|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2011)|
|Primary alcohol by volume|
|Served||On the rocks; poured over ice|
|Commonly used ingredients|
|Preparation||Mix ingredients other than the 151 in a shaker with ice. Pour into glass and top with the high-proof rum.|
|Notes||Because of the high proof rum, this cocktail could be lit if desired.|
The Zombie, (also known as skull-puncher), is a 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.
Legend has it that Donn Beach originally concocted the Zombie to help a hung-over customer get through a business meeting. He returned several days later to complain that he had been turned into a zombie for his entire trip. Its smooth, fruity taste works to conceal its extremely high alcoholic content. Don the Beachcomber restaurants limit their customers to two Zombies apiece.
According to the original recipe, the Zombie cocktail included three different kinds of rum, lime juice, falernum, Angostura bitters, Pernod, grenadine, and “Don’s Mix,” a combination of cinnamon syrup and grapefruit juice.
Beach was very cautious with the recipes of his original cocktails. His instructions for his bartenders contained coded references to ingredients, the contents of which were only known to him. Beach's original recipes for the Zombie and other Tiki drink have been published in Sippin' Safari by Jeff "Beachbum" Berry. Berry researched the origins of many Tiki cocktails, interviewing bartenders from Don the Beachcomber's and other original Tiki places and digging up other original sources. Mostly notably, Sippin' Safari details Beach's development of the Zombie with three different recipes dating from 1934 to 1956.
Due to the popularity of the cocktail during the Tiki craze and the fact that Beach both kept his recipe secret and occasionally altered it, today there are many variations of the Zombie made at many restaurants and bars, some showing few similarities to the original cocktail.
In popular culture
- Scottish comedian and actor Billy Connolly advised his audience during his An Audience With... show to try the Zombie, citing that it's "in an extraordinary concept; [the consumer gets] drunk from the bottom-up".
- In M*A*S*H, Season 3, Episode 17, Trapper John McIntyre orders a Zombie at the officers' club and says "Keep them coming until I turn into one."
- The Zombie cocktail also appears as one of many of the namechecks found in Steely Dan songs, appearing in the song "Haitian Divorce" on the album The Royal Scam.
- In 1940, pianist Fats Waller recorded a novelty song called "Abercrombie Had a Zombie" about the effects of the cocktail on a previously law-abiding citizen who has a few zombies and becomes a public menace. The song also mentions Aquacade and other features of the 1939 New York World's Fair where the drink was popularized.
- In the "Is It Magic or Imagination?" episode of Bewitched, Darrin orders a Zombie for Samantha. When she makes them leave before receiving the drink, Darrin says "if you didn't want the zombie I would have drank it" so she conjures one for him.
- The drink is mentioned by the doctor in the 1943 film I Walked With a Zombie as the final example of what the definition of a zombie might entail. Frances Dee's character responds, "I tried one once, but there wasn't anything dead about it."
- In the 1981 film comedy Modern Problems, Nell Carter (as voodoo maid Dorita) makes a big tray of really nice looking Zombies for vacationing guests Chevy Chase, Patti D'Arbanville, Mary Kay Place and Brian Doyle-Murray in the living room of their beach house getaway. Chevy Chase's character drinks the entire Zombie all at once, stunning the rest of the guests, and portending the weekend of chaos to come.
- In the skit entitled "Scandalous Weekend" in season two of the sketch comedy show The Kids in the Hall the recurring character Cathy Strupp, played by Scott Thompson, orders a Triple Zombie in a bar called the Love Boat Disco.
- In the "Catch a Falling Star" episode of Quantum Leap (set on May 21, 1979, aired in 1990), a number of the characters order Zombies.
- The Zombie appears in The Fiery Furnaces' album Rehearsing My Choir; the narrator states 'it just bombed me', during "A Candymaker’s Knife in my Handbag"
- The Zombie is mentioned by rapper Common in the track "8 Minutes to Sunrise" off his "Sensibility" album (02:00).
- In the Gilligan's Island episode "Voodoo" Gilligan informs Mrs. Howell the Professor has been turned into a zombie by a witchdoctor. She asks Thurston what a zombie is; he starts giving her the recipe for the cocktail, but wonders why she asked. She explains the Professor has been turned into one. Mrs. Howell suggests they go help him, and Thurston adds, "Bring a couple of tall glasses"!
- In All in the Family episode "New Year's Wedding", a wedding guest asks for a Double Zombie.
- The Zombie cocktail is mentioned in the Men at Work song "Land Down Under". Travelling in a fried out kombi; On a hippie trail, head full of Zombie.
- A favourite with so called 'West End Yuppies' after the Mike Lloyd incident in Las Vegas.
|The Wikibook Bartending/Cocktails has a page on the topic of: Zombie cocktail|
- Zombie at the Bartender's Database
- The Cocktail Spirit With Robert Hess: Zombie (video) - features 1956 Donn Beach recipe
- Amazon listing: Sippin' Safari
- Beachbum Berry website