Ever since vampires came out of the coffin during the first season of True Blood, your friendly Vulture editors have harbored a secret desire to know what Tru Blood — the processed beverage that keeps vampires from having to feast on human blood — actually tastes like. So when we heard on Monday that HBO was beginning to accept preorders for a commercially available drink they describe as a "uniquely carbonated, slightly tart, lightly sweet blood orange drink," we made sure to get our hands on a bottle. So, what does it taste like? Is it worth shelling out $16 on a four-pack? We just gathered the Vulture team (along with one of our intrepid colleagues over at Grub Street) around the cafeteria to knock back the bottle. Follow along for the results.
As you would expect from the marketing mavens over at HBO, the packaging is exquisite. Much like a decidedly evil version of Crown Royal Whiskey, it arrived in a satiny black pouch with drawstrings at the top. The bottle itself is made from heavy red glass and is adorned with a sequence of
weird, Sumerian Chinese symbols along the neck (which, Vulture reader NoLuck informs us, says "True Blood"). The flavor we received was marked as O Positive, which is, fortunately, compatible with our blood type. And, from a health perspective, a fourteen-ounce bottle is only 99 calories and contains the recommended daily servings of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and niacin (along with 50 milligrams of caffeine). But how does it taste?
• "The grossest thing about Tru Blood is its name. The drink itself is fizzy, tangy, surprisingly drinkable. Some sorority girl is going to love mixing it with her double-vodka Red Bull."
• "Compared to most soft drinks, it's refreshing and not too sweet. It also foams just like real blood. Ultimately, though, I prefer the stuff when it comes from Jesus."
• "It's kind of got an orange-Hi-C-mixed-with-Sprite kind of taste going for it. Not as good as Ecto-Cooler, but then again, what is?"
• "The cane sugar makes it sweet without it being cloying. Sure to be used as a mixer by d-bags in Murray Hill."
• "While nowhere near as tasty as I imagine the blood of Eric to be, it has a tangy little kick to it. Consistency-wise, I was pretty happy it wasn't syrupy and thick. Also, no sickly aftertaste like regular blood."
There you have it! We're fairly certain that, at $4 a bottle, it's a little too pricey to drink on a consistent basis. However, as a novelty, it's certainly worth it. Much better than Buzz Cola, that's for sure!
Tru Blood [HBO]