I found two fun mixed drinks from fellow bloggers, and they worked out very well. I made the Blood and Sand, which is a very nice and balanced drink using Paul Clarke's recipe (which borrows from Ted Haigh's recipe), and the Robert Burns Cocktail (which seemed only natural given the occasion). For that cocktail, I used Marleigh at Sloshed's recipe. Those recipes are:
Blood and Sand
1 ounce blended Scotch (I followed Paul's recommendation of Famous Grouse)
1 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice (After we ran out of oranges, I had to use Minute Maid)
¾ ounce sweet vermouth (Noilly Prat)
¾ ounce Cherry Heering
Fill shaker with ice, and shake well, strain into a chilled cocktail glass (or a rocks glass if you've run out of cocktail glasses). I garnished with fresh orange peel. I liked this version far more than previous attempts at this drink - partly due to the proportions in this version and partly due to the blended Scotch.
1½ oz Scotch (Famous Grouse again)
½ oz Sweet Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
Dash orange bitters (Fee Brothers)
I shook this one with ice, and strained into an ice-filled glass. I garnished with either regular orange peel or flamed orange peel, depending on my mood (and whether I still trusted myself with the lighter).
Both drinks were popular, although the Blood & Sand was a bit easier drinking for those who are not accustomed to glasses of pure alcohol. All in all, a very fun night with just a few cups o' kindness taken for auld lang syne.