Every so often a simple relaxing drink comes along with an equally carefree name. The Zombie is not one. The name conjures up such bygone film stars as Karloff and Lugosi with good reason. The nine-odd ingredients in a Zombie make for a lethal brew that is more the product of a mad scientist than a bartender.
The first Zombie was created by Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gant (who for some obscure reason was called “Don the Beachcomber”) in the 1930s as a hangover cure for a patron at Don’s Los Angeles bar. The fellow returned to the bar a few weeks later, and Don asked him how he liked the drink. The customer replied, “I felt like the living dead.” The Zombie went on to become the signature drink at the Hurricane Bar at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, and Trader Vic featured it on his menu. It has since become a standard drink at Chinese restaurants, where it continues to transform jovial patrons into the moribund characters of a George Romero flick. The addition of 151-proof rum likens the Zombie to a postmortem in a glass.
You may want to think twice before you order one of the world’s most lethal cocktails, because you may not be able to think at all afterward. If you do decide to seek out one of these weapons of mass destruction, Polynesian lounges like Trader Vic’s and other high-end resort hotels mix their Zombies fresh. Otherwise, Zombies are usually prefab concoctions. Not counting the option of never, the time to order a Zombie is with appetizers before dinner.
The first Zombies were probably shaken, but the drink is more commonly mixed in a blender today. The daunting array of ingredients may persuade you to forgo fresh fruit juices, but if you are going to hell in a handbasket, the handle should be well made.
- 1Shake three juices, light and dark rum, brandy, passion fruit syrup, and sugar with ice, then strain over ice into a chilled Hurricane or other large glass.
- 2Float 151-proof rum on top, then garnish with maraschino cherry, orange slice, pineapple slice, and mint sprig.
- 1Blend three juices, light and dark rum, brandy, passion fruit syrup, and sugar with 1/2 cup crushed ice.
- 2Pour into a Hurricane glass and float 151-proof rum on top, then garnish with maraschino cherry, orange slice, pineapple slice, and mint sprig.
This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.
Copyright Quirk Books