Food Hero

Happy Hour – Blood and Sand by Katy K
June 19, 2009, 5:00 am
Filed under: cocktails, happy hour, Katy K | Tags: , , , ,

photo-2I tried this tasty retro drink a few months ago when I was out and about on the town in Vancouver B.C. with an old friend.  After skimming the Georgia Straight she chose a hip new Belgian restaurant, Chambar, for us to try. This cocktail, they called “Sang et Sable”, caught my eye because of it’s name (I’m a fan of the vampire genre) and because it is a whiskey cocktail (I’m a fan of whiskey cocktails).  

photoI was quite pleased to find that Chambar’s drink menu was full of variations of vintage cocktails which are very much in vogue at the moment. This delicious trend seems to be presided over in the Pacific Northwest by Jamie Boudreau, a bartender from Vancouver who now practices his art in Seattle (and happens to have a blog on I am personally grateful for such an agreeable diversion as fashionable cocktail-making.

photo-1I really enjoyed the Sang et Sable (as well as the Hughes’s Libation, and a selection of delicious edibles from the food menu) and wanted to try to make it myself.  Upon returning to Seattle and discussing this drink with a bartender at Cantinetta, I found out that “Blood and Sand” is a classic cocktail named for an old movie (Blood and Sand, a 1922 silent movie, about a toreador, starring Rudolph Valentino, as it turns out).  I then consulted one of my most prized possessions, the Esquire Drink Book (1956).  There it was on page 275 – Equal parts of: Scotch, Cherry brandy, Orange juice, Sweet vermouth. I tried this mixture with a Rainier Cherry-flavored vodka (44oNorth) but the cherry flavour was too, perhaps, medicinal…yet interesting in a certain way… but I decided to experiment with the ingredients listed  on the Chambar menu.  I settled on the ingredients and proportions listed below.

The Blood and Sand cocktail is refreshing, with a cool round juicy note imparted by the sherry. For a whiskey cocktail the flavour is surprising – yet just right.  It’s a welcome addition to my repertoire. 

 Per Drink

1     oz  fresh-squeezed orange juice (or tangelo, or minneola…)
1     oz  whiskey (a lighter Canadian-style rye like Seagram’s 7 is good)
1     oz  sweet vermouth
1/2  oz  sherry (I’ve been using Manzanilla, La Gitana, Hidalgo) 

Pour ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake, shake.  Strain into a cocktail glass and, for dramatic effect, garnish by floating a blood orange chip on the surface. To make the chips, slice a blood orange as thinly as possible and dry on a rack in a F 150 oven for many hours (6 or more). After drying the slices I’ve stored them in the freezer until needed.

A votre sante!


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