Thursday, 7 October 2010

Blood & Sand

I don't generally go for sweet cocktails, but just occasionally they're so well constructed that the sweetness seems appropriate. Even more occasionally, they involve Scotch whisky too - fetch me my cocktail shaker!

The Blood & Sand, which I tasted for the first time at The Player a few months back, was created for the premiere of the 1922 movie of the same name - a bullfighter-romance starring Rudolf Valentino. That's the story, now the recipe.

Blood & Sand

22.5ml (0.75oz) Scotch whisky
22.5ml (0.75oz) orange juice
22.5ml (0.75oz) sweet vermouth
22.5ml (0.75oz) cherry brandy liqueur

Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Double strain into a chilled martini glass.

For the Scotch, I picked Bailie Nicol Jarvie, a fine blend and perfect for cocktails, while for the cherry brandy-based liqueur I used De Kuyper (24% abv), although I keep reading that the slightly dearer Cherry Heering is best. I've also heard it suggested, repeatedly, that modern tastes might prefer less of the sweet stuff, with an ounce each of the whisky and orange and 3/4 ounces each of vermouth and cherry. I tried this and, sure, it's slightly Scotchier, and maybe more refined. But I still like the original - sublimely sweet and quite moreish.

Buy Bailie Nicol Jarvie from The Drink Shop here. Don't forget the sweet vermouth and the cherry brandy. I'll leave you to figure out the oranges.

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