The Red Tartan Scotch Whisky Cocktail

The Red Tartan cocktail
Photo by Meg Baggott

Courtesy Josh Baker, head bartender, Underdog, New York City

This is a cheeky version of the Blood and Sand, a classic cocktail typically made with equal parts Scotch whisky, orange juice, sweet vermouth and Cherry Heering (a cherry-flavored liqueur from Denmark). The original is often criticized for its lack of balance and murky appearance.

Super simple highball version

In an ice-filled highball glass, combine whisky and blood orange soda, plus a dash of Angostura bitters if you have them on hand. Done.

“It’s the worst of the classic cocktails,” scoffs Underdog Head Bartender Josh Baker.

Baker’s version recalibrates the original’s proportions and lengthens the drink with Italian blood-orange soda. The result is a fizzy, brightly hued punch reminiscent of a tiki drink, but with Scotch at its core.

  • 1½ ounces blended Scotch whisky (Baker recommends Dewar’s White Label)
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • ½ ounce Cherry Heering liqueur
  • ½ ounce sweet vermouth
  • ¼ ounce lime juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Sanpellegrino Aranciata Rossa soda, to top
  • Dehydrated orange wheel, to garnish
  • Grated nutmeg, to garnish

Combine all ingredients except soda in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, and strain into highball or Collins glass, over fresh ice cubes. Top with soda. Garnish with dehydrated orange wheel and dust with nutmeg.

Published on January 5, 2019