How to make the Blood and Sand – love it or hate it?

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The Blood and Sand is a scotch-based cocktail that’s been around for 100 years. It’s a polarizing drink that’s sweet and juicy without being tart. This is because it calls for orange juice, which is difficult to mix with due to its lack of acidity (lemon and lime are more affective against rich ingredients like liqueurs and sweet vermouth). So today I’m addressing this by making the Blood and Sand two ways! The first is how I’ve made it for years – leaving in the ice chips from shaking to offer a bit more texture. For the second drink I’m testing acid adjusted orange juice to see if that better balances the flavors. I’ve never tried this adjustment to the Blood and Sand, so I’m excited! Will it work? Is this a mistake? Am I doomed to struggle with this drink for the rest of time? Are you still reading this? Hope so. Cheers, everyone!

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Video/editing/illustrations by Azusa Inaba 🎥 🎨

Intro: 0:00
Bright Cellars: 1:18
The History: 2:30
The Booze: 4:23
The Original Recipe: 5:21
Acid Adjusting: 6:32
Take Two: 7:21
Sips: 8:03

3/4 oz. (22.5 ml) Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch
3/4 oz. (22.5 ml) Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
3/4 oz. (22.5 ml) Cherry Heering
3/4 oz. (22.5 ml) fresh orange juice OR acid adjusted orange juice*
Orange slice & cocktail cherry for garnish

*ACID ADJUSTED ORANGE JUICE (lemon adjusted) 6:57
Combine 100ml fresh squeezed orange juice with 5.2g citric acid. Stir to combine.

My source for acid adjusting 👉 Liquid Intelligence by Dave Arnold:

My workhorse double jigger:
My go-to large shaking tin:
My go-to small cheater tin:
Hawthorne strainer:
Digital scale:
Glass beaker set:
Bar spoon:
Hand juicer:
Rubber bar mat (6″x12″):
The mini goblet:
The coupe:

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Comment (267)

  1. Before I listen to anything you have to say on improving this drink. I am gonna blood you into sand….does that make sense? Also I'm not sure I have had this drink. Carry on Video version of Anders

  2. Anders you are on a roll, this has been on my radar to make, but was hesitant as I am not a fan of mixing with OJ as an ingredient. Another continued week of Friday cocktail hour recipes coming from your channel!

  3. I like to make a Negroni riff or a manhattan riff using orange liqueur or Amaro Angeleno (rather than orange juice). Have to play with ratios, but there’s a good drink in there somewhere.

  4. Looking forward to trying this. Was excited about the Blood and Sand but then tried it and just felt muted. Not as interesting as I had hoped. I have faith in your version to change my mind good sir 🍻

  5. One of the struggles with historical recipes is that some of the ingredients are significantly different today than they were back then. This is a case where the original recipe was made with oranges that were more sour than today's oranges which have tended sweeter over the decades, so the acid adjustment makes a lot of sense.

  6. I had a bartender make a blood and sand with:
    Japanese 10 yr old whiskey
    Tattersall sour cherry liqueur
    And orange juice.

    He said the tattersall makes the cocktail. Highly recommend trying that if you try it again!

  7. I made some acid adjusted orange super juice to use up an orange before it goes bad. However, I didn't have any sweet vermouth to try the blood & sand. What I did have though was Amontillado sherry. Mixed 1:1 with demerara syrup, Amontillado tastes like sweet vermouth to me, so I went for it and tried the blood & sand that way. I really liked it!

  8. It would be cool if you did a video on peppercorn in cocktails. Whether its muddled, a syrup, or garnish. I've had two cocktails at two great cocktail bars with peppercorn, and I absolutely love what it adds to a drink. Most recently it was a Watermelon/peppercorn gimlet riff. You get a spicy profile that I enjoy so much for than hot sauces for spicy cocktails (although both are great).

  9. I definitely think some tuning would be needed. Perhaps those who like a sweet drink, the original would suit their taste. However I agree with you and think it needs a punch. 🥊 Have a great weekend and enjoy the rest of the summer while it's here.

  10. I like the original, but only use blood orange juice in it. Perhaps the seasonal availability means I can’t have it as often and like it for that reason. it ends up looking and tasting like a good port. I generally use these ingredients in equal parts….

