Blood and Sand on


Scotch based cocktails are a rare breed. Like a driver from Minnesota who knows how to merge onto the highway. That was for my lovely wife who thinks we Minnesotans can’t merge because we’re all too nice to cut in front of each other. It’s mostly true.

This cocktail is one of a handful of traditional scotch cocktails you can make. You start with some good scotch; you’ll need to experiment with which taste you prefer. I’ve used The Balvenie 12 year old because it’s what I have on hand. Add some orange juice. Then comes the sweet vermouth and finally, the ingredient that you probably don’t have…the Cherry Heering! This is a cherry liqueur that can be had for about $20 and it will last a long time. This stuff has been made since 1818. I bet you don’t even remember what you were doing that year! Read more about this delightful liqueur here.

The Blood and Sand is named after a Rudolph Valentino movie from 1922. Haven’t seen it, but it makes for a helluva drink. I chose not to garnish this with a cherry because I thought the drink stood up by itself quite nicely. This is an inspiring drink. You might want more than one, but drink responsibly kids (21 and over obvs). It might even inspire us Minnesotans to step on the gas and merge like a champ. Side note: It’s not about being polite on the road fellow Minnesotans. It’s about driving right, which means adjusting your speed to properly merge without disrupting the flow of traffic to a halt. Phew, I said it.

Here’s the recipe:

1 oz Scotch
1 oz orange juice
3/4 oz cherry brandy (Cherry Heering is the best)
3/4 oz sweet vermouth

1. Combine ingredients in an iced cocktail shaker.
2. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
3. Garnish for a cherry if you wish, but I didn’t.

Recipe courtesy of Ted Haigh from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails

Singapore Sling with a kick A Mountain of Crushed Ice .

Let`s use some navy strength gin..
Here`s an old favorite that i don´t mix very often but i think i should because this classic cocktail is an art of balance and flavor when done properly. And that`s the problem – this drink is as much a victim as the Mai Tai or the Hurricane when it comes to bars taking shortcuts and thus ruining and taking away the true character of an otherwise excellent cocktail.
And of course the Singapore sling has a very old history, first made in the Long Bar at Raffles by Ngiam Tong Boon somewhere between 1910 and 1915. but i won´t go into the history here since so much has been written already – and there`s very much contradictory information.
Now, the original recipe for this drink was lost sometimes during the middle of the 20th century and so a new recipe that was close to the original was made by Ngiam Tong Boon’s nephew during the 1970s. If you search in books you will discover the recipes varies both with ingredients and ratios.
The best source to read the history of this drink is Ted Haigh`s book “Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails”
I have chosen this time to mix it with a stronger gin than usual, Plymouth navy strength which gives this good old drink a kick. The navy strength is 57% abv (114 proof) and is more intense and rich tasting than the original Plymouth which i think is a good overall gin.

3 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
1.5 oz Plymouth navy strength gin
1/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz Cherry brandy (like Cherry Marnier – or use Cherry Heering – cherry liqueur)
1/4 oz Bénédictine
1/4 oz Cointreau
Small splash of hibiscus grenadine
Dash of Angostura bitters
Wedge of pineapple and a maraschino cherry
Soda water to top
Shake the pineapple juice, gin, lime juice, Cherry brandy, Bénédictine, Cointreau, and bitters with ice; then strain into a highball glass. Top off with soda water and garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry on a toothpick.
This is one of those tropical cocktails that to me says “relax and sit back”. I was pondering making a twist of it but decided to let it be for this time, it`s good as it is – especially with a kick ass gin like Plymouth navy strength.

Blood and Sand on

Recently the Utah Mixologist wrote about the reincarnation of Salt Lake City’s venerable Bar X as a cocktail bar. The cocktail menu included a classic cocktail found in the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) that this mixologist had never tried: the Blood and Sand. The Blood and Sand was created in 1922 to capitalize on the popularity of the Rudolf Valentino movie of the same name. Researching this recipe led to Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, where you can find a short discussion of the history of the Blood and Sand, along with an interesting variation on the recipe. The original Savoy recipe calls for equal parts of all ingredients, and tastes pretty good, but Haigh’s recipe adds an additional quarter ounce of both OJ and Scotch and makes a perceptible improvement.

