Nandini Khaunds Reign in Blood cocktail
  • Dustin Park
  • Nandini Khaund’s Reign in Blood cocktail

Two months ago Nandini Khaund made a cocktail with pig’s blood for the Reader‘s Cocktail Challenge (she’d been challenged by Kristin Wolfel of the Charleston). After the video was posted online, the Huffington Post picked it up and it went viral. “It was a hard thing to live down for a little bit,” said Khaund, who’s a cofounder of the app Craft Cocktail and blog—and, appropriately, a member of the band Bloodiest. “I remember going to Longman & Eagle for brunch, and the bartenders there just immediately being like, ‘BLOOD!'”

Since then, she says, a surprising number of people have told her they want to try the cocktail—including Abby Titcomb, a brewer at Three Floyds. Mostly as a joke, Khaund says, she told Titcomb that she should come DJ one night at the Charleston and they’d try the cocktail. This week, it’s finally happening: Wednesday from 9 PM to 2 AM, Titcomb will spin and Khaund will mix pig’s blood cocktails for anyone brave enough to try them (and cough up $12, which is what she estimates they’ll cost). If that’s past your bedtime, you can get the cocktail as early as 6 PM, when Khaund starts her shift.

So how does the pig’s blood taste?

“At first it just tasted like blood,” Khaund said in her Cocktail Challenge video. “A little salty. Then the finish started kicking in, which was more like smoked pork. It got richer and richer as the finish kept going. Then it got gamy, and by the end it just tasted like this iron death. It was really intense, and it went for like a half hour.”

The cocktail she created is called the Reign in Blood, a riff on the Blood & Sand that involves blood orange juice, cherry liqueur, creme de cacao, Averna amaro, cold-pressed coffee, and Pig’s Nose Scotch—as well as a pig’s blood rinse for the glass. Those who want to try it will have to sign a scroll that’ll double as a waiver.

And after tomorrow, Khaund says, she hopes to finally lay her reputation as the bartender who makes drinks with blood to rest. “I think that this should end it, which would be great. This is your chance. I’m never going to make it again.”

Wed 5/21, 9 PM-2 AM, the Charleston, 2076 N. Hoyne

YouTube video