Vampire Vodka and the tale of my vampiric fascination

I may have mentioned how I absolutely adore vampire stories. Not Twilight, though, please. I have no stomach for Twilight. Which turns out to be a bit absurd, because I really love The Vampire Diaries, though, and well, teenagers and vampires and all that... still, my vampire imagination is mostly populated by the likes of Dracula and Carmilla and The Castle of Otranto. I'm a bit of a goth at heart, really, though I decline any affiliation with said current. My husband is the goth. Or was, when we met. Kind of. I was always more into metal when it came to music, he was more into gothic, and we still meet halfway at Fields of the Nephilim. But back to vampires. My first literary brush with them was when I was about nine, reading Sherlock Holmes, and there was one of the stories that sort of featured a vampire. The Surrey Vampire, me thinks. I had seen vampire movies before - I mean, Bela Lugosi, anyone? Christopher Reeve? - and there was just something about them that apealled to me. The immortality? Maybe. We all think we're immortal until our first brush with death, and mine was not long after I first read that Sherlock Holmes tale.

Later on, I read Dracula when I was about fourteen, fifteen, and I was so hooked on that book. There was just something about the way it is written that infused my imagination, deeply. I believe I must have read it over a hundred times by now, and though I could never come across any way of making excuses for Dracula, like Oliver Stone did in his movie rendition of the book - Gary Oldman being the only one who was cast right in that film, what a Dracula he played!! - I still had a deep fascination for that character, and for Lucy. Something about Lucy really spoke to me. Just read the book and you'll figure out why, Mina was a boring Goodie Twoshoes, Lucy had spunk and was sassy. So Dracula was the stuff my dreams were made of when it came to vampires, for a long time.

And then one day, when I was in college, must have been nineteen or thereabouts, I came across Anne Rice's vampire chronicles. I remember the moment as if it had just taken place: I was summering at S. Martinho do Porto, bored as hell because I had failed to take enough books with me, and I entered the local bookstore. As I was browsing the shelves, I came across a Mishima book I hadn't yet read, and next to it, with an ugly cover and all, sat Interview With The Vampire. I don't know what appealled to me on that book, but something did, because I took it home with me, along with the Mishima one. And I read it in a sitting, or nearly. I was transfixed! I detested Louis, I loved Claudia, I wanted to be friends with Lestat. I couldn't get enough. So I tried to find some more of her chronicles, and read quite a few, but then I came across The Witching Hour series, and those hooked me even more, but that's a story for another day.

As years went by I tried to find more vampire literature, coming across some interesting stuff, and some laughable stuff. Mostly, they were either books that depicted vampires as evil beings, some sort of plague, or animal that needs to be put down, or books that idealized and romanticized the vampire figure. The author that took my preference was Brian Lumley, as I found that he depicted vampires and a vampiric world in a way that appealed to me, they were more human than humans, I mean, they just were. Like people are. Sometimes there is no justification for our actions, or our feelings, these things just are. And there was no justification for Lumley's vampires, they were. And the stories were good! So good I got them all. And yet, I found that my head, my imagination, was still trying to find the perfect vampire, the vampires I wanted to depict.

So it cannot come as a surprise when I say that the first novel I wrote and finished was a vampire story. It was!! Highly influenced by my time in Manchester, and highly influenced by my people watching, which was one of the things I simply adored indulging in. See, at the time I wrote that novel - which story wise is pretty good, but the writting, eeek!!! - I used to frequent this sort of nightclub where you could dance the night away to the sound of goth music and some vampire metal, or early days black metal as I call it. I loved going there for the dancing, always loved dancing, loosing myself to the music, unaware of the people around me, just doing my thing; but I also went there for the people gazing. It was such a study! Trust me, it was. I loved just standing in a corner and watch the night unfold. You had to be pretty discreet, as most people there had some sort of violent gene to them - there were fights every night, between rival gangs or whatever, between goths and metalheads, or goths from this suburb and goths from that other suburb... too much testosterone, even in the women, who were also quite keen on giving in to their inner violent selves. So you had to be carefull, and watch them with a hooded eye, unless you were on a fighting mood, of course.

I didn't have to make much of an effort, back then, as I always felt rather invisible there, like the proverbial fly on the wall, I was convinced no one could see me or notice me, nor did I want to be noticed. I indulged in watching them all, and tear apart the actions and the conversations and the clothes. Back in those days there was this vampiric current amongst goths that has been somewhat lost - maybe not, I dunno, I have not been on top of what's fashionable nowadays for goths - and I loved to see what those people would be wearing. I would dress up in what to me was cool, and mostly I tried to emmulate Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise on that lovely film based on Anne Rice's best selling book, you know which one, but most girls took up very intricate ways of dressing and doing their hair, with medieval inspired gowns, or renaissance dresses, it was lovely to see, it was interesting to just watch them, the way they danced, the way they behaved, the way they mostly seemed to believe they were truly vampiric and immortal and possessed of that vampiric charm that renders them seductive and sensuous. And I found a lot of inspiration there, to write my vampire novel. The opening scene alone seems like something out of one of those nights.

And then, there was this drink that was the most popular one, and everyone would make fun of it, and still, everyone drank it. I called it the vampire vodka, and I did love it. I used to be very much into vodka, in my twenties, prefering it straight, no ice, but I didn't mind if it was served like this. I'm a wine person now, vodka has been petered out of my life for quite a while, as well as whisky and most other alcoholic beverages like those, I do like some liqueurs, but I am a straight forward wine lover, and I am fine with it. Still, back in those days, I did drink vampire vodka along with the best and worst of them, as it came cheap and it was sweet and it was refreshing and it did give off a buzz. And of course, while you held your glass of vampire vodka in one hand, it did help to add up to the character. It was like a sort of role playing game. I think most of the people there created a persona, a vampiric persona, some sort of character, and lived it up. I sort of did, too. And while we all held our vampire vodkas in hand, we could at least pretend it was blood. (Although I did see some folks cutting themselves and slurping on each other's blood. A bit risky, but so was unprotected sex, and I also saw people doing it in that club.)

And if you're thinking of having some sort of vampire themed party - maybe for Halloween? - or just want to indulge in something refreshing and sweet, and colourful, this is an easy drink to make. The jeweled red is achieved by use of sirop de grenadine. You have to mix it with water beforehand, in the proportion of your liking - I prefer it to be more watery and less sweet - and then you can add your vodka, straight out of the freezer, chilled and fragrant and strong, or you can make it a virgin cocktail, just using the grenadine. Add some frozen blueberries, raspberries, blackberries instead of ice, and it's the perfect beverage for a garden party of sorts. Would look cool on a New Orleans themed soirée as well, if you're serving some southern inspired eats - what's with New Orleans and vampires, I wonder? But they do seem to fit right in, though I prefer to associate said town to voodoo and witchcraft, and that, again, is a story for another day...


  1. eu por acaso não me sinto muito atraída por coisas vampirescas (tirando os batons vermelhos escuros e arroxeados, isso adoro), mas olha que bebia isso de bom grado! lá bom aspeto tem.

  2. tem um aspeto fantástico e as fotos ficaram lindas. sempre gostei de romances vampirescos, adorei o drácula do bram stoker e segui sempre a série true blood. Cheers to this amazing drink!

    1. o Tru Blood chateou-me um bocado no fim, perdi a pica com aquilo - mesmo com o Eric Northman e tudo - mas vampiros e eu somos é unha com carne loool


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