Dark pink blood and sand cocktails on a table with bar tools in the background

Blood and Sand Cocktail: Low Carb Scotch Cocktail

Easy, low calorie, and 0 carbs – you can’t ask for more from this Blood and Sand Cocktail! Adapted from the original this low carb version has flavors of orange, cherry, and Scotch tanged up with a squeeze of lime and a zip of ginger ale. The original Scotch Cocktail has about 10 carbs per serving for about 3 ounces of cocktail – those 10 carbs could really add up quickly at a party! Keep in mind that while clear alcohol like Scotch has no carbs your body won’t burn fat while you have alcohol in your system. Of course, please drink responsibly.

For this recipe you’ll need: Single malt Scotch (pick a good one), Gin, orange water enhancer, cherry water enhancer, lime, sugar free ginger ale, and ice.

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Blood and sand cocktails on a table with a cut line in the foreground. Title image.

This low carb Blood and Sand Cocktail recipe is an adaption of the original which was created in the 1930s to commemorate a movie about bullfighters. Not impressed? Neither was I, at least not until I tasted it.

While it’s had kind of a bum rap -it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of …umm…cocktail… I think it’s a worthy contender for those of us who like Old Fashioneds and Scotch. The tricky part is getting the flavors to balance because any one flavor can easily overwhelm the others. Now, this is where someone usually comments that this isn’t a “real” Blood and Sand drink because of the adaptions.

You are absolutely right. It’s not. It is, however, a delicious cocktail reminiscent of a Blood and Sand but permitted for those of us on a low carb eating plan.

Classic Cocktails – There’s Something About Them

I grew up in the days when Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. sang on television with a cocktail in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Men wore suits, women were sex objects, and kids came home when the street lights flickered on. Classic cocktails were an iconic part of everyday life. Your dad came home from work and mixed up a Martini or an Old Fashioned or a Scotch on the rocks. Maybe, if your parents actually liked each other (questionable in my house) he made a Whiskey Sour or a cosmopolitan for your mom.

It’s how we rolled.

I loved the show, Madmen. I thought they captured that time period very well. In fact, watching it I always felt a little deja vu. I think that the show helped to bring cocktails like the Old Fashioned and the Martini back in style. The thing is that there are so many more little known cocktails that are as good or better than the ones you see every day.

Two blood and sand cocktails on a table with a chrome shaker in the background. Horizontal image.

How I Adapted This Blood and Sand Cocktail … and Why

I happen to think that the Blood and Sand cocktail deserves to be on the list. It’s a Scotch cocktail that’s traditionally made with Cherry Heering, Orange juice, Scotch, and sweet Vermouth in equal measures. That just wasn’t an option so I used water enhancers to mimic the fruit flavors. The reason water enhancers work so well here is that they are highly concentrated so there’s no dilution of the cocktail like there would be with syrups. It’s very important in this particular case. I added ginger ale because of the loss of the liquid from the spirits I didn’t use – and I added the gin because it added alcohol without changing the flavor.

You could add club soda or still water in place of the ginger ale if you don’t like the amount of sweetness in this drink. Just be sure to use good Scotch – there’s nothing to cover it up if it’s low quality.

Top view of blood and sand cocktail with ice and a lime wheel.

Blood and Sand Cocktail Recipe

Dark pink blood and sand cocktails on a table with bar tools in the background

This is a refreshing cocktail that works all season long. I tend to think of Scotch as a fall and winter drink but the rich flavors in this Blood and Sand recipe work anytime. If you love this cocktail please consider giving it 5 stars!

Square image of the blood and sand cocktail for the recipe card.
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0-Carb Blood & Sand Cocktail

This easy cocktail is the adaption of a classic recipe from the 1930s. Flavors of orange and cherry combine with Scotch and ginger ale to create a refreshing, unique drink with 0 carbs.
Course Cocktail
Cuisine American Classic
Keyword cocktail
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 136kcal
Author Katherine Peters


  • 2 ounces Scotch
  • 2 ounces Gin
  • 1/2 ounce Sugar Free Orange Syrup , I prefer Torani
  • 1/2 ounce Sugar Free Black Cherry Syrup I prefer Torani
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Sugar free ginger ale to fill glasses
  • ice


  • Fill low ball glasses with ice.
  • Fill a shaker with more ice.
  • Add the Scotch, Gin, syrups, and lime.
  • Shake until the outside of the shaker is so cold it’s hard to hold, about 30 seconds.
  • Strain into the ice filled low ball glasses.
  • Top off with ginger ale.
  • Add a lime wheel to garnish.


May use orange and black cherry water enhancers – 1/8 teaspoon of each.


Calories: 136kcal

If you liked this Blood and Sand Cocktail you may also like…

Click on the image to see the recipe. From left to right (all low carb): Bourbon Milk Punch, Vanilla Old Fashioned, Dirty Shirley

Bourbon Milk Punch?Vanilla Old Fashioned?Low Carb Dirty Shirley

Still looking? Check out these recipes from some of my favorite blogs…

Low Carb Mojito

Sugar Free French 75

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