Why we love this blood and sand cocktail
Welcome back to part three of my classic cocktail series. This is actually only one of a few Scotch based cocktails I’ve tried, and I was pleasantly surprised by the complex balance of flavors.
Named after the 1922 film starring Rudolph Valentino, the blood and sand was one of many classic cocktails featured in the Savoy Cocktail Book. The movie tells the dramatic story of Spanish bullfighter and his tumultuous love affairs, and the drink is said to be a tribute to the film – and the book that inspired it.
To make this drink, I used Compass Box’s The Story of the Spaniard, which seems incredibly appropriate considering the drinks origin story.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
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Ingredients & substitutions
- Scotch whiskey – You’ll want to use a blended Scotch whiskey for this cocktail – nothing too expensive and nothing too peaty.
- Cherry liqueur – Traditionally, cherry heering is used in this drink, but you could potentially substitute a different cherry liqueur. Just make sure that it’s naturally processed so your drink doesn’t take like cough medicine.
- Sweet vermouth – Red (rosso) vermouth is traditionally used. This adds to the drinks color and flavor.
- Orange juice – Fresh squeezed always adds a more vibrant flavor and will have a smoother, silkier texture than a bottled orange juice. Either style will still result in a delicious tasting cocktail.
How to make a blood and sand cocktail
Shake your cocktail. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the cocktail ingredients. Vigorously shake until cold – about 30 seconds.
Garnish and serve. Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass and garnish with an orange peel And don’t forget to express the citrus oil over the drink.
Everything you need to know about a blood and sand
The Blood and Sand cocktail got its name from the 1922 silent movie called “Blood and Sand,” starring Rudolph Valentino. The drink’s name is a nod to the movie, in which the plot revolves around bullfighting in Spain. It is said the cocktail’s color resembles the bull’s blood and the sand of the bullfighting ring.
Sour cocktails are characterized by a combination of a spirit, citrus juice , and a sweetener, such as a simple syrup. This cocktail does not contain all the qualifying ingredients but it is similar and considered to be a variation of a sour.
When selecting a Scotch for this cocktail, it’s common to use a moderately peaty and smoky Scotch to balance the sweetness of the other ingredients, but you also don’t want to overwhelm the drink with those flavors. Choose a blended Scotch and nothing than is super expensive. High end Scotch can get very pricey, so you wouldn’t want to waste that in a cocktail.
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Go ahead. Have another drink!
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- 1 ounce scotch whiskey
- 1 ounce cherry liqueur
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- 1 ounce orange juice
- For garnish: orange peel
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Cover and shake vigorously until well chilled.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass (coupe or Nick & Nora).
- Express orange peel over the top and twist for garnish.
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Category: Scotch
- Method: Shaking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 234
- Sugar: 16.4 g
- Sodium: 4.3 mg
- Fat: 0.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 18.7 g
- Fiber: 0.1 g
- Protein: 0.3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: scotch cocktail, blood and sand, blood and sand cocktail, cocktails with scotch, scotch whiskey cocktail, cocktail scotch whiskey
Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Melissa Belanger
This post contains affiliate links. I may earn commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. I will never recommend a product I don’t use or trust.