Thursday, September 9, 2010
Blood & Sand
From his Classics Cocktails line, Joe presented me with the Blood & Sand, an ominously named, and forbodingly-tinted glass of straight-up mystery! (But delish despite the mystique!)
Into a cocktail of ice, add:
- a 2-count of scotch, (Joe chose Johnny Walker Black)
- a 2-count of cherry brandy
- a 2 count of Dubonnet
- a 2-count of orange juice
- shake well
- strain over fresh ice, garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry
Joe's Notes: The original Blood and Sand cocktail was named after the 1922 Rudolph Valentino movie of the same name. My Blood and Sand cocktail is a "remake" of the original drink.
In my updated version, I decided to substitute Dubonnet for the sweet vermouth. Dubonnet came about because of the French Foreign Legion soldiers stationed in North Africa in 1831. They suffered horribly with malaria, an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes. The easiest way to prevent the disease was to ensure that they consumed anti-malarials, like quinine. In the 1840s, the French government held a contest, looking for a new beverage that contained quinine, and this is what inspired Joseph Dubonnet. Dubonnet dulled the bitter bite of quinine by combining it with a fortified wine, herbs, and spices. He used a wine that had been mixed with a grape brandy, as well as green coffee beans, cinnamon, chamomile, and orange peel to create his distinctive beverage.
With this, as always, use fresh ingredients, that includes freshly squeezed O.J. You may choose to use blood oranges; I did not include them in my recipe as they are not so readily available.
Going back to remakes, the movie "Blood and Sand" was remade in 1941 starring Tyrone Power. Although the movie was a cinematic improvement, the actual movie itself was not as good.
The story in Blood and Sand has, as its main character, Juan, a Spanish bullfighter. It was once again remade in 1989. Top billing for this version was given to Sharon Stone. This may give you some insight to the quality of this remake.
Now, I am pointing out the decline in the quality of these remakes not to insinuate that my version is inferior to the original, but to show that with the proper care remakes can be an improvement on the original. Just look at Brian De Palma's 1983 remake of Scarface . This I believe is much improved on the original 1932 Howard Hanks Film.
The only way to find out for sure is to drink both cocktails, (the original Blood & Sand, and MY "Director's Cut,") and watch both Scareface movies. Let me know what you think.
Chris's Notes: Once again, I need to side with Joe on this one. Remakes have gotten a bad rap in movies, and not always necessarily so!
The same holds true in television. There have been many shows that have been retooled for newer audiences that, quite frankly, sucked it hard. A few examples include The Fugitive, The Bionic Woman, Land of the Lost, The Brady Bunch Hour, Knight Rider, Dragnet, Twilight Zone...
Oh, I could go on.
But every now and again, a remake comes along that appeals to more people, with all the right elements to make everything work just right together.
Perhaps, that is the secret to Joe's Blood & Sand. Joining me on my side of the bar that night were Senior Research Assistant, Kerry, and returning Guest Researcher, Sharon Mc.
Upon trying the drink, Kerry was not as appreciative of the combination of the flavors, saying it simply wasn't something she would order, (but, in her defense, she probably wouldn't have enjoyed an original Blood & Sand cocktail, either!)
Sharon, with her "less seasoned" palette, I fully expected her to outright dislike it, (Sharon's specialty on the research team is lighter, less-alcoholic cocktails.) To my surprise, it was Sharon who championed this drink. She apparently was digging all those subtle layers, and the fine balance of sweet and tart. She asked for a few samples, (all in the name of research!) and even claimed that she may order one of those herself!
So, you never can tell!
As far as television remakes, I am still awaiting a scary, suspenseful remake of that old sci-fi show where the alien monster crashes on Earth, and seeks shelter in a suburban house holding the family hostage! "Alien Life Form!" That'll be awesome!
This week's Barely-Related Video IS related, but just barely.
Jermaine Jackson and Pia Zadora, (who starred in Dubonnet commercials in the 1970!) sing When the Rain Begins to Fall from the movie Voyage of The Rock Aliens!