Blood & Sand
Blood & Sand
The Blood & Sand is a whiskey cocktail that has been left behind in the recent cocktail resurgence and there is no real reason why that should be, it can stand up with the best of the classics. Combining Scotch, sweet vermouth, orange juice and cherry brandy, it can be a sweet and fruity drink with great texture. It’s one of the only old classics that calls specifically for Scotch whisky as standard and works really well with something slightly peated.
Scotch, Sweet Vermouth, Cherry Liqueur, Orange Juice.
*premium glassware pictured, event glassware may differ.
This classic and underrated cocktail is one of the few whiskey (or whisky) drinks to specify scotch and for those planning a bar hire centred around winter-warming cocktails or classic whiskey drinks, this cocktail is a great addition.
The Blood & Sand is an old classic, featured in The Savoy Cocktail Book, the drink is an equal parts mixture of scotch whisky, cherry liqueur, orange juice and sweet vermouth. The smoky richness of the scotch is mellowed beautifully by the fruity unctuousness of the cherry liqueur and sweet vermouth and the sweet tang of fresh orange juice. This is a pretty strong cocktail both in terms of flavour and alcohol content so if you’re planning on including it you may want some lower alcohol options to help balance out your menu.
Scotch is not the most obvious choice as a cocktail spirit with most whisky drinks favouring its American cousin, bourbon. For those eager to showcase a range of whisky cocktails the Blood & Sand is a great way to show the versatility of this sainted spirit. Whisky is surprisingly adaptable and if you want feature other whisky drinks on your menu some good options might be a classic Mint Julep—a long refreshing, minty drink that’s not too boozy, or even a Bourbon Espresso Martini, a rich and caramel-y twist on the ever-popular classic.
The Blood & Sand may not be to everyone’s tastes, if you’re looking to diversify and feature some lighter, less divisive spirits in your cocktail menu, gin drinks are always popular with a crowd and versatile enough to cover all bases. Think about including a gin classic like a Gin Rickey or an Elderflower Julep for a lighter more fruity choice.
If you’re planning to include the Blood & Sand on your cocktail menu and want to know more about what drinks could be good to serve alongside it, be sure to speak to your event organiser about your options, or check out some other whisky based, classic and short-style cocktails from our list.
The cocktail first appeared in print in Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book. Nothing else is known. We don’t know who made it or in which venue it was made.
Myths & Legends
This cocktail was allegedly created in London and named after Rodolph Valentino’s 1922 Bull Fighting movie: Blood & Sand. The blood represented by the Cherry Heering and the sand would be the Orange juice. Some people believe the cocktail to be too muddy but the trick is to use juice freshly squeezed and to shake as hard as possible.
A quick word by liquor.com on how Dale DeGroff became interested in the Blood and Sand:
‘When Dale told me about it, he said that the list of ingredients pretty much confounded him, so he just had to try one. I had to concur. Scotch, cherry brandy, sweet vermouth and orange juice don’t seem to belong in the same crib, let alone the same glass. The fact is that the Blood and Sand works very well, indeed. But this drink by any other name would taste as sweet.’
Ingredients & Equipment
We recommend using a light peated whisky like Dewars 12, and Cherry Heering for the liqueur; it’s the original and the best.
Feel free to experiment with vermouth, finding the right balance of sweetness for you.
- 25ml Scotch Whisky
- 25ml Sweet Vermouth
- 25ml Cherry Liqueur
- 25ml Orange Juice
- Orange Twist to Garnish
- Hawthorne Strainer
- Fine Strainer
- Large Mexican Elbow or Orange Juicer
- Martini Glass
- Cubed Ice
- Chill your Martini glass in the freezer or fill it with ice
- Take your Boston glass or small tin
- Using your jigger to measure, add the Scotch, sweet vermouth and cherry liqueur to the shaker
- Using your Mexican elbow or orange juicer and your igger to measure, squeeze 25ml of fresh orange juice and add it to the shaker
- Fill your shaker with cubed ice and seal with your Boston tin or lid
- Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds or until your tin is very cold
- Remove your glass from the freezer or empty of ice if necessary
- Using your Hawthorne strainer and your fine strainer, double strain your cocktail into your chilled Martini glass
- Garnish with a twist of orange peel
- Serve and enjoy!
For larger groups of six or more students, we offer the option to take things private. Our classes are fully portable, and we are able to set ourselves up efficiently and professionally in a wide variety of locations and settings across the capital, the UK, and beyond. You name the location, and we’ll endeavour to make it happen.
Give one of our dedicated event organisers a call on 020 8003 7982. They’ll happily talk you through your options, and answer any questions you may have about both our mobile and in-house cocktail making classes.