Don the Beachcomber’s original Zombie


Invented in the 1930s by Donn Beach, American adventurer and founding father of tiki culture, at his seminal Don the Beachcomber tiki bar in Hollywood, California, the Zombie is a fearsome blend of spirits, citrus and spices.

Reputedly intended as a hangover cure, its name is a clue to the more likely after-effects of consuming this cocktail, which was limited at two per visit. The original Zombie recipe was a closely guarded secret for decades. Indeed, owners and bartenders of the tiki era would jealously keep their drink recipes under wraps, and Beach would reportedly not even share them with his own bartenders, instead instructing them to “use one ounce from Bottle A and a quarter ounce from Bottle B”. Enter Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, author and historian of tiki culture. He painstakingly managed to reverse-engineer Beach's original Zombie recipe, which had never been written down except in code, and published it in his 2007 book Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari.

Main alcohol : Rum

Ingredients

Crushed Ice
Ice Cubes
1 1/2 oz Aged Jamaican Rum
1 1/2 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum
1 oz 151-Proof Demerara Rum
½ oz Don's Mix (2:1 Grapefruit Juice & Cinnamon Syrup)
¾ oz Lime Juice
½ oz Falernum
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
1 Teaspoon Grenadine
6 Drops Pernod
1 Sprig Mint

Preparation

Pour 1½ oz aged Jamaican rum, 1½ oz Gold Puerto Rican rum and 1 oz 151-proof Demerara rum into a blender. Separately, blend a 2:1 mix of grapefruit juice and cinnamon syrup to make Don’s Mix. Pour ½ oz Don’s Mix into the blender then add ¾ oz lime juice, ½ oz falernum, a dash of Angostura bitters, a teaspoon of grenadine and six drops of Pernod. Finally, tip in 6 oz crushed ice. Blend on high for 3–4 seconds then pour into a zombie or other chimney-style cocktail glass. Fill the glass with ice cubes and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Drinkware : Highball Glass

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