They’re not many in number, Scotch cocktails, and understandably so. Scotch whisky, whether smoky or peaty, is a lonely, Brontë-esque figure on the moors, demanding to be savored in solitude. The one or two drinks I’ve spotlighted using this spirit don’t stray far from the Manhattan. But the cocktail that shows Scotch to its best advantage moves in a completely different direction, and is in my personal pantheon. Naysayers who don’t believe Scotch mixes well be warned: no less an authority than Ted Haigh, in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, calls the drink “revelatory.”
Valentino’s triumph also gave rise to the cocktail. Its exact origin is unknown, but the recipe first appeared in Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book (1930). The inspiration carries over to the ingredients, with orange juice representing the sand and the rich red of Cherry Heering serving as sanguinary element. Springing for a bottle of this extraordinarily flavorful brandy has allowed me at last to make this drink at home.
The Blood and Sand
1 ½ oz. Scotch
¾ oz. orange juice
½ oz. Cherry Heering
½ oz. sweet vermouth
Shake. Strain. No garnish.
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