Bloody cocktails are wildly popular when they end with "Mary," but a new concoction from one Chicago-based bartender is taking sanguine drinks to new extremes.
Nandini Khaund, the bartender behind the Craft Cocktail app and craftcocktailrules.com blog, recently mixed up what she's dubbed a "Reign in Blood" cocktail that features pig's blood as the key ingredient as part of the the Chicago Reader's Cocktail Challenge series.
"At first it just tasted like blood," Khaund said. "Then the finish started kicking in, which was kind of like smoked pork and got richer and richer Then it got game-y, by the end it just tasted like this iron death. It was really intense, and it went for like a half hour."
Since pig's blood isn't exactly the kind of ingredient you stash among the bitters and olives, Khaund tapped a charcuterie-making friend for the raw blood, the Reader reports.
The seasonal competition was inspired by the Reader's biweekly series in which fellow bartenders challenge one another Iron Chef-style to make a cocktail using a secret ingredient of their choosing.
Past secret challenge ingredients have included catnip, Cheez Whiz and Madras curry powder.
Khaund, who said she had never drank blood before, says in the video drinking some physically affected her: "My heart was racing."
While a pig's blood-based drink might be too gut-churning for the average cocktail fan, last year the TLC show "My Strange Addiction" featured a woman who was hooked on the stuff.
"I like to drink blood when I'm reading, when I'm relaxing, when I'm watching TV, when I'm painting," the 29-year-old woman told the Today show. "There's never a bad time for me to drink blood."
If you want to try the Reign In Blood cocktail for yourself, the Reader has helpfully included Khaund's recipe, too.