Heering at “Eat This in NYC”

BLOOD AND SAND at HIGHLANDS
…I’ve been to many scotch bars in the city, but one I hadn’t visited yet was Highlands in the West Village. I had walked by before and peeked in and it looks much more like a casual, hip Southern restaurant than a scotch bar that serves food.
But as I sat in the front bar area, the dark, dim atmosphere transported me back to Scotland. If the extensive scotch list and gutbomb food didn’t seal the deal, the wallpaper on the bathroom (depicting grisly scenes in a beautiful Scotland park) sure did.

We ordered the TONY list item, a classic cocktail called Blood and Sand, which is named in honor of an old movie starring Rita Hayworth and Rudolph Valentino about a bullfighter. I’m not familiar with the movie and to be honest, I wasn’t too familiar with the drink itself. I must have had it in the past, but am certainly no connoisseur. I told you I prefer my scotch, neat, not shaken, not stirred, nothing added.
The Blood and Sand is a mix of scotch (Glenrothes Special Reserve, in this case), cherry heering, orange juice, and bitters. Pretty simple and straightforward and it works well enough.
I thought the proportions here were pretty accurate – no flavor was overwhelming but you got a sense of the spicy scotch, the citrusy orange juice, and the deep touch of sweetness from the cherry liqueur. In a way, I think maybe the flavors were a little too balanced and I wanted a bit more of a contrast. It felt like something was missing. Perhaps the scotch they used was not smoky enough. I wished there was a little more play between the Blood (the cherry) and the sand (the scotch) to give it a bit more depth.
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