Blood and Sand Cocktail

Blood and Sand Cocktail

1/4 Orange Juice (3/4 oz fresh Blood Orange Juice)
1/4 Scotch Whisky (3/4 oz Compass Box Asyla)
1/4 Cherry Brandy (3/4 oz Massenez Creme de Griotte)
1/4 Italian Vermouth (3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

This one is supposed to be named after the 1922 movie of the same name featuring Rudolph Valentino. The movie is the story of a bullfighter rising from a poor background only to be defeated by his own ambition.

As far as the cocktail goes, I think the Asyla is a bit too civilized for this company. The cocktail probably could have used a more assertive a Scotch. Also, while not syrupy, the Blood and Sand, especially made with the Massenez Creme de Griotte, is pretty sweet. If you make it yourself, I’d recommend picking up some Cherry Heering, as it is drier and definitely superior in this cocktail.

My use of blood orange wasn’t really planned. We have a couple kinds of oranges in the fridge, and I picked a small one thinking it was a valencia. When I split it, I realized it was a blood orange. Well, “apropos,” I thought. Also, these are very early season blood oranges, so still quite tart. The berry/musk doesn’t really start to overwhelm the fruit until later in the year.

Blood and Sand is another of those cocktails that had been on my list to try for quite a while. I usually have all the stuff for it in the house. It had just has never made it to the top of the list. First there’s the short list of regular cocktails then there’s the cool ones I read about in Gary Regan’s column or on the Internet… Any of those always seem more appealing than the BandS.

It certainly is an odd cocktail. Fairly mild on the alcohol front, not as sweet as a dessert cocktail, and neither dry nor aromatic enough to qualify as an aperitif or digestif. In a lot of ways, I’ve come to think of it as the blueprint for a lot of the modern, middle of the road cocktails.

Oh, and oddly, Patrick Gavin Duffy instructs this cocktail should be stirred, not shaken.

Here are a couple more links to much better writers than I tackling the mystery that is the Blood and Sand.

Professor gets some Education, Gary Regan, in a SF Chronicle Cocktailian column from 2003

Naming Names, Paul Clarke, from his Cocktail Chronicles blog in 2005

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

5 thoughts on “Blood and Sand Cocktail

  1. I recently made one of these up myself. I used tangerine juice (it’s what I had) and the cherring herring. For the scotch I used Johnny Walker Black label. It turned out really nice, especially seeing as I’m not a scotch or vermouth fan. Odd, I know. But the interplay between the smoky/peaty scotch and the cherry/orange-sweet was quite good. Drinks like that usually help me along in my quest to get over my anti-vermouth hump . . .


  2. To be perfectly honest, I don’t really enjoy these Orange juice and vermouth cocktails unless they have some sort of specialty citrus. Blood Orange, Clementine, Tangerine, Mandarin, Calamansi…

    Yes, I am a spoiled Californian…

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