Blood and Sand Cocktail

First of all… Blood and Sand? The patron ordering the cocktail could do well to feel just as badass as the name of the cocktail they requested. So filled with badassery, in fact, that Spartacus on STARZ! had to cop its name. I digress.

(Further digression: Blood and Sand takes its name from the 1922 silent film staring Rudolph Valentino, which was based on the 1909 Spanish bullfighting novel Sangre y Arena by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez.)

I’m a huge advocate of drinking less but drinking better. There are few things that can give someone the illusion that they are getting everything they want out of life like a well-made cocktail. Or, in the case of my friend Jason Rowley, a dram in a clean bucket free of dishwashing residue and lipstick. Actually, the lipstick’s optional. So, yeah… do that.

“Garbage in, garbage out,” goes the saying. At least with food and drink. This is an “equal parts” beverage, that is, there is 3/4 oz. of each ingredient. Make each of those 3/4 oz count.

3/4 oz. Blended Scotch:

“But scotch is expensive.”
Yes and no. Expensive scotch is expensive, and vice versa. For more in depth info, I’ll turn you over to Jamie Boudreau at:


A nice affordable blended scotch that I’ve found works well is Clan MacGregor. It’s under $20, and blows away Grant’s and other rail scotches in terms of depth of flavor.

Some people really enjoy the smoky peatyness of an Islay scotch, and while I do agree with them, the best Blood and Sand I ever had the pleasure of enjoying was made with Glenfiddich 12 year at Jake’s Famous Crawfish in Portland, OR.

If you’ve stopped using lady-scented bodywash, I really wouldn’t blame you, in fact- I’d encourage you to bump up the scotch to 1 1/2 oz. Boom. The tickets are now diamonds.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES USE SEAGRAMS’ 7. For the love of God, man- if you want to drink neutral grain spirits, go drink some Everclear.

3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth:

You can go for broke and use Carpano Antica Formula (which is absolutely delicious on its own, chilled) or you could use Noilly Prat Rouge (nine bucks.) Or Cinzano Rosso (also nine.) Hint: Use Noilly Prat. You’re welcome. I’m going to take a celebratory sip of chilled Noilly Prat now, guys. The kind of slow-motion sip with the label turned outwards. Okay. Moving on.

3/4 oz. Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice:

Lots of things are negotiable in this recipe. Types of oranges are negotiable. Squeezing the OJ fresh is not one of those things. The original called for freshly-squeezed blood oranges, but since the vast majority of us are sans bloody citrus,
I ended up using a large organic orange that wouldn’t fit in the mouth of my infusing jar wherein sits my current batch of triple-sec. (Its ready on Thursday. *Squeeeee. )

tl;dnr: Squeeze the oranges. Squeeze them. If you pour anything out of a jug at this juncture, I will personally hunt you down with the day-glo orange dead-blow hammer I use for crushing ice.

3/4 oz. Heering Cherry Liqueur

Why must the Danes continually tempt me with things I like, such as:

Cherry Heering
Cheese Danishes
Danish Cheeses (such as Danish Blue)

Heering Cheery Liqueur tastes like crushed sour cherries simmered for hours with molasses, then mixed with brandy. I dare say that’s a good way of describing it.

Shake everything over ice until a nice frost forms on the outside of your tin and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass (a coupe if you’re nasty.)

Garnish with a slice of orange, and if you have it handy, a bourbon cherry.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve just finished drinking the cocktail in the picture, and I’ve got half an orange left and, well… you know.


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Filed under Cocktail, Heering, Scotch

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