We have a lot to say about the classic Zombie cocktail, but first, here are some other classic rum cocktail recipes we think you'll enjoy: the Dark n' Stormy
, the Mai Tai
, the Classic Daiquiri
, the Classic Piña Colada
, and the Hurricane.
Now, as far as where this Classic Zombie cocktail came from, no, it wasn't inspired by The Walking Dead. The Zombie Wikipedia page
notes that "It first appeared in late 1934, [and was] invented by Donn Beach at his Hollywood Don the Beachcomber restaurant." (Donn Beach
was "an American adventurer, businessman, and World War II veteran who was the 'founding father' of tiki culture," if you were wondering.) Funnily enough, the Zombie's name doesn't have much to do with conventional zombies. In fact, according to the Zombie Wikipedia page, Donn Beach created the delicious rum cocktail to help a hangover businessman get through a meeting. A few days after Beach made the cocktail for the businessman, he returned to Beach's bar and said that the drink had turned him into a zombie. (Fun side note: the Zombie was sometimes served as a hot drink, dubbed the "I.B.A. Hot Zombie.") Beachbum Berry
, a noted Tiki cocktail historian, adds that "Because Donn never revealed his recipe to anyone other than his most trusted staff, over time these inferior Zombie knock-offs became the norm." This is the reason ordering a zombie at any given bar can be a bit of a gamble — it's hard to say which recipe they're working off of. It should also be noted that the Zombie cocktail is one of the iconic drinks of what is known as "Tiki culture." According to Wikipedia
, "Tiki culture began as a 20th-century American social construct... manifesting itself in the form of exotically decorated bars and restaurants that catered to a longing for travel to tropical regions (typically Polynesia and Oceania as a whole)." ZOMBIE
1 oz. (30ml) Light Rum
1 oz. (30ml) Dark Rum
1/2 oz. (15ml) Apricot Brandy
1/2 oz. (15ml) Overproof Rum
2 1/2 oz. (75ml) Orange Juice
2 1/2 oz. (75ml) Pineapple Juice
1 oz. (30ml) Lime Juice
1/2 oz. (15ml) Grenadine Syrup
Garnish: Orange Slice/Mint Leaves/Cherry
1. In an ice filled shaker combine all above ingredients except the grenadine and overproof rum. Shake well to mix.
2. Strain mix over ice in serving glass before adding grenadine and gently layering overproof rum on top using the back of a bar spoon.
3. Garnish with orange, mint leaves and a cherry.