For those looking to upgrade the basic scotch and soda, we’ve created a new twist that’s ready to keep you chilled all summer long. The Sparkling Sand is a mixed drink made with Scotch whiskey, perfect for outdoor parties, afternoons in the sun, or relaxing nights at home. The ingredients are easy to find and no bar tools are required whatsoever. All you need is a glass and a thirst for great scotch cocktails. Jaunty straw hat and Sperry Top Sider shoes are optional.
The Sparkling Sand, as I mentioned before, is an updated version of the scotch and soda drink. It pays homage to the Blood and Sand cocktail, a classic recipe that has been around for nearly a hundred years. The name Sparkling Sand is inspired by the poem “From a city balcony”, by Scottish poet Edwin Morgan:
“Our silent love wanders in Glen Fruin with butterflies and cuckoos –
bring me the drowsy country thing! Let it drift above the traffic
by the open window with a cloud of witnesses –
a sparkling burn, white lambs, the blaze of gorse,
the cuckoos calling madly, the real white clouds over us,
white butterflies about your hand in the short hot grass…”
Even though drinking a straight dram is appropriate year round, sipping the hard stuff can really wear you down on a hot day. That’s why turning your favorite liquor into a mixed drink is a nice alternative. Using carbonated liquids to lighten the punch of hard whiskey isn’t a new concept; just about everyone has tried a scotch and ginger ale, or scotch and Coke at some point. This recipe, however, brings in a few unusual ingredients, such as maraschino liqueur, blood orange juice, and almond extract. You’ll find similar flavors in other scotch drinks, but we wanted to bring them all together in an easy recipe that anyone could make.
The Sparkling Sand
- 1 to 2 Shots Scotch Whiskey
- 1/2 Shot Maraschino Liqueur
- 1/2 Shot Blood Orange Juice
- 1 Very Small Drop Almond Extract
- Sparkling Water
- Fresh Sweet Cherries
Fill a 16-ounce glass with ice. Add 1/2 shot of maraschino liqueur. You can substitute cherry schnapps, or another cherry liqueur if you like, but the maraschino has the perfect balance of sweet, almost candied flavor. Add 1/2 shot blood orange juice. Fresh juice is great, but we used a semi-sparkling blood orange juice blend that gave the drink a really nice color and a bit of extra fizz.
Using an eyedropper or the end of a toothpick, add a very small drop of almond extract to the mixture. You really have to go light on the almond extract, or else it will overpower the other more subtle flavors. Put in your shots of scotch, then fill the glass to the top with sparkling water. Garnish with a couple of fresh sweet cherries. Maraschino cherries are an obvious substitute, but sweet cherries are in season during the summer, and you can’t beat the freshness they add.
Hopefully, this will become one of your go-to scotch mixed drinks this summer. If you like to get experimental, try using pineapple juice or a flavored sparkling water. It’s hard to find, but pecan extract would be great in place of the almond. Rainier cherries have a distinctive look and sweetness, so give those a try as well.
Know of any other easy scotch cocktails? Let us know about them in the comments.