The third color in the Cocktails in the Park with George series is for the pigment burnt sienna, well known from my childhood box of Crayola crayons and with a hex value of #E97451. I immediately gravitated to a Blood and Sand variation, possibly because of the colors that those elements evoke in my mind (not that I remember bleeding too often into a sandbox as a child).
- 1.5 oz. Laird’s Bonded Applejack
- 1.0 oz. orange juice
- 0.5 oz. Cherry Heering
- 0.5 oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth
- 2 dashes The Bitter Truth Creole bitters
Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.
Garnish with burnt orange peel.
Laird’s produces a more commonly found applejack that isn’t bottled in bond (100 proof), but it does sport a different taste, if just for the fact the alcoholic content is less than the bonded version. I only recently found a location that stocked the bonded version after I was informed by a bartender that due to the convoluted Massachusetts liquor laws the bonded version could only be sold to an establishment that also sold cigarettes. Yeah, that makes sense. (By the way, applejack and apple brandy are not the same thing, as this article helpfully explains.)
Now the Blood and Sand is Scotch, orange juice, sweet vermouth and Cherry Heering, so you can see I didn’t stray far. My main alterations were raising the proportion of applejack (substituted for the Scotch) as its taste isn’t as dominating to me as Scotch, plus I liked more of an apple contribution. I then lessened the participation of the Cherry Heering (which I find can be very overpowering) and the vermouth. The Dolin Blanc is a less sweet vermouth that lies somewhere between traditional sweet and dry vermouths. I do like to use this to lighten a particularly strong tasting drink that needs to retain some sweetness.
The bitters here are similar to Peychaud’s in color and taste, though I find they add a little more of a spicy bite, which worked nicely with a drink with so many sweet components. And they helped with the color.
Oh, a final note on the burnt orange peel: The Blood and Sand can get the orange peel garnish. I thought for a Burnt Sienna it was wrong to not add its flaming cousin, and it’s really not hard to do. Here’s a handy video that explains how.