The Best Zombie Drink Recipe

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The Zombie drink is made of various rums, liqueurs and a lot of fruit juice. It was invented by Donn Beach in the 30s it received this name because of the effect it has on the people who drink it. The legend actually tells us that Donn Beach created this cocktail to help a hung-over businessmen get through a meeting. The customer returned to the Don the Beachcomber restaurant and complained that the drink has turned him into a zombie. Although the taste is sweet and fruity, it conceals an extremely high alcoholic content. That is why the restaurants limit their clients to only two cocktails.

Donn Beach was very careful with the original Zombie drink recipe and instructed the bartenders to use coded references for the ingredients and the contents that only he knew. According to the original recipe, the cocktail included lime juice, falernum, Pernod, Angostura bitters, grenadine, Don’s Mix (a combination of grapefruit juice and cinnamon) and three kinds of rum. However, the recipe was published in Sippin’ Safari by Jeff Berry who has looked into the origins of many Tiki cocktails and actually interviewed bartenders that worked in the restaurant. There are three different recipes for the Zombie drink dating from 1934 to 1956. Because Beach kept the secret and occasionally changed the ingredients, very few bars and restaurants show similarities to the original cocktail. Here is the best Zombie drink recipe:


Cracked ice
1 1/2 ounces golden rum
1/2 to 1 ounce white rum
1/2 ounce 151-proof rum
1 ounce dark rum
1 ounce papaya juice
1 ounce pineapple juice
1 ounce lime juice
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
Maraschino cherries, pineapple cube or a lemon slice


The juice in the cocktail is what mixologists call a mystery ingredient, because it can be passion fruit nectar, coconut milk, pineapple juice, apricot or cherry brandy. We are going to use papaya, pineapple and lime juice because it best resembles the original recipe. Mix all the rums and juices except the 151 and pour into a 14-ounce glass filled most the way with cracked ice. The next step is to add the 1/2 ounce 151-proof rum and flat it as a lid. You can do this by pouring it into the bowl of a spoon and gently directing it under the surface of the mix. To garnish the Zombie drink, impale a pineapple cube or a lemon slice between two cherries and lay it atop of the drink. You can also add some mint and supply a couple of colored straws. For a more dramatic effect, light the cocktail because the 151 is highly flammable. Make sure you blow out the flames before you drink it. Enjoy!

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