Blood & Sand

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Cocktail History

The Blood & Sand is a classic cocktail that was created by Harry Craddock and was first published in his 1930 book The Savoy Cocktail Book. Unlike many classic cocktails, this one, which is named for a 1922 film about a Spanish matador, uses Scotch as a base, and it has a surprisingly sweet flavor profile thanks to cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, and citrus juice.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Scotch: This is a type of whiskey made in Scotland with malt or grain, spices, alcohol, and water. We used The Famous Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky because its smoky and sweet flavor works well in cocktails. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Mocktails Green Label Single Malt Whiskey Non-Alcoholic Alternative in place of the whisky.

Heering Cherry Liqueur: This is a liqueur made in Denmark with Stevens cherries, baking spices, almonds, sugar, and alcohol. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Cherry Syrup in place of the cherry liqueur.

Sweet Vermouth: This is a fortified wine made with grapes, sugar, botanicals, herbs, sugar, and alcohol. We used Dolin Vermouth de Chambery Rouge because it’s a high quality vermouth with notes of herbs, coriander, hyssop, rhubarb, and citrus. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Apéritif Rosso in place of the sweet vermouth.

Orange Juice: This is the liquid juice of an orange. We used freshly squeezed orange juice.

Cherry: This is a fruit that has been soaked in brandy and rich syrup. We used Luxardo Maraschino Cherries because they’re high quality and delicious.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Cocktail Pick: This is used to hold the garnish. We used one from the I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Pick Set.

Tasting Notes

The Blood & Sand begins with faint cherry and Scotch aromas, tastes of lightly sweet orange at first, and ends with a complex and bright blend of sweet cherry, vanilla, oak, and orange.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: The use of citrus in this drink lends just enough acidity to balance it out without turning it sour, and the whole thing leaves you with just a touch of Scotch flavor on the tongue—but not enough to put off someone who doesn’t usually drink Scotch. Kendall, who falls into that category, likened this recipe to a dessert. While Alex, who loves Scotch, was pleasantly surprised at the complexity the Blood & Sand offered and wouldn’t tweak a thing about its specifications.

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Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This is one I hadn’t tried before writing this, and wow, it’s great. It looks so dark and foreboding, like a Vieux Carré or a Manhattan, but the orange makes it much lighter and more inviting in taste than it appears. The combination of flavors makes for a rich, sweet, almost dessert-like quality, while still maintaining its booze factor. This is one to have if you’re not totally sold on Scotch because it’ll make an advocate of anybody.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“I don’t know how else to describe the Blood & Sand other than that, not in taste but in the feeling of surprise and delight you feel trying it, it reminds me of dark chocolate. It’s slightly sweet notes rounded out by the cherry and Scotch—these flavors are all balanced so well, and I can’t really explain why. I didn’t expect to enjoy this cocktail at all because I don’t usually like Scotch, but this opened my eyes to how versatile it can be.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

Sale
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 352 Pages – 09/05/2017 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.05 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail Book

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 oz Scotch
 1 oz Cherry Heering Liqueur
 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
 1 oz Orange Juice
 1 Cherry

Method
1

Add Scotch, cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, orange juice, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with cherry.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 oz Scotch
 1 oz Cherry Heering Liqueur
 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
 1 oz Orange Juice
 1 Cherry

Directions

Method
1

Add Scotch, cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, orange juice, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with cherry.

Blood & Sand

Make It a Mocktail: Use Escape Mocktails Green Label Single Malt Whiskey Non-Alcoholic Alternative in place of the whisky, Monin Premium Cherry Syrup in place of the cherry liqueur, and Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Apéritif Rosso in place of the sweet vermouth to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
Sturdy, stainless steel blade; Soft, comfortable, non-slip handle ensures a safe grip; Hand wash with warm, soapy water and promptly dry
$9.95 Amazon Prime
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
Measure: 4.25″; Material: stainless steel 304, color: silver; Reusable martini olive skewers, stainless steel olive stuffer.
$6.99 Amazon Prime

More Scotch Cocktails

If you like this Scotch-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Flying Scotsman Cocktail Recipe

Flying Scotsman: A Scotch cocktail made with sweet vermouth, simple syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, orange zest, and an orange twist

Penicillin Cocktail Recipe

Penicillin: A Scotch cocktail made with lemon juice, honey syrup, ginger syrup, and candied ginger

Saigon Lady Cocktail Recipe

Saigon Lady: A Scotch and brandy cocktail made with grenadine, lemon juice, egg white, and ground cinnamon

Flannel Shirt Cocktail Recipe

Flannel Shirt: A Scotch cocktail made with apple cider, Amaro Averna, lemon juice, simple syrup, allspice dram, Angostura aromatic bitters, and an orange peel

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