Introduced in 1922 (and named after a Rudolph Valentino movie from the same year), the Blood and Sand is often considered the scotch cocktail for people who don’t like scotch — that is to say, it’s highly drinkable no matter what your tastes. I think it only meets that description if you stay away from the smoky offerings of Islay. If you’re using close to two ounces of the peaty stuff, it’s going to be pretty aggressive no matter what else you’re mixing in.
I like semi-aggressive so I’m only swapping in a quarter ounce of smoky whiskey, and using something more gentle for the rest. If you don’t like smoke, just omit it entirely and scale up the smoother scotch.
Orange juice from a carton or bottle works fine here, but fresh-squeezed will really give it some zing. Blood oranges are often suggested, but any juice orange like Valencia will do. Avoid navel oranges or similar, since oranges bred for eating by hand are both drier and generally less flavorful.
- 1.5 oz. Smooth Scotch (Monkey Shoulder is an inexpensive blend)
- .75 oz Fresh Orange Juice
- .5 oz. Cherry Liqueur (Rothman & Winter is very tasty)
- .5 oz. Sweet Vermouth (Noilly Prat is great)
- .25 oz. Smoky Scotch (I like Laphroaig 10)
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice and shake thoroughly. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. No garnish is specified in the original recipe (courtesy of the Savoy Cocktail Book) but a flamed orange peel isn’t a bad idea.
This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts.