Blood and Sand

The rare classic built from a Scotch backbone.


This recipe first popped up in the Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930, with the title thought to be a nod to Rudolf Valentino’s 1922 silent film of the same name (itself, an adaption of a 1909 Spanish novel) about the rise and fall of a bullfighter. This mix of equal parts Scotch, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur and orange juice, shaken and strained into a coupe, makes for one of the rare cocktails based on Scotch.


Serving: 1

  • 1 ounce Scotch, blended
  • 1 ounce cherry liqueur (preferably Cherry Heering)
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
Editor's Note

Not all cherry liqueurs are created equal; your best bet for this drink is the Danish liqueur Cheery Heering.

  • Sodchucker

    Prefer to scale back the non-base spirit ingredients to 3/4 oz. each, otherwise the scotch is a bit lost, I find. Or maybe I should use a more potent scotch than Black Grouse? Maybe Te Bheag or Peat Monster?

  • The original equal proportions recipe can be offputting to modern drinkers (i.e. those with drier palates). I love this drink any way you make it but my favorite formulation is 1.5 oz scotch to 3/4 oz each of the other three ingredients. Cheers!

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  • bec215

    I have to disagree with the other comments here – we recently made this with the original 1:1:1 proportions and we both loved it though one of us is not a Scotch drinker, and one is.
    And as for the presumed obsession with dry drinks, ironically while everyone *claims* to prefer dry the data show Americans prefer drinks slightly sweet. Give this a try before you mess with the proportions – you might be surprised. Even if you’re not a scotch drinker, with the well-balanced flavors.

    So to the Scotch drinkers, I say take it the way you like, but it’s not a faulty drink for not being a Scotch-plus-other-stuff flavor!

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