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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blood and Sand cocktail will cure those Utah desert blues

Recently the Utah Mixologist wrote about the reincarnation of Salt Lake City’s venerable Bar X as a cocktail bar.  The cocktail menu included a classic cocktail found in the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) that this mixologist had never tried: the Blood and Sand.  The Blood and Sand was created in 1922 to capitalize on the popularity of the Rudolf Valentino movie of the same name.  Researching this recipe led to Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, where you can find a short discussion of the history of the Blood and Sand, along with an interesting variation on the recipe.  The original Savoy recipe calls for equal parts of all ingredients, and tastes pretty good, but Haigh’s recipe adds an additional quarter ounce of both OJ and Scotch and makes a perceptible improvement.

A word of warning: the color of the Blood and Sand has more sand than blood in it, which makes presentation problematic.  Cherry Heering Liqueur® is reddish in color, but once the Vermouth, Scotch, and OJ are added, you end up with a distinct, brownish hue.  So if you’re serving these to friends or at a party, try to use glasses with a complementary color or use some colorful cocktail picks to jazz things up.  Be sure to experiment with the ingredient variations given below to see which proportions work best for you.  An easy way to do this is to mix a batch using the classic from the Savoy recipe, taste it, and then add the extra quarter ounces, stir a little, and taste it again.  Post your findings here to let us all know which variation tastes best to you.

Blood and Sand (Savoy)
  • 3/4 oz Orange juice
  • 3/4 oz Blended Scotch (Dewars® works)
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering Liqueur®
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth

Fill a cocktail shaker 2/3 full of ice. Add ingredients and shake until your hand gets cold.  Strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cocktail (or Maraschino) cherry and ride off into the desert.

Blood and Sand (Ted Haigh variation)
  • 1 oz Orange juice
  • 1 oz Blended Scotch
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering Liqueur®
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth

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