October 26, 2018

Blood and Sand


  • 25ml of single malt scotch whisky (I'm not a fan, so I just use a bourbon or rye)
  • 25ml of sweet vermouth
  • 25ml of cherry Heering liqueur (I use cherry brandy, as I can't find Heering locally)
  • 25ml of freshly squeezed orange juice

Pour all the liquids into an ice-filled cocktail shaker and mix hard. Strain into the cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel spiral. Drink swiftly.

My wife went to Los Angeles to help with the production of a TV show, and knowing my love of LA cocktail bars, she brought me back an exquisite book called "Los Angeles Cocktails - Spirits In The City Of Angels" and a bottle of Vodka (probably because she knew that our liquor cabinet had run out, and she sure likes my Moscow Mules).

Many years ago in Whistler, my brother made me and my friend Blackie watch the movie "Swingers" just after it came out, and as a lounge fan, I was fascinated by "The Dresden Rooms", the bar the characters to.

I found myself years later during a snow-fallow snowboarding holiday in Lake Tahoe, on a wild road-trip to LA via Death Valley and back via San Francisco. The rest of my travelling group were fixated in a shop in LA called X-Large, but I could not resist convincing some of the Gang to go with me into the (famous in my eyes) bar just next door. It looked pretty ropey from outside, and I understood their reservations.

We got ID'd right away, so we knew this was no place for skateboarding reprobates, but with our documentation at hand, we were permitted to grace these hallowed grounds. Another life goal falling into place!

I ordered a Gin Martini right away, as did my buddies Tristan and Smiler, as that was my favourite on that trip. From my recollections the rest chickened out and went for beers, but I now find out from my newly acquired cocktail book that the house signature cocktail is a "Blood and Sand". I'm kicking myself at my naivety!

Well, at least it gives me a quest to visit The Dresden Rooms again. I'm sure it won't have changed, as I'd certainly like to visit 1999 again.

Enjoy this cocktail, as it's listed in the book. It mentions that its's not exactly the version you'll get in The Dresden Rooms (theirs contains rum and is blended), but it's certainly a fine drink nonetheless.