Scotch is a whisky that has a wide variety of styles and flavors, which I unfortunately don’t have the time to get into here. But, this is what you need to know. There are five regions in Scotland which produce whiskies: Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland and Speyside; and there are five styles of Scotch: blended grain, blended malt, blended Scotch, single grain and single malt.
GSN has reviewed several Scotches over the years including: Aberlour, Auchentoshan, BenRiach, Bowmore, Cutty Sark, Glendronach, Glenrothes, Glen Garioch, Laphroaig, Monkey Shoulder, Pig’s Nose and Sheep Dip.
If you’re looking to try a Scotch cocktail, GSN recommends the classic, Blood and Sand.
As a lot of my readers know, this cocktail is named after a Rudolph Valentino film entitled, “Blood and Sand”. One of the biggest pictures of 1922, it has been remade several times over the last century; most recently in a 1989 Spanish film which starred Sharon Stone.
However, my film pick is the 1922 parody “Mud & Sand” featuring Stan Laurel (of Laurel & Hardy fame). You can watch the film below while you’re sipping the cocktail.
The drink itself sounds horrific, yet tastes exquisite. Whoever came up with this drink had serious mixology skills. I believe that the name is quite fitting as well, since the color is a dark red with a sandy-looking tan foam on top.
Blood and Sand
0.5oz blended scotch whiskey (I use Famous Grouse)
0.5oz cherry-flavored brandy (Cherry Heering is the only choice here)
0.5oz sweet vermouth
0.5oz orange juice
Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.
It’s rare that a re-worked version of a classic cocktail surpasses the original, but in my opinion Ted Kilgore’s Blood and Samba does just that. Lighter and more open than the 1920’s era Blood and Sand, the exchange of cachaca for blended Scotch along with the addition of Peychaud’s bitters makes all the difference in the world. This one is now on my short list. Absolutely killer.
Here’s what Ted has to say about his creation: “The name and the drink Blood & Samba is a riff on the classic Blood & Sand cocktail. The original Blood & Sand was made with equal parts scotch, cherry heering, sweet vermouth, and orange juice. I traded out the scotch for cachaça, and voila! The Blood & Samba was born! It’s a great way to get people to try cachaça if they’ve never had it before, and I love having people try out new cocktail experiences!”
Blood and Samba
0.75oz sweet vermouth
0.75oz cherry heering
0.75oz fresh orange juice
2 dashes peychaud’s bitters
Garnish: orange twist, flamed
Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Flame orange twist and add.