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A Bitter Blood and Sand Cocktail

by Ben Ellefsen, whiskey charmer and Master of Malt ambassador


Every now and again at Master of Malt, we like to make a brief voyage into the wonderful (if dangerous) world of mixology. Whilst our mainstay is definitely single malt whisky, the world of the cocktail is definitely one that’s relevant, and using high-quality single malts instead of the usual “mixing whiskies” really does make a difference. This cocktail is absolutely perfect with the full-bodied, rich flavour of Glenfarclas 15yo.

This absolute cracker of a cocktail is made with fresh orange juice, but (and this is really important) you’ll need to find juicing oranges, not eating oranges — the flavours are different, and we need the sharpness from the oranges to come through as a key flavour in the drink. If you can’t get hold of these, a very close second is shop-bought freshly squeezed orange juice.

Bitter Blood and Sand

  • 1 part (30ml) Glenfarclas 15yo
  • 1 part (30ml) Punt e Mes (or Carpana Antica)
  • 1/3 part (10ml) Cherry Heering
  • 2 parts (60ml) freshly squeezed orange juice (from juicing oranges)
  • 2 shakes Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters (optional)
  • Orange peel to garnish
  1. Take a martini glass, pack it with ice, and top up with water.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a shaker, then fill the shaker with ice.
  3. Shake until the shaker frosts up on the outside.
  4. Strain into the chilled martini glass.
  5. Garnish with a twist of orange peel (squeeze the peel into the glass to get some of the oil from the skin to float on top of the cocktail)
  6. Take a sip, and WHAT THE HECK? I know full well exactly what I put in that — it was whisky, vermouth, cherry liqueur and orange juice, so how exactly does it taste of dark chocolate?
  7. Try to figure out who’s been angering the flavour perception genie…