    Famous Grouse
    Blood Orange Juice
    Carpano Antica
    Cherry Heering

  11. I make it with blood orange juice. In fact, that's what I thought it was supposed to be. I thought that was where the Blood comes from. I think the extra acidity in blood orange might be what you were looking for. 😉😉

  12. Had someone order this for the first time a couple months back…. I was convinced it was something they heard on Game of Thrones.. looked up the ingredients and did a mental gag….OJ, Bourbon and Sweet Vermouth is a flavor combination I never even considered. Made the drink, which they loved but I was less than impressed.

  13. The original recipe called for cherry brandy (probably liqueur). Cherry Heering is not a good replacement nor a very good liqueur IMHO. Andrew Willett, my personal cocktail authority figure, argues Cherry Heering is aromatized & bitter thus fighting with the vermouth in this drink. Also the background brandy flavor of the original cocktail is nowhere to be found.

    He recommends making a 1:1 cherry syrup with non tart cherry juice, then mix with a decent brandy in the proportions 1 party cherry syrup to 3 parts brandy. His other recommendation is to add a tablespoon of orange juice concentrate to every cup of fresh squeezed to revive & add zing.

  14. I agree with your take on mixing with orange juice. I have tried to find tart oranges,thinking that they would be better, pretty much without success. Maybe Seville oranges would be good? But I can’t get those. Anyway, a bit of citric acid seems a much more reliable solution to the problem. Can’t wait to try it.

  15. You said what I was thinking AS I was thinking it: I think some level of simple or semi-rich syrup may help balance out that acidity. It ups the number of ingredients in the drink, and I don't want to pretend like simple syrup fixes every cocktail, but it rarely diminishes them.

  16. I believe the problem might be a 100 years ago when this cocktail came up, the oranges were much more sour compared with today, so your version make much more sense, thank you I will definitely try this cocktail. Cheers.

  17. At 4:39 Anders killed my plan to comment suggesting you use a peaty scotch! I prefer my B&S to have a smaller quantity of blended scotch with some assistance from a peat-forward Islay! To me the smokiness can be balanced nicely with the sweet ingredients. I've never personally felt that what the drink was lacking was "sourness," rather the scotch needs some help shining through the other ingredients! Great episode nonetheless!

  18. A blood and sand was a drink i really liked when I started getting into cocktails. However, after tasting it again after about 2 years I'm not sure it still rings true…

  19. I've had succes making the blood and sand with high quility cherry wine(frederiksdal in my case) instead of cherry liqueur. It is quite acidic even though it is a sweeter wine, but it still provides the zip you are looking for without modifying the orange and making it a sour.

  20. I came up with a Blood and Sand recipe that I like. I call it Blood and Sand No. 13, if you want to try to guess how many tries it took to come up with it. I decided that the biggest problem for me was the Scotch, and I think it's because the rest of the ingredients amplify the pine tar taste of the scotch (maybe because I was using a Scotch with a noticeably peaty component in the blend). So I cut the Scotch with Irish whiskey. I also cut back on the orange juice and Cherry Heering. (For what it's worth: 3/4 oz blended Scotch, 3/4 oz blended Irish, 3/4 oz sweet vermouth, 1/2 oz Cherry Heering, 1/2 oz orange juice)

  21. So … I’m a fan of the original BECAUSE it’s not a sour. I don’t always want a lemon or lime based sour/tangy drink. Also, I think the “it’s like punch” analogy works well to describe. That much being said, I have citric acid so will give the modified OJ version a try. Cheers!

  22. The one I made was with in-season organic valencia oranges from California, Heering, Carpano Antica, and Glenlivet 12 year single malt. I thought it had a black tea vibe that I was really liking (I like black tea). It wasn't zippy, I wasn't expecting it to be, but interesting enough for you to want another sip…and then you notice it's all gone.

  23. It seems like you might’ve reminded yourself that a cocktail doesn’t always have to have “zip” to be good. I mean, we all know there are many drinks which do not call for lemon or lime juice, and yet it’s okay to like or dislike any of them. Diversity is one of the things I love most about both cocktails and people. 😊

  24. First, thank you so much for doing this video. I LOVE The B&S! I've tried probably over a dozen versions of it from all over the place, including a couple on my own recipes.

