Heering at drinkingmadeeasy.com

….Johnnie’s five different blends range from the workmanlike Johnnie Walker Red to the Blue and Gold varieties, both of which rival high-quality single malts in both quality and price. The latter two are definitely sip-worthy; Johnnie Walker Black is an excellent combination of quality and cost, and the one I’d recommend for cocktail recipes. Where White Horse provides a smoky, funky character, Johnnie Black is much more notable for a smooth finish and a scent redolent of maple and citrus, which makes it my choice for a great cocktail recipe that was unduly overlooked for far too long: the Blood and Sand.
Today, the Blood and Sand is a standby of classic-revival mixology; first poured in 1922 (and named after a Rudolph Valentino movie that I am assured was a classic in its own, odd, silent-movie right) and popularized by Harry Craddock’s classic Savoy Cocktail Book, the Blood and Sand then promptly fell into the memory hole of cocktails no one made, largely owing to its bizarre-seeming set of ingredients:
The Blood and Sand
1.5 oz Scotch
1.5 oz orange juice (blood orange if you want to hew closer to the original recipe)
1 oz Heering cherry liqueur (important to use the actual Heering, not a clear kirsch or kirschwasser)
1 oz sweet vermouth
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and shake with ice; strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a flamed orange zest
Nothing about the Blood and Sand seems like it should work, and yet it, like many of the newly-remembered classics, is much more than the sum of its parts. Particularly with homemade vermouth, the drink packs a wallop of cherry, and the finish rounds things out with a soft hint of citrus and an aromatic, almost afterthought, of Scotch. It really is a great example of cocktail alchemy in action, and it has singlehandedly led me to own approximately three more bottles of cherry Heering in the last year than I did in my previous 30 put together.
The Blood and Sand and the Rob Roy are, for me, the two finest ways to incorporate the Scotch-lover’s spirit with the mixologist’s technique; there are others, like the Rusty Nail (based on Scotch and it’s kissin’-cousin Scotch-and-honey-based liqueur, Drambuie) and the Horse’s Neck (an interesting summer concoction featuring Scotch, ginger ale, and bitters), and, once you’ve embraced the possibility of Scotch as a cocktail component, they’re well worth trying.

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