Skip to main content

How to Make a Blood and Sand Cocktail

How to Make a Blood and Sand Cocktail
Dan Baker/The Manual

The Blood and Sand cocktail dates back to the 1930s and is named after a movie of the same name starring Rudolph Valentino. In the movie, Valentino plays a bullfighter who falls in love with someone he shouldn’t. This affects his abilities in the bullfighting ring which, somewhat predictably, leads to his downfall.

There have been many iterations of this drink over the years, and we tried to stick closest to the original. While the Blood and Sand is traditionally a Scotch whisky drink, we decided to use American single malt whiskey instead, as we felt that the characteristics would fit perfectly in the cocktail. Instead of regular orange juice, though, we doubled down on the name and used blood orange juice, which creates a drink that is slightly sweeter than the original (if you can’t find it, regular orange juice works just fine). The mix of smokiness from the whiskey and sweetness from the brandy, vermouth, and blood orange juice offer up not only a visually appealing drink but one that is surprisingly refreshing considering the ingredients. It won’t make you want to get in the ring and become a matador, but it may inspire you to watch the cocktail’s namesake.

How to Make a Blood and Sand Flame
Dan Baker/The Manual

Below, check out our video showing how to make a rye smash cocktail shot by The Manual’s own Riley Young with Eddie Riddell at Trifecta Tavern in Portland, Oregon. Trifecta Tavern is open nightly and serves up an exquisitely curated cocktail program (thanks to Riddell) and a variety of seasonal dishes from executive chef Chris DiMinno.

How to Make a Blood and Sand Cocktail

Glass: Rocks
Tools: Shaker, lighter

  • .75 oz American single malt whiskey
  • .75 oz sweet red vermouth
  • .75 oz cherry brandy
  • .75 oz blood orange juice
  • Orange peel, for garnish

Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a rocks glass. Take orange peel and flame it over the glass before dropping it in.

This recipe features Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky, the winner of the Single Malt Whiskey category in The Manual Spirit Awards 2019. If you’re looking to find other cocktail videos, we recommend checking out how to make a Bee’s Knees, a whiskey sour, a mojito, or a whiskey smash.

Further Reading

Editors' Recommendations

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
The Art of Mastering Asian Ingredients in Cocktails
Kira Webster smiling and shaking a cocktail.

With an endless array of herbs, spices, and fruits, Asian cuisine features some of the finest ingredients for cocktails. Mixed drinks are a playground for flavors, with tastes ranging from spicy to sweet and sour. From miso-infused gin to Thai chilies, the addition of these vibrant Asian ingredients is a surefire way to take your go-to cocktail recipes to deliciously creative levels.

Kira Webster, the Beverage Director of the acclaimed St. Louis restaurant iNDO, is an expert on utilizing Asian ingredients for cocktails. A restaurant that combines Japanese and Southeast Asian flavors, iNDO, is helmed by chef Nick Bognar, a James Beard semifinalist, featured on GQ and Esquire’s Best New Restaurant list, and Food and Wine Best New Chefs of 2020.

Read more
What is Pizza Toast and How Do You Make It?
Pizza toast with ham and cheese garnished with herbs.

First, there was New York-style, then deep dish. Somewhere in between, there was grilled pizza and Detroit style. Now, it seems the next chapter of the book of pizza will be about toast.

Yup, pizza toast is becoming a thing, just ask TikTok. It makes sense, as the pizza format has covered everything from bagels to crackers. Why not bread? After all, traditional pizza is made with dough. Toast offers that familiarity along with some real texture. And with so many toast options along with countless permutations of toppings, pizza toast is whatever you want it to be, a personalized snack based on an Italian classic. It's like a personal pizza, only square.

Read more
The 12 Best Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipes to Make
Cazadores tequila.

Flowers are fine, and gifts are great, but nothing says romance like a little DIY. And there's no need to bust out the tool belt for this one -- save the big projects for the nice weather and set the mood this Valentine's Day with a cocktail party for two. Whether you go all-out on a home-cooked meal or leave it to the pros and order in, take the time to make one (or five) of these gorgeous Valentine's Day cocktails that will be sure to impress.

We've compiled a list of 12 sexy cocktails to make at your home bar for all palates and preferences. From bitter to sweet, vodka to mezcal, and simple to complex, you'll find plenty here to shake things up for your Valentine this year (or for yourself; we're not here to judge).
Crystal Head Vodka Night Cap

Read more