Properly Sauced: The Blood and Sand on Chicagoist.com

In a truly ironic twist, U.S. prohibition has provided us with some of our tastiest and most iconic cocktails. Since irony is our current standard for affectation, it’s not surprising that this era’s cocktails are being resurrected, reconstructed and consumed by the barrelful. The underappreciated Blood and Sand cocktail isn’t as in vogue as other whiskey-based drinks like the Manhattan or Old Fashioned, but the scotch-based cocktail stands as a great temperance-era treat. We wanted to see how the cocktail wizards at the Whistler in Logan Square would fair with a Blood and Sand.

With a romantic name lifted from the title of the Rudolph Valentino bullfighting film “Blood and Sand,” the bite of Scotch is certainly the horns on this drink. Though scotch isn’t likely to bring to mind matadors or the sands of Spain, we’ll take a badass name over cultural relevancy any day.

Orange juice is the main mixer for this drink, which sounds odd – and it is – but when mixed correctly, the combination is sublime. Served up in a snifter, the smoke and oak flavor of the scotch hits you immediately – it’s warming and full bodied. The Orange juice compliments the scotch as a finish, leaving a lip smacking sweet and viscous flavor.

The texture of the Blood and Sand is one of its main draws. It’s like your mouth is playing host to an identity crisis – dry to salivation, smoky to sweet. The Whistler’s Eric Henry, who prepared our Blood and Sand, added a few drops of Laphroaig Whisky. Laphroaig is not for the faint of heart; some say it’s like drinking a campfire. The few drops were enough to change the flavor of the cocktail, but as fans of daring flavors we loved the addition of the peat-heavy scotch.

If you want to impress a date or your taste buds, trade your Manhattan for something a little less stiff, and order yourself a Blood and Sand. Plus, we’ve heard that Orange Juice is good for you.

Blood and Sand
2 oz Scotch
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz  Cherry Heering
1 oz vermouth
A few drops of Angostura Bitters

Combine all ingredients, add to shaker and shake with ice to mix. Strain into a snifter or into an Old Fashioned glass.

By Kyle Thacker

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