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What's the deal with Blood and Sand?


ThinkingBartender
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Some people say:

"I looked at the recipe and thought it was digusting, but when I tried it I was pleasantly suprised!"

Why?

when I look at the recipe, I see this.

1. equal parts manhattan (no bitters)

2. add another part of cherry heering.

These two together sound fair enough, an extra sweet manhattan (of sorts).

3. add a part of orange juice.

Where does it look digusting? and to be honest who cares, as there are plenty of other, better drinks out there.

hmm! everclear and gatorade! pardee!

Cheers!

George

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Well, I wouldn't say that I thought it sounded disgusting, but I was skeptical when I first read about it, because:

a) I don't like my Rob Roys that sweet -- I generally drink them perfect (although I have started to drink the occasional sweet Manhattan);

b) the addition of cherry brandy made it sound even more sweet, to the point that I thought it would be cloying;

c) the combination of Scotch and orange juice sounded very strange.

Why did I try it? Because both Gary Regan and Dr. Cocktail said it was worth trying, and I trust their judgment.

It's not my favorite drink, by any means, but it's nice from time to time. It's sweeter than my usual drinks -- I'd be curious to try it with sour orange juice. But I'm glad I tried it, certainly.

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c) the combination of Scotch and orange juice sounded very strange.

That is what got me. I think even further into the discussion was something about a JWBlue being used to mix and that too made me shudder.

At the price of JWB, I'd never use it to mix, but am sure would elevate this drink to sublime.

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Do we turn our noses up at other whisky+juice combinations? :huh:

whisky+ lemon juice+sugar=whisky sour

whisky+ pineapple juice+dry vermouth= Algonguin

whisky+ cranberry juice+lime juice= Rhett Butler

apple juice, grapefruit juice, gatorade, what else?

:wacko:

George

Edited by ThinkingBartender (log)
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TB-

Think for a second. What's weird about this drink is not that it has whisky and fruit juice.

What's weird is that it has Scotch and fruit juice.

Not spicy rye. (goes in a Manhattan)

Not sweet Canadian. (goes in an Algonquin)

Not even rich and woody Bourbon. (makes a fine whisky sour)

This drink calls for mixing smoky iodine-y kinda-briney somewhat bitter and sorta-floral Scotch with sweet fruity stuff. That's weird.

All whisky ain't the same, and sub-ing one for another just wouldn't work. Would you want a Sazerac made with scotch? Didn't think so.

Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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I agree with cdh here. Scotch and juice strikes me as a little odd.

For me, though, there is also something about orange juice. Unlike lemon and lime which are all extremely acidic, or grapefruit and cranberry, which bring bitterness and astringency to the table, respectively, in addition to the acid, regular old orange juice doesn't typically pack much of a punch and tends to bring a lot more sweetness to the game. Many of us, myself included, would only use sour oranges in an "up" cocktail. This, in my mind, makes orange juice an ingredient that works in an entirely different way from the sour juices.

I definitely would have had an easier time accepting the concept of the Blood and Sand had it been made with lemon juice instead of orange juice -- especially when thinking about pairing it with scotch.

--

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For me, though, there is also something about orange juice. . . .

This, in my mind, makes orange juice an ingredient that works in an entirely different way from the sour juices.

I definitely would have had an easier time accepting the concept of the Blood and Sand had it been made with lemon juice instead of orange juice -- especially when thinking about pairing it with scotch.

I think you're right -- regular orange juice sort of takes over a cocktail. To me, a Blood and Sand tastes remarkably like a Bronx, or a Satan's Whiskers (gin, OJ, dry and sweet vermouth, plus Cointreau or Grand Marnier), even though the B&S is scotch-based, while the other two are gin-based. I'd even put Mardee Regan's Mischief (eGullet's second official cocktail), which contains tequila, lime vodka and orange juice, in the same category. It's not that I don't like these drinks, but it's odd -- it's as if once you get that much orange juice in a cocktail, everything else is drowned out.

I think the Blood and Sand, which I like once in a while, would be a much better drink -- to my taste -- if made with sour orange juice. As I mentioned elsewhere, I've used a combination of Meyer lemon juice, lime juice and regular orange juice as a sub for sour orange juice. When I get my bottle of Cherry Heering, I'll give it a try.

