Blood and Sand Cocktail

In 1922 Rudolph Valentino starred in the movie “Blood and Sand”, a movie that shortly before his death in 1926 he declared as the part he liked the best. He had just undergone a touchy surgery for appendicitis and gastric ulcers and told the gathering press “The part I like best was my role in ‘Blood and Sand’. If I had died, I would have liked to be remembered as an actor by that role – I think it my greatest.” He died a few days later from peritonitis. It is unknown who actually created the recipe for Blood and Sand, but its first appearance seems to be in “The Savoy Cocktail Book” by Harry Cradock in 1930. There it lists the recipe as equal parts of all three ingredients, but I feel that the recipe works better by boosting the scotch.


1 1/2 oz blended scotch whisky

3/4 oz sweet vermouth

3/4 oz Cherry Heering

3/4 oz fresh orange juice


Shake with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with an orange twist.


Thomas Fondano 8 May 2012
1:40 pm

I’ll have to try it this way.
The best version I’ve ever made with all four equal parts uses fresh blood orange juice (in season) and Aberlour 12.

Neal 9 May 2012
10:03 am

Great video! I definitely like the 2:1:1:1 ratio. Also, for those who like the peaty stuff, a dash of Ardbeg or Laphroaig (just a dash!) gives this drink a delicate smokiness (I usually use Monkey Shoulder as the base). Cheers!

Trevor 9 May 2012
3:07 pm

Nice video.  This is one of the classics that I haven’t tried yet, as I never seem to have scotch on hand.  I’ll have to get a bottle and try both the 1:1:1:1 and the 2:1:1:1 ratios to compare. 

Just wanted to add, your hair/beard style changes are becoming almost as entertaining as the cocktails themselves!

blair frodelius 10 May 2012
10:34 am

Perhaps there should be a Tales of the Cocktail seminar entitled: “The Evolution of Robert Hess”.  :)



Robert Hess 10 May 2012
11:11 am

Trevor… after having virtually the same “look” for… oh, 30 years or so, a change can be rather refreshing… but it took a good, no… great, woman to help me see that.

Danny 16 May 2012
5:35 pm

Not sure if it is because I used a peat mossy scotch, but the equal parts recipe worked much better for my taste.  I’ll have to try with a blended or, in general, a less smokey scotch.

Robert Hess 17 May 2012
7:38 am

I’ve never tried a B&S with a single malt, much less one of the peatier ones, but I can see where it would greatly change the profile of the drink. In the days when the B&S was being made, single malt scotches were not very popular, so just from a “historical” perspective, a blended scotch is what this drink calls for.

Mark Kemp 19 May 2012
10:38 am

Has been my favourite cocktail since I first had on in Employees Only in NYC, the bartender said that it also went really well with mescal which I’ve tried and its also amazing. My only contribution to this cocktail is that the vermouth choice is in my opinion more important than the scotch itself. Antica Formula or Coochi Vermouth de Turino are both fantastic but Antica Formula is my favourite since it add a really herby bitterness which is completely missed if you use martini. 

I’d also like to thank you because it was watching your videos back when I was 17 that actually made me want to become a bartender in the first place.

blair frodelius 7 Dec 2012
3:07 pm


Having one this week as the last of the Small Screen Network 2012 Repeal Week rebroadcasts.

It truly is a remarkable drink, and one that sounds horrid on paper.  However, the one thing I’ve got to say is there is no substitute for Cherry Heering.  I’ve tried a number of other cherry liqueurs and schnapps, etc… and nothing comes close.

I tended bar at a large wedding reception this past summer, and the Blood & Sand was the hit of the party.  I must have made over 50 of them that night.



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