Over eighty years later, the undead grandfather of tiki cocktails, the Zombie, is still quite popular today.
Created by legendary mixmaster Don the Beachcomber in 1934, the original Zombie Punch was a closely guarded trade secret in his day. Because of this, it is one of the most replicated, often poorly so.
Makes one 12 oz drink
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz Falernum
1 1/2 oz gold Puerto Rican rum
1 1/2 oz aged dark Jamaican rum
1 oz 151-proof Lemon Hart Demerara Rum
2 tsp white grapefruit juice
1 tsp cinnamon syrup*
1 tsp Grenadine
dash Angostura Bitters
6 drops (1/8 tsp) Pernod or Herbsaint
3/4 cup crushed ice
3 cinnamon sticks
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
- Tall chimney/zombie glass (or anything that can hold at least 12 oz total)
- Saucepan with lid (to make your own cinnamon syrup)
- In your saucepan, crush or grind the cinnamon sticks. Add the sugar and water.
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
- Reduce the heat, cover the saucepan, and simmer for 2 more minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and let it sit for 2 hours, with the lid still on.
- Once finally cooled, strain the mixture into a bottle or jar. This syrup can last a month in the fridge.
- Put all of the ingredients into your blender.
- Flash blend on high speed for about 5 seconds.
- Pour into a tall zombie glass. (Yes, the glass is named after the drink!)
- Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.
The only thing harder than avoiding a hangover from this drink may be the acquisition of the vital ingredients. Unless you’ve been knocked out from too many zombies (drinks or undead, as the case may be), you may have noticed it ain’t 1934 anymore.
The cinnamon syrup is hard to find, and when found, it can be very expensive. Luckily it is easy to make. If you find one you like, you can of course use it and skip the procedure above to make it.
Falernum is another tricky one. This is a ginger-lime syrup from the West Indies. This can also be made at home, but it uses many ingredients and is more complex than a simple syrup. I’d recommend buying this one rather than making it yourself.
Finally, the 151-proof Lemon Hart Demerara Rum. Gasp, a name-brand! A hard one to find in the states, as well. This is considered the real secret of the original Zombie. No other rum can match its smoky, rich, sweet flavor. If you cannot find it, all is not lost. You could substitute another top shelf dark 151 proof rum and mix in a 1/2 tsp of molasses. Then maybe you can pretend that approximates the flavor, but you’ll likely be so drunk you probably won’t notice or care.
The warning at the bar used to be that you would only be allowed TWO of these. That’s how mind-numbing the concoction is. The fruit juices deceptively hide the very potent rums.