Blood & Sand cocktail recipe is so easy it’s scary on Boozist.com

I ran through a number of ideas while trying to come up for this week’s Wet Wednesday cocktail for the Steve Dahl Show. I have an email box full of pitches for Halloween drinks, but none of them felt right for the show. Then it hit me. Blood & Sand.

The Blood & Sand is a classic cocktail, but it’s criminally underpoured. I’m not sure if it’s because people don’t think of scotch when it comes to cocktails, because it’s named after a movie no one’s heard of, or if it’s because the ingredients don’t sound like they go together. In any case, one sip and those all go out the window.

I found the recipe in five different cocktail books on my shelves, and four of the five ratios were different. I tried them all, and the original The Savoy Cocktail Book recipe ended up being my favorite. The only change I made was to use blood orange juice instead of normal OJ. I don’t know if it was the lower acidity or something else, but it struck just the right chord. Part of that might be due to using Cherry Heering, which is dry and tart, so it didn’t need that big citrus kick to balance.

In any case, the one variation that I would consider from the recipe below would be to add more scotch. There’s always room for more scotch!

Blood & Sand Cocktail Recipe

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

You can now get Millennial pink Baileys and we’re all for it on glamour magazine.co.uk

East London mixologist Missy Flynn has created four cocktails for the new Christmas menu at All Bar One UK, 56 venues, and ‘Baileys Blush’ is the drink we didn’t realise we needed in our Instagram feed until now. It’s made with the original Irish Cream liqueur, milk, cream, and cherry heering. Then it’s garnished with edible glitter, just in case you want to go all out with KiraKira (and we don’t need an excuse, NGL).


sent by Celestino

So here we are revisiting an old cocktail buddy of ours, which I made roughly 5½ years ago, the Blood and Sand – cocktail. As we can clearly see from back then, I made a piss-poor job with it. But I’ve come wiser ever since 😀 Now using proper ingredients and more know-how, let’s see how a GOOD Blood and Sand is done!
  • 2 cl scotch (I used JW 12yo black, for my upcoming video I will try the Balvenie 12yo)
  • 2 cl heering cherry brandy
  • 2 cl sweet vermouth
  • 2 cl (blood)orange juice, fresh
Shake everything with ice, strain and garnish with an orange peel. So after five years now and using proper vermouth, proper scotch, proper orange juice and proper cherry brandy, what do you think of the results? A proper cocktail. Mild-ish, sweet with distinct cherry flavor to it. At least a thousand times better than back then 😀 The best part? Change the scotch to something else (non-smoky!) and let the twist make wonders to your drink.

Heering Classics Round 2 open until midnight GMT November 26th

Imbibe’s cocktail competition winners round-up

Amber Blood wins Britvic’s Pepsi Max

Bang in the midst of London Cocktail Week, Amber Blood of everyone’s favourite party bar, the London Cocktail Club, was crowned winner of Britvic’s Pepsi Max cocktail competition.

The brief was to create a twist on a Cuba Libre (using Pepsi Max, of course) and to create an original cocktail using Britvic brands.

Blood’s She’s My Cherry, a combination of Bacardi, Pepsi Max, Cherry Heering, lime, vanilla and chocolate bitters came out on top. Her original cocktail Ginger Ninja used Britvic Ginger Ale, Gosling’s rum, Finlandia Vodka, Wray and Nephew Rum and lemon.

‘I took my inspiration for She’s My Cherry from the flavour profile of Pepsi Max, choosing ingredients which I knew would complement it; chocolate, cherry and cola work well together and I’m delighted that the judges agreed,’ gushed Blood. ‘Ginger Ninja was developed when I was feeling a bit poorly – the combination of ginger and lemon is a perfect pick-me-up and it tastes fantastic!’

Vasilis Kyritsis Makes Serving Hospitality His First Priority on talesofthecocktail

by Gray Chapman

Vasilis Kyritsis was 18 years old and studying to become a nurse when he worked his very first shift behind the bar in hopes of earning a little extra cash. But the money wasn’t the only thing that drew him to the job. “I loved that job from first sight because I really like to have relationships with different people, and that was a nice chance to do it,” he says. What started as a gig ended up becoming a lifelong career: Kyritsis fell in love with the craft, and started experimenting with fresh ingredients in a cocktail era that was still ruled in part by pre-packaged mixes.

