The Blood and Sand cocktail, made with blood orange

The Blood and Sand Cocktail

The Blood and Sand cocktail is a throwback to the Prohibition-era days when Rudolph Valentino was one of the greatest stars of the Silver Screen. Named after “the Sheik”‘s 1922 movie, this classic cocktail is one of the few that uses scotch as it’s base. Like many cocktails from that era, the recipe could be found in Harry Cradock’s “The Savoy Cocktail Book”

Rudolph Valentino's "Blood and Sand" movie poster

Rudolph Valentino’s “Blood and Sand” movie poster

Using Scotch in a cocktail

There are not too many scotch cocktails around. Scotch has such a distinctive smoky taste, that it is very difficult to combine with other flavors and not have it overwhelm the whole drink. And, let’s be honest.  If you’re going to drink a good scotch, you’re probably going to drink it neat or with a little ice and water. The Blood and Sand cocktail is a scotch cocktail worth breaking out the good stuff to try. It’s a satisfying combination of the smokiness of the scotch and the sweetness of the blood orange, cherry heering and vermouth. For this cocktail recipe, I did use a very nice, single-malt scotch, Ardbeg. Some people actually prefer to use a milder, scotch blend, such as Dewar’s or Johnnie Walker. 

Blood and Sand Cocktail ingredients

Blood and Sand Cocktail ingredients – cherry heering, sweet vermouth, scotch and blood orange

 

Blood Orange Slices

Blood Orange Slices

Blood Oranges

Blood orange is a sweet orange with a dark red pulp. On the outside, if looks very similar to any other orange, but when you slice one open, it looks almost like a dark ruby red grapefruit, but a lot sweeter. Like many oranges, the blood orange is native to the Mediterranean, but has been cultivated in the U.S. for quite a while. It is a seasonal market find, with the best blood oranges to be found from November to February.

Blood Orange Slice

Blood Orange Slice

The Blood and Sand Cocktail

1 oz scotch (blended or single-malt is fine)
1 oz. fresh blood orange juice
3/4 oz. cherry heering
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
orange peel or maraschino cherry to garnish

Place ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour in the scotch, fresh blood orange juice, cherry herring and sweet vermouth. Shake until chilled. Pour into an old-fashioned cocktail glass, then garnish with a wedge of orange peel or a maraschino cherry.

If you want to get fancy, you can do the trick that I showed you a couple of weeks ago… flaming the orange peel. I’ve got pictures posted on how to do this over at my Tangerine Drop Martini blog post.

Cheers!

Flaming the Orange Peel over a Tangerine Drop Martini

Flaming the Orange Peel over a Tangerine Drop Martini

Halloween Cocktail – The Corpse Reviver No. 2

Corpse Reviver No.2

The Corpse Reviver No. 2 is the perfect Halloween cocktail. Or maybe, like it’s original intent, it is the perfect AFTER-Halloween cocktail, when you need a bit of “the hair of the dog” to revive you. In fact, it used to be served as a “breakfast cocktail” to cure you after a night of debauchery.

Even though I said that I was putting my gin away until warm weather returns, this gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc and absinthe cocktail is really delicious AND has the creepy name to commemorate either Hallow’s Eve or The Day of the Dead. 

Continue reading »

Autumn Pear Sidecar cocktail

Autumn Pear Sidecar

With the end of the hot weather, I think it’s time to put away the fruity, fizzy drinks of summer and return to the warmer amber spirits. I do love the classic cocktails that use brandy, rye and whiskey as their base, and the Sidecar is one of my favorites. Variations of the Sidecar cocktail abound, so I felt at liberty to futz around with the general concept and make an Autumn Pear Sidecar cocktail.

Continue reading »

Monkey Gland Cocktail – Prohibition-era drink

Monkey Gland Cocktail

The Monkey Gland cocktail wins the prize for the oddest name and the most interesting origin. According to Ted Haigh’s go-to guide, Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, the drink came from the famous Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the 1920’s, which was the host to famous American ex-pats such as Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Invented by bar owner Harry McElhane, the drink was named after the questionable medical practices of a Russian quack named Serge Voronoff. In Paris during the 1920’s, Voronoff performed implants of monkey testicles into …um…shall we say… well…the corresponding part on a human male. This was supposed to rev up the sex drive. It was very popular with Parisian cafe society.

Continue reading »

Aviation Cocktail – Great Gatsby-Inspired Friday

The Aviation Cocktail

With the opening this weekend of Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Great Gatsby’ remake, it seems appropriate to serve up a Prohibition-era cocktail that is visually dazzling – The Aviation Cocktail. This jewel-toned cocktail is made of gin, fresh lemon juice, maraschino liqueur and créme de violette.

Continue reading »