Scotch is one of Mr. Nom’s favorite spirits, but it isn’t one of those that is found in a lot of cocktails. There is a big school of thought that using any scotch in a cocktail is sacrilege, as many drinkers think that a beautifully crafted scotch is already the perfect libation. However, we are big believers that using great ingredients can result in even more amazing combinations that can outshine their individual parts. One combination that definitely fits this description is today’s cocktail, the Blood and Sand, which is probably the essential scotch cocktail.
Named after the 1922 movie Blood and Sand which featured Rudolph Valentino as a dashing bullfighter who has a torrid affair with a seductive and very wealthy widow which eventually leads to his tragic death in the bull ring due to his recklessness. Like the movie’s bullfighter, mixing a robust scotch into a cocktail might seem reckless, but this combination might just make you want to have a torrid affair with this drink!
Combining scotch, sweet vermouth, fresh squeezed orange juice and cherry brandy, the combination of robust scotch, sweet vermouth and brandy and the bright tart orange juice plays across your palate and will make you wonder why you didn’t mix your scotch with good stuff to begin with! We started out with one of our favorite scotches, Monkey Shoulder, a blended scotch that is a rich combination of toasted malts, vanilla, and warm spices with just a hint of peat and oak. The sweet vermouth give just a hint of sweetness and brings an herbal quality that enhances the oak and smoke of the scotch. The bright orange juice adds just the right amount of acid and citrus sweetness that opens up the flavors and brings a hint of sunshine to the cocktail. Most recipies call for Cherry Heering or a cherry liqueur, but we love to use the cherry infused brandy that results from making our brandied cherries. Richly cherry flavored, the combination of sweet and tart and mulling spices used to spice up the cherries, the cherry brandy pulls all those warm spices in the scotch into the forefront. We liked our recipe with a bit more scotch than the traditional recipe which calls for even parts of all the ingredients. We hope you give this one a try!
- 1.25 oz Scotch
- 1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice (blood oranges look really sexy if you can find them!)
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 1 oz cherry brandy
- Pour all ingredients into a shaker.
- Fill with ice.
- Shake vigorously.
- Strain into a cocktail couple
- Garnish with a brandied cherry or enjoy straight!