BLACK LODGE on cocktail virgin slut
1 1/2 oz Michter’s Rye
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Combier Cherry Liqueur (Cherry Heering)
1/2 oz Carpano Antica (Cocchi Sweet Vermouth)
1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing a large ice cube. Garnish with an orange twist.

While flipping through Gary Regan’s 101 Best New Cocktails of 2012 two Fridays ago, I spotted the Black Lodge from Tommy Klus of Kask in Portland. Since we had enjoyed Tommy’s High Desert Swizzle a few months ago, we decided to select his drink from Regan’s collection. While we did not have Combier’s cherry liqueur, I decided that Cherry Heering would have to do in a pinch.
The orange twist greeted the nose and preceded a sip full of Cynar’s caramel notes pairing with fruity cherry and grape flavors. On the swallow, the rye was accented by the Cynar’s bitter flavors, and the drink ended with a pleasant cherry finish. Behind the Drink: The Blood and Sand

Behind the Drink:  The Blood and Sand

 Contributed by Gary Regan

“Could you write about the history of the Blood and Sand?” asked my intrepid editor at “Of course, sir. Leave it to me,” I replied.

To the best of my knowledge, the recipe for the drink first appeared in print in Harry Craddock’s 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book.

That’s it. The end.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know about the origins of the Blood and Sand, a concoction that was introduced to me by advisor Dale DeGroff when he held forth from behind the bar at New York’s Rainbow Room, circa 1997. More on this in just a minute.

So if we don’t know its inventor and we’ve no idea about the establishment in which it originally reared its spicy little head (unless it was the Savoy), what else do we know about the tipple? Nothing, save the fact that, in all probability, it was named for a 1922 movie starring Rudolph Valentino, the silent-film star known as “The Latin Lover.”

Valentino’s performance in Blood and Sand—it centered on a bullfighter and was based on the novel by Vincente Blasco Ibáñez—was said to have been one of his finest, though the picture itself wasn’t exactly hailed as a masterpiece. “It is the story’s name and not the story or plot that made Blood and Sand the big hit,” wrote a reviewer at the time. Such is not the case with the cocktail, however.

When Dale told me about it, he said that the list of ingredients pretty much confounded him, so he just had to try one. I had to concur. Scotch, cherry brandy, sweet vermouth and orange juice don’t seem to belong in the same crib, let alone the same glass. The fact is that the Blood and Sand works very well, indeed. But this drink by any other name would taste as sweet. Sorry, Mr. Shakespeare.

Get the recipe for Gary Regan’s Blood and Sand on


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