Tag Archives: whisky

Blood and Sand – Cocktail Recipe


Recipe: Equal parts blended Scotch, Sweet Vermouth, Maraschino Cherry liqueur and Orange juice. Shake well with ice and strain into some nice stemmed glassware (see above). Garnish and zest with an orange peel.


Okay, it’s last call on the flavored vodka troops. As it turns out your consumerist bhagwan Puff Dirty Daddy is laughing at you as you follow the scent of his ethereal goji berry spirit down the rabbit hole and into his bejeweled lair of misappropriated excess. Time to drink up and move on.

The majority of flavored vodkas have all the complexity of the supporting female role in a Kevin James movie, and the finish of George’s Marvelous Medicine. Bought because you heard that the Flow Rider and his ‘boyz’ drink it in the clubs, you fully embrace the bland, characterless spirit, and because of the shrewd product placement you gladly overlook the fact that it’s actually best used to clean burnt soup from cooker surfaces and congealed sin from the embossed initials on wedding rings.


It’s time to grow up and start enjoying the taste of alcohol.

Blood and Sand Stuff

The Blood and Sand originated at some point around 1920, and is a fantastically well-balanced Scotch-based cocktail transcends seasonal pallets and themes and often defies those that have an aversion towards whisky, and wince at the bone-dry echoes that sweet vermouth tends to leave behind. All four flavors are present in this drink, coming on one at a time, politely stepping aside and clearing the path for the next with a bygone sense of noble chivalry.

As one of only a handful of cocktails that uses Scotch, it does tend to raise the odd eyebrow with Puff Daddy’s flavored vodka crowd, but it is a hit. To ensure that people approach the drink with the necessary state of open mindedness, assure your more reserved party guests that they are in fact drinking the new Ciroc® Whisky, Sweet Vermouth, Cherry & Orange flavored vodka.

For best results use a blended whisky that’s relatively neutral, sweet and smooth (J&B, Johnnie Walker Black, Famous Grouse should be fine. Just don’t go near anything from Islay, unless you want your drink to taste like smoked surgical bandages), get some Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth (hard to come by but worth it) and keep it chilled, and I always like to toss a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry into the shaker to get a bit of pulp in there.

Sweet, strong, dry and a little tart, this is an exceptionally well-rounded cocktail. Jay Gatsby would have gladly served drinks like this at his appropriately excessive parties. Not something that can be said for a double Ciroc® Bratwurst with Monster Khaos…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Hotel


Anyone that is familiar with my writing habits will know that I often write for writing’s sake. I hope that you enjoy reading it this much as I enjoyed writing it.    


          There was a time, I wouldn’t like to say ‘long ago’, but long enough ago that it could merit that sentiment in the heart of a story teller, that the Tigh-na-Ghuna Hotel was indistinguishable from all others in the Highlands. Black Watch tartan carpets coated the ground, their lines and weaves worn by years of trodden sodden soles that had leisurely strolled the arid and craggy landscape. Brass chandeliers hung from the ceiling, painting long garish shadows on the eerily placid expressions of the big game animals that hung as trophies from the wall. Those shadows would sway and twist in the draft that perpetually blew through the hotel, treating corridors as tunnels, and the bulbs as flames.

The warm red wallpaper was interrupted by dense molded frames wrapped in light gold metal, housing dark portraits of brooding lairds and lawmakers, and lush Gaelic landscapes that would lay themselves bare for watercolored compliments. Every piece of russet hardwood was marked with the concaved brass handles and fixtures describe everything they saw with form skewed and details bent, but all with a buffered golden layer of tone, like the sickly nostalgic memories of a glorifying old yarn spinner. And each room had an intricately layered scent as if its walls were assembled from the seasoned oak of retired malt barrels, dried and aged in the brined sea breeze of the north Atlantic.

In truth, I’m glorifying it because I love to write like my lover’s breath is blowing against my neck, swaying the tiny hairs like rushes in the autumn breeze. There really was nothing particularly remarkable about it. It was just like every other hotel in the area. That was of course until Wendy took over.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,