The Blood and Sand Cocktail is named after a 1922 movie starring Rudolph Valentino and Rita Hayworth, which, in turn, was named after a book published in 1908 by Spanish novelist and political activist, Vincente Blasco Ibanez. Both book and film tell the tale of Juan Gallardo, a bullfighter who rises out of poverty to unprecedented heights of wealth and fame.

According to John Coltharp of Seven Grand, Dale DeGroff had a not dissimilar experience when ascertaining the validity of the Blood and Sand cocktail. “Dale spent a long time looking at old cocktail manuals and revising drinks. He kept looking at the Blood & Sand saying, 'This can't be good.' Then he made one and was surprised. For somebody who's mixed as many cocktails as he has, to be surprised is really a feat.”

Termed an “equal parts drink”–3/4 ounce measurement all around–the libation packs a dusky tropical-style punch. For a little more dusk and a touch less tropic, I suggest bumping the Scotch up to 1 full ounce.

Blood and Sand Cocktail

Makes: 1 drink

3/4 – 1 ounce Scotch

3/4 ounce freshly-squeezed orange juice

3/4 ounce sweet vermouth

3/4 ounce Heering*

1. Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

2. Garnish with a flamed orange peel. To do this, peel a nice, wide slice of orange. Run a flame gently back and forth over the rind side, releasing the oils. With the flame still going, gently squeeze the peel into the flame over your glass. This should send the oils bursting into your drink, replete with flame. Run the peel around the rim of the glass and discard.

*Heering is simply cherry liquor. The back of my bottle explains that it is also “A fashion accessory, adding extravagance and civilization to the mix of some of the most legendary cocktails.”

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