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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Zombie Recipe
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Zombie Recipe
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3059
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2003-11-17 8:15 pm   Permalink

Here's a recipe from Trader Vic that was in the September 4, 1944 issue of Life magazine. Yet another....

2 oz orange juice
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz orange-lime juice (?)
1 dash Peychaud's bitters
1/2 oz 100 proof Jamaica Rum
2 oz Puerto Rican Rum
1 oz 151 proof Jamaica rum
1/2 oz Jamaica rum 90 proof
dash of orange curacao
dash of grenadine
1/2 oz Rhum Sarthe

Shake and strain into glass over ice and add a float of Herbsaint.

That sounds pretty interesting.

[ This Message was edited by: martiki6 on 2003-11-17 20:17 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 1140
From: Orlando Florida
Posted: 2004-05-16 6:06 pm   Permalink

Does anyone know what recipe the Mai Kai uses for Zombies? I have tried so many different recipes and have not found any of them to come close to theirs. Any help would be great.
Original Art by
Scott "Flounder" Scheidly


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Atomic Cocktail
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 25, 2002
Posts: 927
From: Land O' The Next Big One-L.A.
Posted: 2004-05-17 7:08 pm   Permalink

"ZOMBIE" RECIPE ca. 1935

Here is an early "Zombie" recipe I have posted before. It is taken from "The Gentleman's Companion, Volume II Exotic Drink Book" by Charles H. Bakers Jr., 1939.

I have edited the first half of the recipe dealing with the Zombie monster as it goes on for an entire page!


Enriched coconut milk, see below, 1 1/2 cups or so
Cognac, 3 jiggers
Maraschino, 2 ponies
Angostura, 2 or 3 dashes
Very Finely cracked or shave ice

Put in shaker with lots of very finely cracked ice, shake hard and turn ice and all - a' la Daiquiri - into small, chilled goblets...Another variation, and much better flavoured one we find, is found by using only 2 jiggers cognac, and one jigger old Haitian-or other medium dark-rum.

Enriched coconut milk: get a ripe coconut anywhere. Bore two holes in the eyes and drain out water into saucepan-being careful to strain out fibers or bits of shell...Crack open nut, peel off brown outer skin from kernel, and either grate, grind, or cut up fine and add to water...Fetch to a simmer for five minutes. Put through fine cloth, squeezing out the rich cream by hand. Ripe fresh coconuts can be hand in most good grocery stores these days...Those possessing The Blender will save an incredible amount of time by cutting up kernel, with brown part unremoved, into the top container of The Blender; turn in the coconut juice. Reduce to a pulp at high speed for 1 minute, then rub through a very fine sieve, or strain through several thicknesses of cloth...CLINICAL NOTE: Quite recently not a few coconut cream drink-aids have come to light. Merely mix up any required amount to richness approaching that of honest Grade A milk.

*It may be of some mild interest to our Lodge of Amiable Amateur Mixers that the Zombie formula set on this page was put to paper in the fall of '35: whereas the high-proof so-called Zombie known to most bar men did not raise it's dizzy head until two years, or better, later. Author."

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The Ragin' Rarotongan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2004
Posts: 282
From: Now, Ocala Florida
Posted: 2004-05-18 10:59 am   Permalink

Trader Verne's has a really cool zombie head mug, but it's 30.00. it looks like the old zombies from old movies. check it out. i have also seen one on sale on ebay.

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the wayward one

Joined: Apr 29, 2004
Posts: 10
From: Virginia
Posted: 2004-05-18 3:48 pm   Permalink

one of the few things i remember about zombies from growing up ( not tasting them at the time, but seeing them made) was that they were a layered drink. Everything I've seen here on this forum is saying stir or shake exept the float.

An ex-roommate of mine has his grandmother's bar book from during prohibition, and it said to layer the drink. If I can get a hold of him, i'll post the recipe.

any thoughts on this?

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1025
From: Redondo Beach
Posted: 2004-05-20 2:50 pm   Permalink

The Zombie is not a layered drink like a Pousse Cafe is, but many recipes for it have lots of stuff with different specific gravities that make it look layered. Syrups like grenadine or passion fruit syrup will sink to the bottom, while the demerarra rum floats on top. So unless you stir or shake it good it will look like it has layers.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1438
From: Volcanic area of France
Posted: 2005-10-31 07:14 am   Permalink

I have to say I tried the Zombie recipe of the Ted Haigh "vintage spirit and forgotten cocktails" book, and it's the best one I've ever had.

As I remember :

1 ounce Lemon Juice
1 once Lime juice
1 once pineapple
1 once passion fruit syrup
dash of Angostura
1 ounce Gold Puerto Rican Rum
1 ounce White Puerto Rican Rum
1 ounce 151 demerara
1 teaspoon brown sugar

mix the sugar with the lemon juice, shake it all, put in a collins glass (I used my Hukilau glass, perfect).

Excellent drink

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 29, 2004
Posts: 56
Posted: 2005-10-31 09:04 am   Permalink


On 2003-07-22 07:29, Kailuageoff wrote:
There's a Zombie recipe in the BoT. Don't know the page, but I've blended that one and it's not bad. The best Zombie I've tasted is David Chan's blend at the Honolulu Restaurant in D.C.

