The Zombie

With Halloween right around the corner what better cocktail to serve that eve than The Zombie. This drink goes back to Hollywood circa 1935 and the very foundations of the Tiki Bar. Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, a native of Texas traveled the South Pacific extensively before landing in Hollywood. He opened a small bar and café, which he filled with nets, boat parts and various trinkets he collected in the South Pacific. Ernest named his café “Don the Beachcomber” and eventually legally changed his name to Don Beach. He featured exotic rum cocktails and Polynesian food which in that era was quite exotic.

One of his most famous cocktail inventions was the Zombie. This is a drink that came with the warning and house rule of “No More Than Two Per Customer”. Today when you look up the recipe for a Zombie you will find dozens of variations and a real challenge in ascertaining the true version. A number of sources say that the original Zombie was made up of 7 ounces of alcohol. Time and sensible drinking and driving laws have tempered the recipe to a more modern, moderate version.

The recipe we offer you today is from Esquire Magazine and barman extraordinaire David Wondrich. We found the same assemblage of ingredients from a number of other sources as well.

The Zombie

  •  ½ ounce white rum
  • 1 ½ ounce gold rum
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • ½ ounce 151 proof rum
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon papaya juice
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar

In a tall Collins glass stir together all the ingredients except the 151 rum. Take a bar spoon and float the 151 on top of the drink. Garnish with a skewered pineapple & maraschino cherry, or whatever inspiration you have.

A Note on Authenticity:

Drink recipes often are embellished by bartenders and the “original” recipes are often lost in rip-off recreations. Best you can do when researching recipes, is to check multiple sources, try the variations yourself and do your best to keep the integrity of the drink when you look into your own liquor cabinet and muster up a semblance of ingredients.