If you're into thinkin' and drinkin'

Episode 31: By the Horns – Blood and Sand

You say Blood and Sand and it generates images of a switchblade fight on a beach. The consensus though is that this cocktail is named for the 1922 bullfighting movie starring silent-movie era heartthrob, Rudolph Valentino. Most likely originating from Harry Craddock, it appears in the Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930 first, and not many other places after that. There is no indication as to why Craddock called the cocktail a Blood and Sand, but we dive into the possibilities. Was he a fan of the film, or possibly Valentino? Did Rudy V. stop by the Savoy during his European visits in the 1920s? Or did it just look like a glass of bloody sand? Maybe none of these and all three!


The individual ingredients just don’t show up in very many cocktails, so we explore these commonly uncommon cocktail components. Is it morally unethical to mix anything with Scotch? Or does it just fight with the other ingredients? We look at how opportunistic companies during prohibition may have had a hand in growing popularity of orange juice. We also discuss good ol’ American loopholes in the law that allowed people to potentially make 200 gallons of cherry brandy.

Join us as we break down the drink, the film, the quick rise and early death of Rudolph Valentino, phony fascists, and oranges in your Christmas stocking.


  • ¾ oz blended scotch
  • ¾ oz orange juice
  • ¾ oz sweet vermouth
  • ¾ oz Cherry Heering

You look at the ingredients and you’ve got to ask what’s not to love.  It’s like a Scottish continental breakfast. Most of us liked this drink OK. It’s one of those old cocktails that has made it back to bars now, and it’s not unusual to find it on a cocktail menu today.

Transition music: Cephalopod by Kevin MacLeod

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