I am not a heavy drinker, I swear. But what do people think when I meet up to taste Scotch with Catherine Schiff who represents, among other spirits, Cutty Sark first thing on a Monday morning? Most of us are considering a second cup of coffee and I'm making a Blood & Sand? Crazy. Cutty Sark leapt onto the scene in 1923. Light, subtle smoke, easy to drink, the brand was first 'imported' during prohibition via the Bahamas by Captain Bill McCoy a bootlegger of impeccable integrity. Cutty Sark was one of the famed spirits dubbed
'The Real McCoy.'
Today the malts in the blend are primarily selected from the famed Speyside region of Scotland- central components being legendary The Glenrothes and The Macallan. The Whisky ages in American oak casks that have previously been used for Oloroso Sherry, rounding out the final blend. Cutty is an excellent starter Scotch, and perfect for cocktails adding a smokey rich character without being overbearing. Great history is carried on but any stuffy old scotch images are pushed aside by the young and talented Kirsteen Cambell (pictured here), master blender since 2010. All this with a low price tag.
I know I'm a year off, but the Scotch that most likely would have been used to create the Blood and Sand cocktail was similar in style to Cutty and also geared to the American market. Made for the 1922 movie of the same name, starring Rudolph Valentino (Rita Hayworth was in the remake- thanks for the correction Charles)- it doesn't get much better than that. Improbable ingredients mixed together
sound questionable at best but the drink is great- almost tropical in nature.
Blood and Sand: .75 oz Cutty Sark, .75 oz Cherry Herring (cherry brandy), .75 oz orange juice, .75 oz Sweet Vermouth. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Cherry garnish.
Try this too, my bartending colleague Thomas Tietjen's take on the classic Rob Roy.
Roberta Roy: 2 oz Cutty Sark, .75 oz Dry Vermouth, .5 oz Luxardo Maraschino. Stir ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, cherry garnish.
I really like the balance of malt, smoke, cherry liqueur.
The author is solely responsible for the content.