Blood and Sand

An exceptionally smooth classic with an optional smoky finish

NO 2
NO 2
Blood and Sand cocktail photo



  1. Combine all ingredients with ice and shake
  2. Strain into a coupe
  3. Flame orange peel and garnish
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The Blood and Sand borrows its name from the 1922 film, and its allure from the leading man and biggest sex symbol of silent film, Rudolph Valentino. At the films conclusion the star lies bleeding on the sand of the bullfighting ring (oh what’s that, you thought you might watch it, well too bad). Blood? Sand? There must be some sort of dark metaphor here.

If the cocktail’s color represents blood, then the drink’s unorthodox choice of Scotch is the sand. The recipe may read a bit lackluster, but the crowd pleasing result is smooth, juicy, and drinkable. To fit the theme, create a superior crimson hue with blood oranges. If this tweak is a bit too sweet, go ahead and add Scotch to taste. Alternatively, finish with something peaty, like a single malt or smoky blend such as Peat Monster. Add up to ⅛ oz for a smoky, sweet experience. Almost swoon worthy.

To add some dramatic flare, as any good theatrically-themed drink deserves, make sure to flame the orange peel. Start with fresh citrus. Fruit’s skin dries out as it ages, losing the flammable oils. Cut a strip of peel. Don’t worry if a bit of pith remains, thicker is easier to handle. Light a match, or frankly a lighter if unconcerned with image, holding it a few inches above the drink. Bring the peel near the flame, then twist and squeeze strongly to release its oils. The oils should ignite, creating a small flare. Finish by rubbing the rim with the peel, then drop it in the drink. Whether this trick alters flavor is questionable, but this bit of showmanship is certain to impress.

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