|IBA official cocktail|
|Primary alcohol by volume|
|Served||On the rocks; poured over ice|
|Standard garnish||mint sprig|
|Standard drinkware||Zombie glass|
|Preparation||Mix ingredients in a shaker with crushed ice. Pour into a tall tumbler glass.|
|Notes||Because of the high proof rum, this cocktail could be lit if desired.|
The Zombie is a Tiki cocktail made of fruit juices, liqueurs, and various rums. It first appeared in late 1934, invented by Donn Beach at his Hollywood Don the Beachcomber restaurant. It was popularized on the East coast 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. The customer 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 because of their potency, which Beach said could make one "like the walking dead."
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 had reason to worry; a copy of the Zombie was served at the 1939 New York World's Fair by a man trying to take credit for it named Monte Proser (later of the mob-tied Copacabana).
Beach's original recipes for the Zombie and other Tiki drinks 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.
The Zombie was occasionally served heated (a drink more commonly known today as the I.B.A. Hot Zombie), as outlined by the Catering Industry Employee (CIE) journal: "Juice of 1 lime, unsweetened pineapple juice, bitters, 1 ounce heavily bodied rum, 2 ounces of Gold Label rum, 1 ounce of White Label rum, 1 ounce of apricot-flavored brandy, 1 ounce of papaya juice"
Tiki culture influence
Due to the popularity of the cocktail during the Tiki craze and the fact that Beach kept his recipe secret and occasionally altered it, there are many variations of the Zombie served at other restaurants and bars (some tasting nothing like the original cocktail). The word zombie also began to be used at other tiki themed establishments, such as at the Zombie Hut and Zombie Village.
Trader Vic also listed a recipe for the Zombie in his 1947 Bartender's Guide. Other competitors created drinks linked to the zombie. At Stephen Crane's Chicago Kon-Tiki Ports restaurant they featured a drink on the menu called The Walking Dead: "Makes the dead walk and talk. For those who want immediate action - meet the first cousin to the famous 'Zombie'. Demerara 151 rum. 90¢."
- "A Zombie Cocktail Recipe - Great Cocktails (UK)". Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- "Zombie Recipe". beachbumberry.com. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- Bitner, Arnold (2001). Hawai'i Tropical Rum Drinks by Don the Beachcomber. Honolulu: Mutual Publishing.
- Berry, Jeff (2007). Beachbum Berry's sippin' safari : in search of the great "lost" tropical drink recipes...and the people behind them (2. printing ed.). San Jose, Calif.: SLG. p. 103. ISBN 978-1593620677.
- Bitner, Arnold (2001). Hawai'i Tropical Rum Drinks by Don the Beachcomber. Honolulu: Mutual Publishing. p. 58.
- "Drinking Menu". Don The Beachcomber. Archived from the original on 2013-07-11. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Jeff Berry (2007). Sippin’ Safari. SLG Publishing. p. 121.
- "Cracking the Code of the Zombie". nytimes.com. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
- Lapis, Diane (2018). Cocktails Across America. Countryman Press.
- "Zombie Punch". blog.distiller.com. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- "Mystery in a tall glass". wsj.com. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
- CIE: Volumes 50-51 by Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union, Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees International Union, Hotel and Restaurant Employees' International Alliance and Bartenders' International League of America in 1941
- Kirsten, Sven (2000). The Book of Tiki. Taschen.
- Berry, Jeff (2010). Beachbum Berry Remixed. San Jose: Slave Labor Graphics.
- Bergeron, Victor (1947). Bartender's Guide. New York: Garden City.
- Berry, Jeff (2017). Sippin' Safari (10th Anniversary ed.). New York: Cocktail Kingdom. p. 221.
|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
- Berry, Jeff (2015). "How to make a Zombie". Beachbumberry.com.
- Berry, Jeff (2007). Sippin' Safari: In Search of the Great "Lost" Tropical Drink Recipes... and the People Behind Them Paperback. SLG Publishing. ISBN 1593620675.