The Blood & Sand is a classic cocktail that combines the seemingly disparate ingredients scotch, cherry brandy, sweet vermouth and orange juice. It first appeared in 1930 in “The Savoy Cocktail Book” by Harry Craddock, so the strange drink has stood the test of time because, somehow, it works. But once you’ve mastered the classic, it’s time to experiment with one of the many variations the Blood & Sand has spawned over the decades. That includes the Tart ’n’ Sand from bartender and brand ambassador Charlotte Voisey.
The Tart ’n’ Sand begins where it should, with a good scotch. Voisey chooses Glenfiddich 12-year-old, a mellow and mixable single malt with notes of fresh pear and sweet, subtle oak. From there, she takes a few thoughtful liberties, subbing pink grapefruit juice and lemon juice for the orange juice and replacing sweet vermouth with Lillet rouge, a French wine-based aperitif. The orange isn’t completely lost, however, as Voisey enlists Solerno, a liqueur made with ripe Sanguinello blood oranges from Sicily. That covers all the bases, minus the cherry brandy.
Voisey achieves this last flavor addition by mudding a handful of Luxardo marasca cherries in the shaker before adding the liquid components. The sweet and syrupy fruit adds a rich vein of cherry flavor to the cocktail and contributes to its gorgeous red hue.
The Tart ’n’ Sand isn’t the classic version of the cocktail you’ll find on bar menus all over the world, but it’s worth sampling. With its blend of tart citrus, richly flavored orange liqueur and sweet cherries, it might even be better than the original.
- 4 Luxardo marasca cherries
- 3/4 ounce Glenfiddich 12-year-old single malt scotch whisky
- 3/4 ounce Solerno blood orange liqueur
- 3/4 ounce Lillet rouge aperitif
- 1/2 ounce pink grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Garnish: orange wheel
In a shaker, muddle the cherries.
Add the scotch, blood orange liqueur, Lillet rouge, pink grapefruit juice, lemon juice and orange bitters into the shaker with ice, and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a cocktail glass or a coupe.
Garnish with an orange wheel.