Classics Exhibition: Blood & Sand


Welcome back to Classics Exhibition, our photography gallery of Classic Cocktails. For this series, our first of 2015, we go to the Alembic Bar in the Haight Ashbury for a taste of the Blood and Sand.

The Blood and Sand is said to have fist appeared in the famous Savoy Cocktail Book. The memorable name came from the 1922 film, Blood and Sand, which was based on the Spanish romantic novel, Sangre y Arena.

The defining quality of a Blood and Sand is the fact that its made with Scotch – not usually front of mind these days as a base spirit for cocktails.

With such a strong anchor, the trick here is complimentary players on the rest of the roster. First, the sweet, viscous cherry liqueur, Cherry Heering adds an immediate counterpoint to the robust, smokey spirit. Punt-e-Mes, the herbaceous Italian vermouth is added, along with freshly squeezed orange juice, to provide a bitter and sour, bringing flavor and spine respectively. Shake the Blood & Sand to achieve a nice frothy layer, then pour neat into a chilled glass.

For the garnish, Alembic goes for the flamed orange twist. As the rind is peeled and squeezed, its oils go through the flame, causing them to caramelize.

The Blood & Sand Savoy recipe is an easy one to make. Like another Classic Cocktail, the Negroni, it is an equal parts concoction.

3/4 oz Scotch
3/4 oz Cherry Brandy (Heering is the more modern/civilized option)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
3/4 Orange Juice

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with orange twist.

Photography: Andrew Dinh
Special Thanks: Larry Piaskowy, Alembic Bar Manager