Time to go back to my spiffy box of booze that I found in Houston, Texas, but can’t buy here in Ohio. This time I’m going to talk about the bottle that I was most eager to find, Heering Cherry Liqueur (a.k.a. Cherry Heering, a.k.a Peter Heering, a.k.a. another booze company with a gorgeous, but slow-loading flash-based website!) A lot of the cocktails that I have read about and most wanted to try have this stuff in them, and I was thrilled to get my hands on a bottle.
Of course, shortly after I got home, I was bragging about my get at our club to Bill, our most senior bartender. He simply walked away and returned with a nearly full bottle of Cherry Heering from the back! Popped my balloon, it did; but only temporarily.
I had a very specific cocktail in mind, that I had seen on several other blogs: The Blood and Sand.
I found different recipes on two of my favorite sites.
Paul, at Cocktail Chronicles, provides this formulation:
- 1 ounce blended scotch
- 1 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
- ¾ ounce cherry brandy
- ¾ ounce sweet vermouth
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a cherry.
But Jay, over at Oh Gosh!, uses a completely balanced:
- ¾ shot Scotch whisky
- ¾ shot cherry brandy
- ¾ shot sweet vermouth
- ¾ shot orange juice
Shake well with ice and fine strain in to a cocktail glass.
I used Johnny Walker Black, largely because I had it on hand, and am a member of their Striding Man Society (translation: a Marketing Victim), my Heering, no-pulp OJ, and a dusty old bottle of sweet vermouth from back before time began.
I tried Paul’s formulation first, as it seemed like it would be more to my dry tastes. I liked it a bit, but I thought it seemed a little off. My heart was a little low. I was really looking forward to this, and it just seemed too sweet and bland. Still, the next evening, I went with the four equal measures of Jay’s recipe, and learned a little something: even small changes in proportions can make a big difference in the character of a cocktail! Not the taste, mind you. The two taste pretty much the same, but the Oh Gosh! version seemed much more mellow and pleasant. So my recommendation is (in Pegu Blog recipe form):
The Blood and Sand
- One part Blended Scotch
- One part Cherry Heering
- One part Sweet Vermouth
- One part Orange Juice (no pulp)
Shake vigorously and serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry and a twist of Orange.
Where’d the Orange Peel come from? From this video from VideoJug. It is nicely done, though seems strange in that it is describing a pretty esoteric cocktail, likely to appeal to the more advanced cocktailian, with a low-level simplicity more appropriate for a viewer who might ask,
Now what is this Merteenie thing, again?
How To Make A Blood And Sand Cocktail
Lastly, I kind of wanted to see if, by siding with Jay, I’m on the side of tradition or apostasy. Lots of sites list the Blood and Sand, and there seems to be a balance of opinion betwixt the two. I’ll settle with this nod toward Jay’s and my preference. I like it because it is a fun piece, and because it is in part about Barnaby Conrad II, a writer I like, whom I’ve met, and who went to the same high school I did. With his imprimateur added, however indirectly, I’ll say
even measures is the gospel version. I feel so kosher….