Blood alcohol 

Grabbing a bottle of Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon on the way to a costume party won’t cut it. A little ingenuity goes a long way.

Bill Compton wannabes perfecting their vampiric smolder just got a boost from HBO’s marketing department in the form of Tru Blood, the blood substitute on the series “True Blood.” The nonalcoholic energy drink can be found at A.I. Comics, 701 W. Edmond Road. Owner and operator Brian Shechter said a 14-ounce bottle retails for $4.99 and has enough caffeine “to jump-start a dead man.”

“Tru Blood will go over well because it has a nice, strong taste that will mask most alcohol,” Shechter said of the potential mixer.

If presentation is the be-all, end-all of your favored Halloween cocktails, then skip the bartender tips and check in with a special-effects artist such as Norman’s Ryan Thomas of Tulsa-based Ill Willed Productions. His inspiration for two jaw-dropping creations started during a trip to Walmart, of all places.

“I was going by the toy aisle, and I saw the Dr. Dreadful Zombie Lab,” Thomas said, referring to a kit using edible ingredients to make mad-scientist creations like bubbling brains and zombie barf. “First thing I thought was, ‘This would be amazing with alcohol.’ I bought it and made it my life’s work to add alcohol to kids’ toys.”

A week’s worth of work produced the Ectoplasm shot and Zombie Blood. Rather than buying the entire $30 kit, Thomas suggested curious bartenders get the refill kit for just $6.

Both drinks are almost candysweet, with the Ectoplasm consisting of 1 ounce of cherry rum mixed with one-half teaspoon of zombie barf. The shot is then topped with a mixture made from 5 ounces of warm water blended with a teaspoon of zombie barf to make a weird, brainy jelly. The shot is sweet with a bracingly bizarre consistency.

Zombie Blood is a sipping cocktail and is made in batches of six to eight drinks. An entire bag of brain mix and activator is stirred in with 1 ounce of water. The mixture is added to 2 ounces of Cherry Pucker and 2 ounces of 7UP. Foam is applied to top off the drink and garnished with a gummy worm or spider.

“I think taste and presentation are both equally important,” Thomas said. “That was something I was striving for when making the final product.”

Photo by Shannon Cornman

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