- Dustin Park
- Nandini Khaund’s Reign in Blood
It’s been more than six months since Nandini Khaund, one of the founders of the app Craft Cocktail and blog craftcocktailrules.com, made a cocktail with pig’s blood for the Reader‘s Cocktail Challenge. After the Huffington Post picked up the story, it went viral—and now pig’s blood has showed up in a cocktail at a London bar, as the tabloid the London Evening Standard reports. In fact, Khaund’s entire cocktail seems to have showed up at the bar, though she hasn’t been given credit for it. The Reign in Blood, Khaund’s creation, features blood orange juice, cherry liqueur, creme de cacao, Averna amaro, coffee, scotch, and a pig’s blood rinse for the glass. The Slaughter, available for £16 (about $25) at No. 9 Park Walk, has the exact same ingredients, right down to the pig’s blood rinse. Even the glass it’s served in is almost identical.
Khaund discovered the copycat cocktail by accident—she was trying to do a Twitter search for the Chicago Fire Festival yesterday and inadvertently hit her search history, bringing up results for “pig blood cocktail,” which included the Evening Standard article. She e-mailed the author of the article this morning (and included me on the e-mail), saying: “This bartender must be my biggest fan, because he not only ripped off my exact drink, but copies some of the stuff I’ve said too. And made a video with similar elements.”
The video the bar made is indeed similar, but even more gratuitously gory. And that’s saying something—Khaund’s video included a guy in the background smearing the pig’s blood left over from rinsing the glass all over his plastic apron. This one, however, features a decapitated pig’s head squirting blood everywhere. (I’m not going to embed that video here, but you can see it in the Evening Standard article.)
Khaund seems more amused than angry about the whole thing, but she would like credit where it’s due. “My consultation fees are high, but totally reasonable,” she e-mailed me. “And I accept royalties.”
Coincidentally, the Kinmont is now serving a drink with pig’s blood called Werewolves of London, though it’s not similar to Khaund’s cocktail: it includes gin, Pimm’s, and coconut syrup served over crushed ice. It’s also (as far as I know) the only place in Chicago you can try a pig’s blood cocktail right now. Back in May, Khaund served the Reign in Blood for one night only at the Charleston, and said then that she’d never make it again. Though if you’re really motivated to taste it, you could always go to London.