Now, over a decade later, Kyritsis is a contender for the 2017 Best International Bartender Spirited Award, and co-owns the world-renowned Athens bar, The Clumsies, with Nikos Bakoulis, who began his hospitality career around the same time as Kyritsis. (Both Kyritsis and Bakoulis are also Greek World Class winners: the former in 2012, and the latter in 2011.) Bakoulis initially found his specialty in wine, but was so intrigued by the quality and potential of cocktail culture that he made the switch. In 2012, the duo opened The Clumsies as a high-energy, high-volume hangout “with cool vibes and high-end drinks,” as Kyritsis says, open from dawn until way past dusk (the bar also serves breakfast and coffee in the mornings). “The Clumsies looks like a big house, and as a house we try to first ‘serve’ hospitality,” Bakoulis explains, adding that their cocktail program prioritizes a tightly focused concept and a flair for the experimental. Apparently their strategy is working: The Clumsies is currently ranked ninth on the prestigious World’s 50 Best Bars list.

One might think that operating one of the world’s best high-volume cocktail bars keeps you busy, but somehow, the pair manages to make time for other projects, like recently leading a Cherry Heering masterclass in April. “We did great tastings with Heering, old-school bitters, new age bitters, different spirits, combinations with stuff that you can find in markets,” says Kyritsis. “It was a fancy way for the bartenders to understand the amazing and beautiful combinations [you] can have with a liqueur so complex and so old with rich history.” The brand will celebrate its bicentennial in 2018, and to celebrate, they’re hosting a series of educational workshops and masterclasses by bartenders, for bartenders in more than 60 cities around the globe. When the tour came to Athens, Vasilis and his bar were a given.

This year, Bakoulis and Kyritsis also launched their own vermouth brand, Otto’s, which took about two-and-a-half years from initial concept to market launch. (The spirit is a delicate, rose-hued floral blend of almost entirely Greek ingredients.)

As innovative and passionate luminaries in their field, Kyritsis and Bakoulis have a lot of wisdom to share. One thing they both encourage bartenders to do: expand your perspective by traveling. “I believe the key point to upgrading my skills was to travel a lot in different countries trying to discover their culture, tasting combinations in restaurants, and speaking with other bartenders around the world,” says Kyritsis. “The most important thing in this job is to open your eyes and your mind.” Bakoulis agrees: “I follow a lot of seminars and I travel around the world because this is, for me, the biggest lesson for the bartender,” he says.

And, as hospitality professionals, they both agree that a bartender’s attitude can make or break a guest’s experience, no matter how good the drinks are. “The basic skill that a bartender has to show for me is not to be miserable, which means that he or she always tries to find solutions to the problems that a bar can face, and to have positive energy behind the bar,” Kyritsis says. “A smile is the most important thing to make your guests trust you.” In fact, Bakoulis explains that the workflow and bar setup at The Clumsies was engineered with this in mind: the morning “lab shift” preps for the more complicated drinks behind the scenes, so that during busy evening shifts, bartenders are able to not only serve drinks faster, but also have more time to interact with guests. “Our bartenders have the time to smile, serve, and have their head up for [making] eye contact,” Bakoulis says.

As for taking your craft to the next level, Bakoulis says, it’s all about networking and collaborating. “Work really closely with different professionals or legends and different companies: this way, the bartender starts to combine the diversity of all those elements and the result is to create multitasking skills,” he says. “If you combine those things with travels around the world and keep your mind open, you can [achieve] the next level of bartender.”

Perhaps most importantly? Don’t expect to achieve overnight success, and don’t forget that success is often the result of many, many small failures along the way. “As our food scientist at The Clumsies told me one time, 98 percent of your tests fail and only two percent give amazing results,” says Kyritsis. “It is a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll, so be patient and keep trying.”

