Thursday, February 5, 2009

blood and sand (variation)

2 oz Dewar's Scotch
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth
2 slices of Orange
1 Marasca Cherry (Luxardo)
1 dash Housemade Orange Bitters

Muddle cherry, orange slices and orange bitters in mixing glass. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish glass with orange wedge on rim and another Marasca cherry dropped in.

For my second drink at Deep Ellum, I told Max Toste that I was interested in the Blood and Sand unless there was something else he wanted to make me. He paused and then said that he wanted me to try his take on this classic drink, one named after the 1922 Rudolf Valentino as a bullfighter flick. The traditional recipe is:
Blood and Sand
1/4 Jigger Whisky
1/4 Jigger Italian Vermouth
1/4 Jigger Chery Brandy
1/4 Jigger Orange Juice
Shake well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass and serve. Recipe from Boothby's World Drinks and How to Mix Them (1934).
The most recent issue of Imbibe magazine (Jan/Feb) mentions this drink and that Ted Haigh suggests altering the equal parts recipe by reducing the sweet vermouth and Cherry Heering down to a 1:1:3/4:3/4 ratio to make the drink less sweet and more engaging. Max's approach was similar but more extreme. He skipped the orange juice entirely and replaced it with a muddled orange slice or two in addition to orange bitters. He scaled back the Cherry Heering and sweet vermouth and added back some of the sweetness with the muddled cherry. The end result was very Scotch forward and relatively dry (well, given the ingredients). There was a prominent and pleasant smokiness over the fruit and vermouth flavors. While I had never had a traditional version of the drink, Andrea had. She commented that she enjoyed Max's variation a lot more than the sickly sweet original.

Update: April 18, 2012 -- Max made us another Blood & Sand two weeks ago. Here is his current tweak on the recipe:
• 2 oz Blended Scotch
• 1/2 oz Cherry Heering
• 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
• 1/3 oz Maraschino Cherry Syrup
• 1 Orange Slice
• 3 dash House Orange Bitters
Muddle the orange slice. Add rest of ingredients and ice. Shake and double strain into a rocks glass.


dfan said...

Sickly sweet? Nonsense! The Blood & Sand is a total classic. You need to try the original at least once.

frederic said...

I probably will and came close to ordering one last night at Highland Kitchen. I only stopped since the last time I was there the drinks were booze heavy (and liquor/juice light) and my HighHat was nothing like the classic one I've made at home.