Blood and Sand Cocktail Recipe

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Blood and Sand Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Blood and Sand cocktail is a classic drink that was created in the 1920s, inspired by the 1922 silent film of the same name, starring Rudolph Valentino. The film tells the story of a matador who rises to fame but ultimately meets a tragic end. This cocktail has become a favorite among those who appreciate classic cocktails and has a rich, complex flavor profile that is both intriguing and satisfying.

  • Created in the 1920s
  • Inspired by the silent film 'Blood and Sand'
  • A favorite among classic cocktail enthusiasts

How Blood and Sand Tastes?

The Blood and Sand cocktail has a well-balanced, rich, and complex flavor profile. It is both sweet and sour, with a hint of smokiness from the Scotch whisky. The orange juice adds a refreshing citrus note, while the sweet vermouth and cherry liqueur provide a smooth, velvety sweetness.

Interesting facts about Blood and Sand

  • The cocktail is named after a 1922 silent film starring Rudolph Valentino
  • It is one of the few classic cocktails that uses Scotch whisky as its base spirit
  • The combination of Scotch, orange juice, sweet vermouth, and cherry liqueur creates a unique and complex flavor profile


Scotch Whisky

The smoky, earthy base of the cocktail, Scotch brings depth and warmth. The 0.75 oz measure keeps it balanced without overpowering the other ingredients. Remove it, and you lose the soul of the drink.

Emma Rose

Orange Juice

The zesty freshness cuts through the richer ingredients, providing a citrusy brightness. Too much, and you'll overwhelm the complexity; too little, and the drink loses its fruity edge.

Mary Mitkina

Sweet Vermouth

The herbal and sweet profile rounds out the whisky's rough edges, creating a smooth backdrop. An imbalance here and you might find the cocktail either too boozy or too flat.

Alex Green

Cherry Liqueur

Brings a sweet and fruity note to the table, marrying well with the orange. It gives the drink its signature fruity punch—omit it, and the 'Blood' part of 'Blood and Sand' falls away.

Emma Rose

Orange Peel

A garnish that adds aroma and a touch of elegance. It's the little things that make a big difference—a sensory signal of what's to come.

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino Cherry

The cherry on top, quite literally. It completes the cocktail both visually and taste-wise, echoing the cherry liqueur within.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Blood and Sand Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add 0.75 oz of Scotch whisky
  3. Add 0.75 oz of orange juice
  4. Add 0.75 oz of sweet vermouth
  5. Add 0.75 oz of cherry liqueur
  6. Shake well until chilled
  7. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass
  8. Garnish with an orange peel twist and a maraschino cherry

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail well to ensure all the ingredients are well mixed
  • Use a high-quality Scotch whisky for the best flavor
  • Chill your glass before serving to keep the cocktail cold longer

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie Board: The richness of the meats would play nicely against the whisky notes.
  • Dark Chocolate: Complements the cherry liqueur and adds contrast to the citrus
  • Smoked Almonds: The smokiness echoes the Scotch and creates a robust taste experience.

Main Courses

  • Roast Duck: Its flavors harmonize with the complexity and sweetness of the cocktail.
  • Grilled Lamb Chops: The herbs often used in lamb seasoning could bring out the sweet vermouth nuances.


  • Chocolate Orange Truffle: Will enhance the orange juice and cherry liqueur flavors.
  • Cherry Pie: Picks up on the cherry notes and adds a comforting finish to your meal.

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What you could change in Blood and Sand

  • Scotch whisky: Can be replaced with Bourbon or Rye Whisky
  • Sweet vermouth: Can be replaced with Dry Vermouth
  • Cherry liqueur: Can be replaced with Raspberry Liqueur

Explore all drinks starting with B here

And of course - twists🍹

Blood and Smoke

  • Use a smoky Islay Scotch instead of a regular one
  • Add a drop of liquid smoke
  • Garnish with a sprig of rosemary This twist infuses the drink with a deeper smokiness, elevating the earthy tones. It's perfect for those who love a peaty punch with their drink.


  • Replace Scotch whisky with Bourbon
  • Add a dash of cinnamon syrup
  • Use blood orange juice instead of regular orange juice This sweeter, spicier variant offers a warmer flavor palate, great for those chilly nights or as a dessert cocktail.

Citrus Oasis

  • Reduce Scotch whisky to 0.5 oz
  • Increase orange juice to 1 oz
  • Add 0.25 oz of lemon juice
  • Include a splash of soda water Light and refreshing, this twist brightens up the cocktail for a more summery vibe. Ideal for an afternoon delight or a brunch cocktail.

In case you forgot basics how to make Blood and Sand

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Blood and Sand

What's the best way to choose a quality Scotch whisky?

Choose a Scotch whisky that suits your taste preference. For a smokey, peaty flavor, go for a Scotch from the Islay region. If you prefer a lighter, fruitier taste, a Scotch from the Speyside region might be preferable.

Can I use a different kind of garnish other than orange peel or cherry?

Yes, the garnish plays a role in enhancing the flavor profile and the appearance of the cocktail, but you may use other garnishes if you wish. You may use a lemon twist or even a cocktail cherry. It's mostly about personal preference.

What's the best way to juice the oranges?

You can either squeeze the oranges by hand if you want a more rustic touch, or use a citrus juicer. Using a citrus press generally produces more juice.

What alternative sweeteners can I use if I want to avoid processed sugars?

Maple syrup or honey can be used as alternative sweeteners but may slightly alter the taste of the cocktail.

What is the optimal serving temperature for this cocktail?

This cocktail is best served cold. You can chill the cocktail by shaking it with ice, and serve it in a chilled glass.

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