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  • 3 months later...
I think the Blood and Sand, which I like once in a while, would be a much better drink -- to my taste -- if made with sour orange juice. As I mentioned elsewhere, I've used a combination of Meyer lemon juice, lime juice and regular orange juice as a sub for sour orange juice. When I get my bottle of Cherry Heering, I'll give it a try.

So, after all this time, I gave this idea a try tonight. It works really well, I think.

My "sour orange juice" is about one part Meyer lemon juice, 1/2 part lime juice and 3/4 part orange juice. I imagine that if you don't have Meyer lemon juice, you could use less regular lemon juice and more orange (or even tangerine) juice.

The proportions for the drink:

1.5 oz scotch

.75 oz sweet vermouth

.5 oz Cherry Heering

1 oz. sour orange juice

These proportions allow the scotch to come forward more, and the drink is much less cloying than with regular orange juice and more Cherry Heering. I could drink these regularly.

[by way of comparison, Gary Regan's recipe calls for 3/4 oz of each of the ingredients; the recipe in CocktaildDB uses 3/4 oz scotch and orange juice, with 1/2 oz sweet vermouth and cherry brandy.]

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  • 4 years later...

resurrecting an old thread, as i had my first blood and sand in LV this week at Michel Mina's Nobhill at MGM..

first off i was excited to see a drink menu in vegas that had classics (Moscow mule, cablecar(sidecar mod) and the blood and sand, plus a few others who's name escapes me at the moment.

I wanted to pick your collective minds as to the use of Luxardo Maraschino in place of the cherry heering in this drink, thats what our bartender used (i was sure to ask and observe, also used cinzano sweet vermouth)...i believe he said his proportions were 1 oz jw-black, 3/4 each of the rest, and they did use fresh squeezed juices.

I thought it all worked quite nicely together, and was rather an enjoyable cocktail and paired well with my braised short ribs in a Worcestershire reduction....

i think a flamed orange twist is in order for me to try once i make this at home, and would Punt e Mes work? how about Famous Grouse? i imagine Antica fromula (when i can get my hands on it) will make it even nicer...

Edited by shantytownbrown (log)
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i think a flamed orange twist is in order for me to try once i make this at home, and would Punt e Mes work? how about Famous Grouse? i imagine Antica fromula (when i can get my hands on it) will make it even nicer...

Famous Grouse is my favorite Scotch for making a Blood and Sand. I have made it with Antica, and with Dolin Rouge. Different, but both good. I don't much like M&R vermouth, so I don't have it around to try. I did not like it with Luxardo (and I'm a fan of Luxardo), and I don't like it with any other cherry brandy but the Heering.

Carol

Tolovana

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Yeah this has been covered elsewhere but Maraschino is not a sub for Heering or vice-versa. As far as uses go I'd place it closer to Cointreau.

i assume you mean "in general" it is not a sub for each other...

or, specifically this drink? maybe then i did not experience a true B&S the other nite, but i did enjoy what i had none-the-less, so for me it worked here, but again maybe i would enjoy the real version more..

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Since Luxardo maraschino liqueur uses cherry pits, giving it a flavor that's usually described as "funky." This makes it quite different than a "cherry brandy" like Heering, which is all thick, rich, ripe fruit.

Other brands of similar to Heering would be Cherry Marnier and Luxardo's Sangue Morlacco which would be the Lux product to sub if you can't find Cherry Heering.

nunc est bibendum...

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Since Luxardo maraschino liqueur uses cherry pits, giving it a flavor that's usually described as "funky." This makes it quite different than a "cherry brandy" like Heering, which is all thick, rich, ripe fruit.

Other brands of similar to Heering would be Cherry Marnier and Luxardo's Sangue Morlacco which would be the Lux product to sub if you can't find Cherry Heering.

no, i can find it, we have it here in CT, at least i saw it on the shelf 6 mos ago...

i realise i can sub these other things for cherry heering/cherry brandy, but my point was for the blood and sand. if this is what you are all talking about, then i accept your points.

i clearly see there is a difference in the two products, but for those of you who have had this particular drink both ways, how do you feel it makes the drink different..., i would like to hear from those who have made both versions...will i really enjoy the drink that mush more?

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Yeah this has been covered elsewhere but Maraschino is not a sub for Heering or vice-versa. As far as uses go I'd place it closer to Cointreau.

i assume you mean "in general" it is not a sub for each other...