Vasilis’s Highball Sling
  • 45 ml London dry gin
  • 15 ml Cherry Heering
  • 30 ml Clarified pineapple juice
  • 0.4 gr Citric acid
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 5 ml Benedictine reduction
  • 100 ml Coconut water

Prep: Chill all your ingredients and put them into a chilled cream siphon . Put a soda charger in and de-gas it. Then, put one more charger and create carbonation. After five minutes, open it, and serve straight into a chilled highball glass — the way you would serve champagne.

Acclaimed bartender Paul McGee to tend bar at Milk Room for the 1st time since it opened

by Joseph Hernandez

Heads up, cocktail groupies: Paul McGee, owner of Lost Lake and beverage director of Land and Sea Dept.’s Cherry Circle Room and Milk Room in the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, will be tending bar at the latter for the first time since it opened.

Once a month, the cocktail wizard will hold court behind the stick at the intimate eight-seat Milk Room to mix and serve cocktails from his favorite vintage cocktail books. These drinks will be served alongside the normal menu, but when McGee’s around, why settle for the usual?

The first of McGee’s bartending shifts is Tuesday. He’ll be mixing drinks — made with vintage spirits — from “The Gentleman’s Companion,” a cocktail tome by Charles Baker first published in 1939. A taste of what’s to come: The Remember the Maine will feature 1970s Cherry Heering and 1950s Abbott’s Bitters, while the Ile de France gets a dose of rare 1980s Yellow Chartreuse.

These cocktails are a time-capsule twice over, and McGee will only be behind the bar, mixing drinks and sharing stories about the book and booze, for the first two blocks of seating, until 9 p.m. Book now via reservation site Tock, or miss out.

NYC Beverage Leo Robitschek Concocts Modern Classics With Cherry Heering on talesofthecocktail.com

by Jennifer Nalewicki

From a go-to ingredient to a bartender’s staple, this Danish liqueur stands out.

Cherry Heering Liqueur has been a go-to ingredient for Leo Robitschek for years. The beverage director for New York City-based Make It Nice restaurant group’s Made Nice, Eleven Madison Park, and The NoMad Hotel had been using it to make classic cocktails like the Singapore Sling and Blood & Sand, but it wasn’t until 2008 that he started experimenting with the ruby-red liqueur and creating cocktails he could call his own.

One of his first concoctions was the Eclipse, a mix of Cherry Heering Liqueur, tequila, Aperol, and lemon juice. Impressed with the way that the Cherry Heering and Aperol worked in tandem by balancing each other out, he later paired the two again along with rye whiskey, chiles, and lime juice to create what would soon become one of The Nomad Hotel’s best-selling cocktails: the Satan’s Circus (pictured below). Named after the property’s location in the city’s entertainment and red-light district in midtown, which in the 1800s was nicknamed “Satan’s Circus” by reformers thanks to its preponderance of gambling dens, brothels, and saloons, the result is a drink that mixes bitterness with a hint of heat.

“The Cherry Heering and Aperol have complementary flavors — one of them has cherry while the other has rhubarb and strawberry — so you have a blend of red fruits,” Robitschek says. “The Aperol brings in a bitter quality that balances out the Cherry Heering’s citrus notes and nuttiness. Together they make a really delicious and balanced flavor.”

More recently, this spring Robitschek introduced members of the global bartending industry to the wonders of pairing Cherry Heering with Aperol, along with a dozen other spirits during the two master classes he led in Madrid and Barcelona (taught entirely in Spanish!) as part of the iconic brand’s 200th anniversary celebration. Robitschek is one of a handful of bartenders that the brand cherry-picked (pun intended) to lead a series of workshops and master classes in more than 75 cities over the course of 100 days. Called “Modern Classics,” the three-month event serves as a way to get bartenders thinking of ways to use the cherry liqueur to make new cocktail classics back home at their bars.

For his master classes, one of the first things Robitschek did was have his students sample Cherry Heering along with a dozen base spirits, such as rye, sake, tequila, and, of course, Aperol, as well as bitters, produce, and other modifiers.

