Blood and Sand: One of the Finest Scotch Cocktails You'll Find

Blood and Sand Cocktail
Scotch, cherry brandy, sweet vermouth, and orange juice: keep it even and you have a great Blood and Sand cocktail. David Douglas / Photodisc / Getty Images
  • 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving
Ratings (7)

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.

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with an orange slice.

The Blood and Sand No. 2

Great cocktails inspire other great cocktails and the Blood and Sand is no different. A few bartenders have tried to reinvent this cocktail over the years, but few measure up to Edinburgh mixologist Mike Aikman's Blood and Sand No. 2.

This version takes an interesting twist as the cherry brandy is replaced with Cherry Herring and the orange with passion fruit.

The sweet vermouth becomes a very particular call for 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 Chivas Regal Blended Scotch Whisky, 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, you really cannot beat 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 and a lot of that is due to 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).