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Category Archives: Scotch

Blood and Sand II


I got it totally wrong the 1st time around. After tasting Alembic’s Blood and Sand, I sidled up to the bartender and asked specifically what she uses.

The classic is equal portion of all liquors and juice. But we find the syrupy month feel of cherry herring a little off-putting. I am aiming for the clean, herbaceous flavor as well as the tea-tannin finish of what I had at Alembic.

Not quite there, but I am working on it. Makes 2

  • 1 ½ oz Glenrothes Special Reserve
  • 1 ½ oz Punt e Mes (don’t use other Italian sweet vermouth)
  • ½ oz Peter Herring Cherry Herring
  • 1 ½ oz Orange juice
  • Orange peel as garnish

Blood and Sand

September 11/12, 2010 (part of Cocktail Chronicle)

I have to retract what I posted the other day: THIS is my favorite scotch cocktail.

William nailed it on the head. The problem with Scottish Margarita is, it uses too much scotch. Anyone’s preferred way of savoring 2 oz of single malt from Islay shouldn’t be with Grand Marnier and juice.

Blood and Sand, uses just 0.75 oz scotch therefore I am willing to put in the good stuff. I don’t stock cherry heering so Luxardo’s maraschino is the replacement, an arguably better choice anyway. The smoky Laphroaig, the distinct cherry pit of maraschino and the tang from the citrus, they all come through. It is not like scotch at all, just a really good and interesting drink.

Having said that, I should mention that I found the original recipe undrinkable. Too sweet, for me. As always, the published recipe is after modification. It fits my preference which is, not too sweet, strong, and able to taste everything.

Based on Blood and Sand from in the Land of Cocktails (Makes 1):

  • ¾ oz Laphroaig 10 yr
  • ½ oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • ½ oz Martini & Rossi rosso vermouth
  • 0.3 oz lime juice
  • 0.3 oz lemon juice
  • 0.15 oz orange juice


  1. Combine all ingredients and ice in a shaker. Shake and serve.

Scottish Margarita

September 9,10  2010 (part of Cocktail Chronicle)

Definitely my favorite Scotch cocktail so far. And undoubtedly it will be even better if I had used 100% Laphroaig.

I just couldn’t do it.

It truly *pains* me to put single malt from Islay in a mixed drink. The recipe actually calls for Ardbeg but the only Ardbeg I have is Uigeadail. No way.

As a compromise, I use 50% Laphroaig 10 and 50% Jack Daniel’s Black. The smoky, peaty character of Laphroaig still  comes through, along with the additional fragrance of Grand Marnier and the fresh juices. Love it.

The lemon and lime juices are cut by 25% for a stronger and peatier drink but that’s just a personal preference.

Instead of plain old kosher salt for the rim treatment, I use the Mexican condiment Tajin which is a salt, chili, lime juice concentrate mixture. It’s fun.

Based on Scottish Margarita from MIXSHAKESTIR (Makes 2)

  • Kosher Salt, or Tajin for the rim
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 2 oz single malt from Islay, I.e. Ardbeg, Laphroig, Lagavulin … etc.
  • 2 oz cheaper scotch like Jack Daniel’s Black
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 0.75 oz lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz lime juice


  1. Moisten the rim with the lime wedge or just water if using Tajin. Dip the rim of the 2 glasses in the salt mixture to get a nice and even coating. Chill the glasses until serving time.
  2. Put ice, and all the ingredients in the shaker. Shake vigorously. Pour into the chilled and rim-treated glasses with additional ice and serve.


August 9, 2010 (part of Cocktail Chronicle)

I love single malt, so I didn’t quite see the point of scotch cocktails.

A while back however, William got a Costco size Johnny Walker Black for his more or less daily nightcap. As long as I don’t have to touch any of my Lagavulin‘s, I am willing to be more adventurous.

Based on Churchill from Bartender’s Companion to 750 Cocktails (Makes 2):

  • 3 oz (6 tbsp) scotch
  • 1 oz (2 tbsp) red vermouth
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • Juice of 1 lime


Shake and serve.