“We did a blind tasting with the Cherry Heering blended together with the other spirits to see how they changed and what attributes the Cherry Heering brought out in each spirit,” he says. “Once everyone decided which flavor combination they liked the best, we split everyone into groups and had a mini competition where they built cocktails using that combination of flavors to create a modern-day classic. Cherry Heering is an ingredient that most bars have on hand if they’re trying to create some form of the classics like the Blood & Sand or the Singapore Sling, so most bartenders have used it before and are comfortable with it.”

Two combinations that surprised Robitschek included Cherry Heering with sake and again with Green Chartreuse.

“Leading classes like this, you always hope that you learn something new and gain something from it,” he says. “There were a few flavor combinations that I had never tasted before on their own without mixing in other ingredients, so it was interesting to see how they did work

We can only hope that one day in the near future one of these combinations will wind up on Robitschek’s drink list.

Satan’s Circus

  • 2 oz Old Overholt Rye
  • ¾ oz Thai-Bird Chili Infused Aperol
  • ¾ oz Cherry Heering
  • ¾ oz Lemon Juice

Directions: Shake and strain into a cocktail coupe

The Polynesian Cocktail on putneyfarm.com

This post marks a half-year of weekly cocktails at Putney Farm. And while it seems like a lot, there are so many more places to go with cocktails. We are certainly enjoying ourselves and hopefully our readers like the drinks, or at least the conversation (we know not everyone loves every drink). And with the “conversation” in mind, one of our blogging friends Viveka from My Guilty Pleasuresmentioned she likes Vodka and Cherry Heering, so we decided to look for a cocktail with both ingredients. And as it turns out, a little research led us to the Polynesian Cocktail.

The Polynesian combines vodka, Cherry Heering and lime juice. And some recipes include a little powdered or superfine sugar. It is easy to make and you can serve this cocktail “up” in a cocktail glass or on the rocks, it works either way. The flavor of the Polynesian comes across as cherry-limeade with a kick, and we are fans of cherry-limeade. This is a very easy drink to like.

If you are unfamiliar with Cherry Heering, it is a Danish cherry liqueur, and in the opinion of many booze aficionados, one of the best fruit-based liqueurs in the world. Made from crushed cherries combined with neutral spirits and spices, and then aged in wood barrels, Cherry Heering has deep, developed flavors that work wonders in cocktails (and desserts). It’s been around with basically the same recipe since 1818, so you know it’s pretty good. And after Orange Liqueur, if you have one fruit liqueur in your bar, we suggest Cherry Heering. It works in all sorts of combinations, most famously the Singapore Sling and the Blood and Sand. But if you want to experiment, Cherry Heering is a very fun ingredient that blends well with both light and dark spirits.

And this gets us to the vodka. Some cocktail enthusiasts and mixologists/bartenders have issues with vodka. It has no (or very little) flavor by design and is sometimes a bit heavily marketed and abused (see: Whipped Cream Vodka). But we like vodka in drinks when we want the kick and slight heat of the booze but don’t want to outshine fruit flavors. Carolyn is a true fan of Lemondrops, and I like the vodka/gin mix in a Vesper. And regardless of any cultural over-exposure, a good Cosmo is a fine drink and a crowd-pleaser. And the cold, hard blast of a vodka martini is still a good thing every once in a while. Sometimes we think of the anti-vodka crowd as the cocktail equivalent of the ABC (anything but chardonnay) “movement” in wine. Yes its popular, yes there are other fine spirits, but it has its merits. We will relax and enjoy vodka for what it is. And in a drink like the Polynesian, where you want the lime and Cherry Heering to lead the drink, vodka is the perfect spirit.

As for why this drink is called the Polynesian, we have no idea, and some internet and cocktail book research didn’t help. There is nothing Polynesian about it…other than maybe the color and that it’s a good warm-weather sip. But who cares? A good cocktail is a good cocktail. Especially when shared with friends. Viveka, we hope you like it!

The Polynesian Cocktail:


  • 1 and 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 3/4 oz. Cherry Heering (or cherry brandy, in a pinch)
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon superfine or powdered sugar (optional, we omit)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, flute or coupe’. Serve.


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a highball glass with ice. Stir and serve.

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