The Blood and Sand is one of the few Scotch cocktails that should be considered a classic. The complete history is somewhat shaky, but it is accepted that it was inspired by the movie Blood and Sand. The original film was produced in 1922 (starring Rudolph Valentino) and was remade in 1941 (starring Tyrone Powers) and again in 1989 (with Sharon Stone).
The cocktail is a beautiful one with a touch of sweet citrus. Cherry Heering is a great substitution for the brandy because it has a more natural cherry flavor than many of today's cherry brandies. Also, fresh-squeezed orange juice is definitely recommended.
- Pour the Scotch, brandy, vermouth, and orange juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with an orange peel.
The Blood and Sand No. 2
Great cocktails inspire other great cocktails and the Blood and Sand is no different. Scotch Whisky works well in cocktails and stands up to modern flavors.
For a newer take on the Blood and Sand, use Cherry Heering for the cherry brandy and replace the orange with passion fruit.
The sweet vermouth is swapped for the aperitif Lillet Rouge as well. It's very fun and a delight to drink.
Mixing the Blood and Sand No. 2 could not be easier. You will simply pour 1 ounce each of blended scotch whiskey (such as Chivas Regal blended scotch whiskey), passion fruit puree, Cherry Herring, and Lillet Rouge. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Which Scotch Should You Choose?
Most whiskey drinkers prefer to mix blended scotches into their cocktails and this is often the best choice. Blended whiskeys tend to be a bit more affordable and the flavor more universal than many of the single malts.
The suggestion of Chivas in the Blood and Sand No. 2 is a fantastic place to begin for a mixable blended scotch. Any of the bottlings from Johnnie Walker would be excellent as well and this brand gives you the option to make the drink as luxurious as you like. When it comes to a truly affordable mixing scotch, another option is Dewar's White Label.
How Strong Are the Blood and Sand Cocktails?
Compared to other "up" cocktails like the Rob Roy, the Blood and Sand is mild. It has almost half the alcohol from the short pour of whiskey and the low- or no-alcohol mixers. No matter which Blood and Sand you choose to mix up, you're looking at a cocktail that's about 16% ABV (32 proof).