The Zombie is an exceptionally strong cocktail made of fruit juices, liqueurs, and various rums, so named for its perceived effects upon the drinker. It first appeared in the late 1930s, invented by Donn Beach (formerly Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gannt) of Hollywood’s Don the Beachcomber restaurant. It was popularized soon afterwards at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

Beach concocted it one afternoon for a hung-over friend who had dropped by his restaurant before flying to San Francisco for an important business trip. The friend left after having consumed three of them. He returned several days later only to complain of how he felt during the trip. “I felt like the living dead”, he proclaimed. Hence the name Zombie and, by the way, the friends tip proved to be a successful one.

Zombies have a smooth, fruity taste that works to conceal its extremely high alcoholic content. For many years the Don the Beachcomber restaurants limited their customers to two Zombies apiece. According the original recipe, there are the equivalent of 7.5 ounces (2.2 dl) of alcohol in a single Zombie; this is the same as drinking three and a half cocktails made with a fairly generous 2 ounces (0.6 dl) of alcohol per drink. The restaurant limit of two Zombies, therefore, would be the equivalent of 7 regular cocktails such as a Manhattan or Scotch on the rocks.

Ingredients: 1oz lime juice
1oz lemon juice
1oz pineapple juice
1oz passion fruit syrup
1tsp brown sugar
1 dash Angostura bitters
1oz gold Puerto Rican rum
1oz 151 proof Demerara rum
1oz light Puerto Rican rum

Preparation: Mix ingredients other than the 151 in a shaker with ice. Pour into glass and top with the high-proof rum. Note: if you cannot find passion fruit syrup, you can make your own by boiling equal parts passion fruit and sugar into a syrup.


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