On the Sauce: Fall Blood and Sand

A local cranberry cordial helps put a seasonal spin on an old classic made with Monkey Shoulder.

click to enlarge On the Sauce: Fall Blood and Sand
Chris Fasick

Last week, we set you up with a great Thanksgiving cocktail appropriately named Running Out of Thyme. That gin-forward libation, a light, pre-dinner drink, was supposed to be our only Turkey Day cocktail. Then I was introduced to an awesome cordial, one that was made to be a part of your holiday gatherings  and just happens to be local.

Kozuba & Sons, opened earlier this year, is a family-owned distillery in St. Petersburg; vodka, rye whiskey and cordials are among its specialties. While Kozuba's cranberry cordial isn't the star of our latest cocktail of the week, it's a great way to put a seasonal twist on an old classic: Blood and Sand.

What I'm about to say might scare away some readers, but please don't close this tab. The main booze in this Fall Blood and Sand is none other than scotch. Though I know many people aren’t "scotch drinkers," it's become my life's mission to get folks, even those who aren't used to certain spirits, to learn to appreciate the nuances. When used properly, any liquor can be highly enjoyable.

Just as we tackled the pre-feast cocktail, Fall Blood and Sand works well as a Thanksgiving dinner nightcap, or the remedy to a rough day at work. If you've been wanting to experience the world of scotch, this is a highly drinkable, entry-level introduction. Pick up a good bottle (read: priced between $25 and $30) and you're ready to explore.

Fall Blood and Sand

Makes 1

1 ounce Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

1 ounces Kozuba & Sons Cranberry Cordial

3/4 ounce sweet vermouth

3/4 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice

Fill a martini glass with ice and water, then set aside to chill. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice and add all ingredients. Stir with a bar spoon for 15-30 seconds until well-chilled. Dump out ice water and strain in cocktail. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

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