bloodcocktailTwilight, True Blood, and Vampire Diaries are just three of the newest examples of how vampires refuse to go dustily into that good night. And they’re also why I found myself researching and writing VampireSmarts (“The Question & Answer Game that makes learning about Vampires before dating them easy & fun!”) and digging up some of the wildest information about vampires a few years ago.

According to Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s book The Complete Vampire Companion, there is some guy named Damien Vanian who is living la vida muerte in London. Damien Vanian, aside from having a name that’s the undead equivalent of Amelia Bedelia, is supposedly “London’s most famous living vampire.” I didn’t learn a whole lot about the guy, but I did learn that he came up with a blood substitute recipe.

There Will NOT Be Blood*

1 part tomato juice
1 part orange juice

Additional tasting notes on this recipe are that you should drink this cocktail warm — ideally 98.6°F, because that’s body temperature. Also, Vanian believes this effectively mimics both the taste and appearance of clotting blood, so you get all the blood bang without the worries of coming down with the Black Plague. Oh, yeah, that’s another fun fact I learned when researching vampires: don’t drink human blood. Not only can it be bubbling with bacteria and diseases, it might also act as an emetic.

I should note that since my primary source was published about 16 years ago, I have no idea if this guy is still living (or still living-dead, as it were), so if this concoction makes you vomit, don’t blame me.

(*Trademark me. Damien-Banana-Fanna-Fo-Vanian did not come up with that cool-ass name.)

Now, if you’re totally grossed out by that drink, but still feel the need to ape the vampiric lifestyle, consider stocking your bar with these delicious blood-like beverages:

  • Clamato, cranberry, and pomegranate juice: those health-improving antioxidents are very important, even to vampires.
  • Red wine: try a bottle of something from Vampire Vineyards. Because it means “blood of Jove,” I’m sad they no longer make a Sangiovese.
  • Mineral water: helps thin out the tomato-based drinks and brings a little sparkle back into your life.
  • Bloody Mary mix: duh.
Coffee, Tea, or Blood?: Vamp Up Your Drink 26 October,2010Stephanie Lucianovic

  • Jay

    Damien is actually a woman – I used to know her well! And yes, the blood substitute IS vile – was offered as others might offer a beer at her house back in the late 80s 🙂


Stephanie Lucianovic

A former picky eater, Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic is a writer, editor, and lapsed cheesemonger in the San Francisco Bay Area. A culinary school grad with an English lit degree, she has written for,, Popular Science, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Additionally, she has been writing for KQED’s Bay Area Bites since its inception and is the website editor for KQED’s Emmy-award winning show “Check, Please! Bay Area.”

Stephanie was an original recapper at Television Without Pity and worked on a line of cookbooks for William-Sonoma as well as in the back kitchen of a Jacques Pépin cooking show. Her first book, SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: A Picky Eater’s Quest To Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate (Perigee Books, 2012) is a non-fiction narrative and a heartfelt and humorous exposé on the inner lives of picky eaters that Scientific American called “hilarious” and “the perfect popular science book for a reader that doesn’t think he or she wants to read a popular science book.”

Stephanie lives in Menlo Park with her husband, three-year-old son, assorted cats, and has been blogging at The Grub Report for over a decade.

Follow her on Twitter at @grubreport

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