A word of warning: the color of the Blood and Sand has more sand than blood in it, which makes presentation problematic. Cherry Heering Liqueur® is reddish in color, but once the Vermouth, Scotch, and OJ are added, you end up with a distinct, brownish hue. So if you’re serving these to friends or at a party, try to use glasses with a complementary color or use some colorful cocktail picks to jazz things up. Be sure to experiment with the ingredient variations given below to see which proportions work best for you. An easy way to do this is to mix a batch using the classic from the Savoy recipe, taste it, and then add the extra quarter ounces, stir a little, and taste it again. Post your findings here to let us all know which variation tastes best to you.

Blood and Sand (Savoy)
• 3/4 oz Orange juice
• 3/4 oz Blended Scotch (Dewars® works)
• 3/4 oz Cherry Heering Liqueur®
• 3/4 oz sweet vermouth

Fill a cocktail shaker 2/3 full of ice. Add ingredients and shake until your hand gets cold. Strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cocktail (or Maraschino) cherry and ride off into the desert.

Blood and Sand (Ted Haigh variation)
• 1 oz Orange juice
• 1 oz Blended Scotch
• 3/4 oz Cherry Heering Liqueur®
• 3/4 oz sweet vermouth

Will the Real Singapore Sling Please Stand Up?

Bangalore Food & Beverage Article 

By: Ashwati Parameshwar

Geographically named cocktails are legion: the Manhattan, Long Island Iced Tea and the Cuba Libre are known the world over, and most have fairly similar recipes whether they’re served in New York, London or Hong Kong. Even variations have their own well-known recipes, usually following the prescribed one in the International Bartenders Association (IBA). The Singapore Sling, however, is one that comes with a great deal of controversy and variation.

Connoisseurs agree that the Singapore Sling was developed by Ngiam Tong Boon, a bartender working at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel Singapore before 1915. There is also plenty of disagreement as to how closely the current version of this drink that is served at Raffles is to what was originally served. Apparently the original recipe was lost and forgotten sometime in the 1930’s, and the drink that they currently serve at the hotel’s Long Bar is based on memories of former bartenders, and some written notes that they were able to discover.

Most bartenders use the IBA recipe as a base, with the absolutely immutable ingredients being gin and cherry brandy as well as lime for taste. And that’s where the similarity ends. The IBA recipe also calls for Cointreau, Benedictine, a dash of Angostura bitters and, the primary ingredient – pineapple juice. Ted Haigh, curator of The Museum of the American Cocktail, and author of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, insists on all of the above, as well as soda water and pomegranate grenadine. Esquire Magazine’s Big Black Book features a recipe from a 1948 cocktail guide that leaves out the pineapple juice altogether, relying on soda water for the foamy top. On the other hand, a 1982 New York Times article insists that the cause of the foamy sweetness is that the original recipe used freshly squeezed juice from Singapore’s Sarawak pineapples.

Here are the IBA recipe as well as Ted Haigh’s. Cheers to your own Singapore Sling!

Singapore Sling from International Bartenders Association

  • 8 parts Gin
  • 4 parts Heering Cherry Liqueur (cherry brandy)
  • 1 part Cointreau
  • 1 part DOM Bénédictine
  • 2 parts Grenadine
  • 16 parts Pineapple juice
  • 6 parts Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

To Prepare:
Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain into Poco Grande glass. Garnish with pineapple and maraschino cherry.

Singapore Sling From Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering
  • 2 tsp Benedictine
  • 2 tsp Cointreau
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 dashes real pomegranate grenadine
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Soda water
  • Real maraschino cherry, for garnish
  • Pineapple wedge, for garnish
  • Orange wheel or twist, for garnish

To Prepare:
Combine all except soda in an iced shaker. Shake, and strain into a Collins or highball glass with a few lumps of ice. Top with a splash soda water. Garnish with a cherry, a pineapple slice, and orange.

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