In addition to this blog, I write a monthly e-newsletter for the bed & breakfast called The Morning Star Update. For the November issue, on which I am currently working, I am planning on featuring a cocktail that people could serve before Thanksgiving dinner – that is, if they eat their holiday supper late in the day. At this time, I am leaning toward using Blood and Sand, a cocktail named after the Rudolph Valentino silent film from 1922. ( In the film, Valentino played a Spanish matador undone by fame, a woman – Rita Hayworth – and booze.) A classic cocktail from the 1930’s and 40’s, Blood and Sand is nevertheless one of the rare cocktails made with Scotch. It is heavy and fruity, but not overly sweet, and is typically a medium caramel brown color, though it can lean toward orange or red. If you have a favorite cocktail that you would like to recommend for celebrating the holidays, I’d love to hear about it. In the meantime, if you try a Blood and Sand, enjoy, let me know what you think of it … and of course, unlike Valentino’s matador, drink responsibly.
Blood and Sand
3/4 oz. Scotch
3/4 oz. Heering Cherry Liqueur or Grand Marnier Cherry Liqueur
3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth, preferably Vya
3/4 oz. Fresh-squeezed orange juice
Fill a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Add ingredients. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass.
Notes: Cheap cherry brandies and vermouth can make this drink taste like cough syrup. Use good quality alcohol. Fresh-squeezed orange juice tends to have more of a tart taste than does bottled orange juice and so helps cut the sweetness of the vermouth and cherry liqueur. Fresh-squeezed blood orange juice can be substituted.