    Besides a wildly alternative version that used a cherrywood finished port, here is the best one I've ever had:

    .75oz of a smokey speyside scotch like Bowemore 15 or Lagavulin 8.
    .5oz of Cherry Heering.
    .75oz of DRY vermouth.
    .75oz of citrus adjusted BLOOD orange.

    Shake. Serve neat in an old fashioned glass. And smoke the glass – that's right. DOUBLE DOWN on the smoke.

    It tastes like battlefield victory.

  25. Looks interesting, I'll have to try it. Need to find some citric acid as well. Always enjoy these videos, and always enjoy Oz coming on, she consistently gives am additional jolt of fun energy.

  26. This was the first classic cocktail I had, besides the dry Martini, and as such it will always have a special place in my heart. I'm going to have to try the acid adjusted version though and see if I can improve upon it. All the best!

  27. great video. I think orange juice works fine in most tiki cocktails but not in non tiki, it does fall flat. Ward 8, Satan's whiskers, Bronx are some orange juice cocktails that I wasn't a huge fan of.

  28. Personally, the acid might be too much for me.
    You are my favorite mixologist that I follow. You are the most down to earth and relatable. Please keep making your videos! 💜

  29. I've tried blood and sand multiple times – tonight as welll. It's simply a bad drink. Especially if youre cherry heering is old :). Just make a Penicillin with your scotch instead!

  30. When using orange juice in cocktails, my home grown oranges are sour so work really well. I think popular varities of oranges are sweeter, so are just better for eating. But there are so many types of oranges; some are much better for juicing in cocktails.

  31. You have too many whiskey drinks in you channel (smiley face). I hate whiskey and in my mouth conjak is pretty terrible also. Challenge! Do me a sugarfree diabetes coctail! I dare you 🙂

  32. Anders! I have a totally unrelated question. I made a variation of Monte Cassino — gin and lime instead of whiskey and lemon. Maybe you’d call it a Last Cassino? A Final Cassino? Ha. Does this cocktail actually already have a name? It was delicious!

  33. Anders, you might also consider going the "other" way. The original formula calls for cherry brandy, NOT cherry liqueur. If the latter were required, you might expect it to call for Maraschino. I can see how the drink made with orange juice and liqueur would be out of balance: almost like a sour or punch, but not enough acid. But what if it is NOT meant to be that, but to be closer to a vermouth-based cocktail? So, try this with a cherry eau-de-vie or kirschwasser instead of liqueur. It is a COMPLETELY different drink. Not very sweet, you get the bitter overtones and herbs of the vermouth, lost I think in the sweeter versions. This is definitely NOT a sour. More of a cocktail. Best, Derrick from Quincy Street Distillery.

  34. This is one of my favorites. Very rarely do people highlight or talk about it. I like to change mine by swapping out the orange juice and using clementine juice. I've heard about the acid adjustment but never tried it. I've also swapped some of the other ingredients (except the scotch) to see if I could improve on it. Awesome stuff my man, great video.

  35. When I heard about this drink I thought it was a missed opportunity to not use Sangue Morlacco and blood orange! Here is my rendition.

    3/4oz blood orange juice
    3/4oz sweet vermouth
    3/4oz Sangue Morlacco
    1/2oz bourbon ( I used Old Forester 1870)
    1/4oz islay scotch (I used Lagavulin 16)

    I know, not a true scotch drink anymore, but I think the Morlacco and bourbon are an oak/cherry match made in heaven.

  36. Welcome back Anders, it's your friends😁 I think we all feel one cocktail will solve all our problems, but one turns into two, into three… Then, we forgot our problems😋

  37. Overrated? OVERRATED!? I agree. Though I do enjoy a Blood and Sand, I find it a little underwhelming compared to other cocktails. Personally, I find scotch cocktails generally underwhelming and greatly prefer rye cocktails. I should mention, I'm a huge single malt scotch enthusiast. But I find that when used in a cocktail, the beautiful, subtle qualities of scotch disappear, and the potent qualities overpower. One exception: small additions of peated scotch to a sour can be sublime.

  38. Not related to this video, but do you have a recipe for falernum, for those of us poor souls who can’t buy it? (Not available anywhere near where I live.)
    Also, what brand do you us in your tiki drinks?

  39. is a good cocktail but yes the oj makes it a bit flat. Is better acid adjusted. Would have been interesting to see a comparison with the base ingredients with maybe like 1/4oz lemon juice added and compared to the acid adjusted


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