an Italian vermouth or French, but really any can be good.
- Cherry liqueur: Cherry liqueur has a beautiful deep red color and tastes simply like cherries. You can find several brands, like Cherry Heering liqueur.
- Fresh-Squeezed Orange juice: Only use fresh-squeezed if you can!! It makes all the difference
- Garnish: Garnish the drink with orange peel, orange twist, or bitters.
What tools you need to make Blood and Sand
Follow these steps to make this cocktail:
- Step 1: In a cocktail shaker, add the equal parts whisky, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, and orange juice!
- Step 2: Add ice
- Step 3: Shake, shake, shake!
- Step 4: Strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe glass and garnish with orange peel or twist. Bottoms up!
- 🍸Top Tip(le): Here are a few Blood and Sand cocktail variations:
- You can choose single malt scotch for this cocktail to give it a smoky quality.
- Use the juice of blood oranges for a dark red cocktail
- You can use Cherry Brandy if that is all you have at home
- If you have any vintage spirits, try them with this!
- Adding a hint of orange zest on top, just adds that je ne sais quoi!
Where to find more classic whisky recipes
Here are a few of my favorites:
Plus more whisk(e)y recipes here
Here is the recipe!
Blood and Sand
- 3/4 ounce Scotch whisky
- 3/4 ounce Cherry brandy
- 3/4 ounce Sweet vermouth
- 3/4 ounce Freshly squeezed orange juice
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