There are not many scotch cocktails, but this Blood and Sand cocktail has been around for almost 100 years. It first appeared in Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930.
It’s a shame it hasn’t achieved the widespread notoriety of a martini or cosmo because it’s the perfect blend of fruit, smoke, bitter and sweet.
How to Make a Blood and Sand Cocktail
Even though this is a scotch based cocktail, it shouldn’t be overly smokey nor should it be super sweet.
So leave your Islay scotch on the back bar and the store bought OJ in the refrigerator. Instead, reach for a smooth scotch blend and juice a fresh orange. This will make all the difference.
- Pour 1 1/2 ounce blended scotch whisky, 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth, 2 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice, and 1 ounce cherry liqueur (such as Cherry Heering liqueur or Luxardo cherry liqueur) into a cocktail shaker over ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
- Garnish with an orange peel and black maraschino cherry.
Why is this a classic cocktail for Fall?
You couldn’t ask for a better cocktail to sip on a chilly autumn evening. The cherry liqueur and the fresh blood orange juice are reminiscent of warm summer days, but then there’s just enough smoky Scotch with rich peaty flavor to transport you to a cool autumn evening by a roaring bonfire.
The Blood and Sand Restaurant, St. Louis, MO
The first time I had this drink was in the exclusive members only St. Louis establishment by the same name. The Blood and Sand restaurant is located in downtown St. Louis at 1500 St. Charles Street.
Fortunately when we went there for the first time, we were using Google Maps. You need to know what to look for when you go since there is no sign to herald their location. From its mysterious front to its eclectic decor, it is reminiscent of the 1920’s hidden speak easies.
How did the Blood and Sand Cocktail get its name?
The Blood and Sand cocktail was first created during the Prohibition era (1920-1933). This libation came out shortly the Rudolph Valentino 1922 bullfighting movie Blood and Sand. The scotch represents the blood and the orange juice the sand.
However it wasn’t until Harry Craddock included it in his famous Savoy Cocktail Book (England 1930) that the libation started to pick up steam in the American speak easies.
Got Ice? How about making your own crystal clear giant ice cubes! This is a video I made with our son, Carver. Warning: do NOT try cutting the ice like he does. Making the ice this way is very clever, but the way he cuts it… scary!
Using the juice of blood oranges and its deep color help keep it linked to its name. Interestingly, this is one of the few classic mixed drinks that actually includes Scotch. If blood oranges are not available, using
a regular fresh orange over commercial OJ is highly recommended.
So embrace your inner Valentino, grab a cozy sweater, light the fire, snuggle your sweetie and enjoy your weekend with a Blood and Sand. Playing the 1922 silent film is completely optional, but it might be a nice touch.
Other Fabulous Cocktails Recipes to Enjoy
Brightly colored with muddled berries and a splash of creme de cassis, make this classic with whiskey or bourbon.
If you happen to find blood oranges, here’s another cocktail recipe to put them in. Black Luxardo maraschino cherry are a pure treat as well.
Blood and Sand Cocktail Recipe
This is the perfect drink for fall. Mainly because the cherry liquor and the fresh blood orange juice remind me of warm summer days. But then you also have the peaty smoky Scotch in there and that goes so well with cool fall days and a roaring bonfire.
- 1 1/2 ounce Blended Scotch
- 1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth
- 2 ounce Juice of Blood Orange
- 1 ounce Cherry Liquor Cherry Herring or Luxardo
- Pour all ingredients over ice in a shaker. Shake well.
- Pour into a martini glass and garnish with blood orange zest and Maraschino cherry.
If you really want to make a splash, right before serving, light the orange zest on fire. Rub it around the lip of the glass and then add a touch more orange juice on top.
Valentino movie optional. Fire in the fireplace... highly recommended.