Variations and Substitutions
There aren't many changes you can make to the blood and sand cocktail without altering it entirely, but that doesn't mean you're without options.
- Experiment with proportions, using a little less orange juice, a little more sweet vermouth, a little more cherry brandy liqueur, and less orange juice.
- Opt for a full ounce of each ingredient and enjoy it on the rocks.
- Try out different styles of scotch to see which one you prefer best in this classic drink.
The traditional garnish with the blood and sand is a peeled orange. However, you can easily deviate from the traditional one without losing the drink.
- Float an orange wheel atop the drink or place it on the side. You can also place an orange wedge or slice.
- Give your cocktail a new look with a dehydrated citrus wheel, using an orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit.
- Instead of an orange peel, use an orange ribbon. You can also substitute a lemon peel or ribbon as well.
- A cocktail cherry makes an excellent garnish. You can use this on its own or pair it with a citrus garnish.
The History of the Blood and Sand
This classic cocktail is nearly a member of the century club. Lore has it that the blood and sand's name comes from a Rudolph Valentino movie released in 1922 called Blood and Sand. Eight years later, famed bartender Harry Craddock published the recipe for this classic drink in his book The Savoy Cocktail Book.
The ingredients alone don't reveal why the cocktail is named blood and sand, but you can imagine that the cherry liqueur represents the blood, the orange juice, or even scotch, a symbolic stand-in for the sand. Make no mistake, though. This drink isn't rough. Even with an earthy scotch as a base, this cocktail couldn't be easier for anyone to drink.
A Vintage Glimmer
The blood and sand may not be as popular as its other classic red cocktail counterparts, but it is certainly no slouch and isn't a drink you should count-out. This drink is for anyone, not just those seeking scotch, and its sweet flavors make it easily accessible to those who enjoy a well-balanced cocktail.