Blood and Sand
This is a familiar cocktail to us, especially to D. Along with the Rusty Nail it is one of only a handful of well known scotch cocktails, and certainly among the first suggested by bartenders when D requests a scotch-based bevvy. Until recently this drink was impossible to make in this province (correctly at least), but we revel in the recent arrival of Cherry Heering on our liquor store shelves. Cherry Heering is a syrupy liqueur with a deep burgundy hue and a finish reminiscent of sherry.
We once had this cocktail mixed erroneously with maraschino, an interesting substitution that I liked – largely because it was a much more pleasing color than the original, but D was not a fan. In retrospect the maraschino overpowered the scotch, whereas the Heering rounds out the base spirit, highlighting the spicy notes while muting any harshness.
Ted Haigh notes that the Blood and Sand is named after a film of the same title, though it’s easy to imagine that the moniker is a result of its murky rusty hue. But while the color may leave something to be desired this libation is a classic for a reason. It is a workshop in balance: sweet but boozy, citrusy but not overly so, smooth and quaffable even for the scotch novice. I prompted D for some tasting notes. “I like it!” says D. “Why?” says me. “It has scotch in it. I like scotch.” “And…?” I pressed. “There aren’t a lot of scotch cocktails.” Well there you have it. Give this a shot if only because it is one of a handful of mixed drinks with scotch as a base. Make it again because it is delicious.
Blood and Sand
- 1 ounce scotch (a blend such as Johnny Walker Red works well)
- 1 ounce fresh orange juice
- .75 ounce Cherry Heering
- .75 ounce sweet vermouth
Shake over ice. Strain. Garnish with a cherry.