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The Blood and Sand – Scotch Whiskey Cocktails

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Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by Leah Hall

A favorite liquor forward scotch whiskey cocktails that is a classic!


Scotch is one of Jay’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.

Blood and Sand Cocktail in Cocktail coupe with jigger, flowers and Scotch bottle in background

Scotch Whiskey Cocktails

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!

Blood and Sand Cocktail in Cocktail coupe with jigger and flowers in background

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Combining scotch, sweet vermouth, fresh squeezed orange juice and cherry brandy, the combination with orange juice plays across your palate. The flavors 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.


What Ingredients are Needed for the Blood and Sand?

  • Cherry Brandy
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Blood Orange Juice
  • Scotch Whisky


The bright orange juice adds just the right amount of acid and citrus sweetness. The juice opens up the flavors and brings a hint of sunshine to one of the great scotch whiskey cocktails. Most recipes call for Cherry Heering or a cherry liqueur. 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!




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Blood and Sand Cocktail - red cocktail in coupe, jigger, cherries and flowers behind
Yield: 1

Blood and Sand - Classic Scotch Cocktail

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

A classic Scotch cocktail with vermouth and blood orange juice.


Blood and Sand Cocktail

  • 1.25 ounces Scotch
  • 1 ounce cherry brandy
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth


Pour all ingredients into a shaker.

Fill with ice. Shake vigorously.

Strain into cocktail coupe.

Garnish with a brandied cherry or enjoy straight.


Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 4.1gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 2.6gProtein: 0.2g

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Thursday 14th of April 2016

Yum this looks delicious! Thank you for the recipe. xo, Nicole

The 'Noms.

Thursday 21st of April 2016

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday 14th of April 2016

I am not a scotch person, but this sure looks pretty!

The 'Noms.

Thursday 21st of April 2016

It is a really great cocktail, and you really don't notice the scotch! :)

Marlynn Jayme Schotland

Thursday 14th of April 2016

I agree: I love an amazing scotch on its own, but think it can also help create some of the most delicious cocktails. This one looks fabulous, and I love the tie in with the story behind the name!

The 'Noms.

Thursday 21st of April 2016

Thanks so much! We just love cocktails with stories! Cheers!

Jennifer A Stewart

Thursday 14th of April 2016

Never been a scotch fan but starting to like bourbon. Think I could sub? This sounds tasty and when I am adulting it would make me look cool for sure! I do need to buy some brandy and vermouth:)

The 'Noms.

Thursday 21st of April 2016

You could sub with bourbon, which will be a bit sweeter than the scotch. Hope you try this!


Thursday 14th of April 2016

Agreed on blood oranges adding a sexy exotic look to cocktails. Enjoyed your story behind the cocktail origins.

The 'Noms.

Thursday 21st of April 2016

Thanks, we love cocktails with back stories! It's really good!

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