Both "in general" and "specifically with respect to the Blood & Sand," maraschino liqueur is not a substitute for cherry brandy. They taste nothing alike. Maraschino, to my palate, really doesn't taste all that much of cherries, rather it tastes of . . . well, maraschino liqueur. It has its own special flavor that is like nothing else.

or, specifically this drink? maybe then i did not experience a true B&S the other nite, but i did enjoy what i had none-the-less, so for me it worked here, but again maybe i would enjoy the real version more.

I can see how this might be okay with maraschino, but it wouldn't be a Blood & Sand.

I think the bar manager or bartender simply is mistaken. Maraschino liqueur, I find, is one of the most frequently misunderstood spirits in the bar. Some people confuse it with maraschino cherry syrup, and others confuse it with sweet cherry-flavored brandy, and it's also sometimes confused with dry cherry brandy (aka kirschwasser). These things all taste very different, and really aren't interchangeable with eachother at all.

For cherry brandy, when you determine that it is the sweet kind that is called for (sometimes with older recipes it is hard to tell which kind they mean), the usual suspects of quality are Cherry Heering, Luxardo Sangue Morlacco and, if you can find it, Cherry Marnier. Any of these three would work well, albeit differently, in a Blood and Sand.

--

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To echo the comments here, it's not that you couldn't make an acceptable or even tasty drink subbing those items, but the flavors are unrelated and it would be a pretty radically different drink. Maraschino is more akin to a sweetened 'cherry grappa' than to something that actually tastes noticeably like the fruit.

So will mixing scotch, vermouth, oj and maraschino make a tasty beverage? Perhaps. Would such a thing have much in common, flavor-wise, with what is commonly accepted as a Blood & Sand? I doubt it...the red fruit notes of the liqueur, present in all the products listed by Mr. Kinsey, is more or less central to the flavor profile.

But yes, the items are also inappropriate to sub for each other in general as well, keeping in mind that the end result is not likely to be offensive to drink so much as it is unlikely to taste anything like what was intended. It might be considered roughly analogous to subbing Cointreau and Grand Marnier for one another.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Chuckle, that's kind of funny.

While it is not all that unusual to see a dusty bottle of cherry heering in most bars, it's kind of hilarious that the formerly pretty darn obscure Maraschino has made its way to glitzy Las Vegas and is being used in a menu drink there!

Was there flair involved?

The Blood and Sand is traditionally an equal parts drink, though I can see how if you were using Maraschino, you'd need to decrease the proportion of liqueurs, juice, and vermouth to the booze. There's a bit of tart, cherry flavor in the Heering that you'll not get with Maraschino.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Chuckle, that's kind of funny.

While it is not all that unusual to see a dusty bottle of cherry heering in most bars, it's kind of hilarious that the formerly pretty darn obscure Maraschino has made its way to glitzy Las Vegas and is being used in a menu drink there!

Was there flair involved?

The Blood and Sand is traditionally an equal parts drink, though I can see how if you were using Maraschino, you'd need to decrease the proportion of liqueurs, juice, and vermouth to the booze.  There's a bit of tart, cherry flavor in the Heering that you'll not get with Maraschino.

no, no flair, i avoid the vegas flair as much as possible, in fact i (for the most part) find vegas the commercial cocktail/liquor capital...while some bars have quite a selection of ingredients, very few know how to put a proper drink together...this is why this particular restaurant's drink menu caught my attention...no granted the bar manager got the b&s wrong by name, he made a drink way above the expectations of the average vegas cocktail consumer, and you have to give him props for effort, and he did adjust the drink so it would work with the ingredient he chose...

so is there a name in existence for what was created?

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[...]

so is there a name in existence for what was created?

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but there aren't a whole lot of Scotch Cocktails and I can't think of any that use Maraschino liqueur.

Might have to think up a new name!

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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[...]

so is there a name in existence for what was created?

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but there aren't a whole lot of Scotch Cocktails and I can't think of any that use Maraschino liqueur.

Might have to think up a new name!

I dont know why this came to mind, but...

since an Aviation is gin and marashino and this is scotch and maraschino, and a Jimmie Stewart movie about a plane crash in the saharah (see the Blood and Sand/aviation connection here) is called "The Flight of the Phoenix", maybe we could come up with a name out of this?

just a thought...

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