Here 'tis:

Zombie recipe from www. time2tiki.com website
(named the "strongest drink" served at the Honolulu Restaurant)
2 oz orange juice
1 oz unsweetened lemon juice
1 oz light rum
1 oz 151 rum
3/4 oz Grenadine (also verbally quoted as 1/2 oz)
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
1 cup of ice (use ice chips or crushed ice for best results)

Be precise on measuring the ingredients! Slightly blend or shake. Pour into your favorite tiki mug (Dave recommends the Bikini Girl Mug) and enjoy!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1025
From: Redondo Beach
Posted: 2005-10-31 10:25 am   Permalink

Here is a Zombie recipe presented appropriately for Halloween!

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Tiki Rotterdam
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 14, 2004
Posts: 116
From: Rotterdam, Holland
Posted: 2005-11-01 01:52 am   Permalink

From the 'Sauceguide to cocktails' (a great cocktail 'magazine' from London which comes out twice a year with over 1400 tried & tested cocktails, i think it's called the 'Diffords' guide now)

3/4 shot Havanna Club light rum
3/4 shot Pusser's navy rum
3/4 shot Mount Gay Eclipse gold rum
i/2 shot Bols apricot brandy liqueur
1/2 shot orange curacao
2 1/2 shot freshly squeezed orange juice
2 1/2 pressed pineapple juice
1/2 shot Grenadine syrup
1 shot freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 shot wray & nephew overproof rum

Shake first nine ingredients with ice, strain in ice-filled (hurricane) glass, float Demerara rum on surface, garnish with pineapple wedge.


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Chief Lapu Lapu
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 16, 2004
Posts: 40
From: The Room of the Gods, Maine
Posted: 2005-11-02 5:09 pm   Permalink


On 2003-09-16 19:54, Kava King wrote:

On 2003-09-11 23:41, donhonyc wrote:
The last time I had a Zombie was when I was at the Trader Vic's in Atlanta. ... Joel (the bartender ) showed me, but I totally forgot , Anybody know of this one?

A little late, but here goes (as published in the Atlanta Journal, reportedly from "the bartender at Trader Vic's, Joel"):
-Juice of half a lime
-1 1/2 oz. fresh orange juice
-1 oz. lemon juice
-1/4 oz. (Trader Vic's) grenadine
-1 oz. curaçao
-1 oz. light PR Rum
-1 oz. Dark Jamaican Rum
-Scoop of shaved ice
-Garnish w/fresh mint leaves
(Repeat as necessary)

Personally I like these drinks more strong than fruity.. hence Zombie. This is an excellent recipe from the master:

From Bartender's Guide by Trader Vic - 1947

1 oz Jamaican Rum
2 oz Puerto Rican Rum
1/2 oz 151 Demerara Rum
1 oz Orange Curacao
1 oz Lemon
1 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine
1 Dash pernod

Mix in a mixing glass with a large piece of ice; stir well and pour over cracked ice in a14 oz. chimney glass. serve with straw.

Similar to the Atlanta recipe above...

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El Bastardo
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 27, 2005
Posts: 47
Posted: 2005-11-03 6:12 pm   Permalink

From my Dad's 1941 mixology guide "HERE'S HOW".

-One to a customer!

3/4 ounce Heavy Bodied Rum (About 96 Proof)
3/4 ounce Dark Porto (sic) Rican Rum
3/4 ounce Light Porto Rican Rum
3/4 ounce Red Rum
1/2 ounce Apricot Brandy
3/4 ounce Pineapple Juice
1 Large Lime (Juice Only)
1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar

Shake well with Ice and pour into Zombie Glass without straining.

Add more Ice if necessary to fill glass, and float a Dash of 151 proof Rum on top.

Garnish with Mint, Pineapple, and Cherries.

(Perhaps it would be wise to locate the coroner before serving this)


[ This Message was edited by: El Bastardo 2005-11-03 18:14 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1566
From: Mass.
Posted: 2006-01-23 2:03 pm   Permalink


On 2003-07-22 08:17, Unga Bunga wrote:
Here is another version.I found this gem of a book in a garage sale.The name of the rums shows it's age of the formula. I have not tried it yet(powdered sugar?).

This is from "The Official Mixer's Manual" by Patrick Gavin Duffy, Copy 1934, New York.

3/4 oz. Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz. Papaya Juice
Juice of one lime
3/4 oz. Powdered Sugar
1/3 oz. Apple Brandy
1 oz. Rum, 90 Proof
2oz. Tropical Gold Seal Rum, 86 Proof
1 oz. White Label Rum
Ice generously and shake. Garnish with a slice of pinapple, a green and a red cherry. THEN FLOAT ON TOP RUM OF 151 PROOF. Top off with fine powdered sugar

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Unga Bunga on 2003-07-22
08:18 ]</font>

I was wondering about this one-- When did Don The Beachcomber claim to have invented the Zombie? Was he famous enough by 1934 to have his drink included in a mixing guide? (By the way, I like this recipe best--it just seems right)

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 1266
From: Orlando
Posted: 2006-01-23 5:25 pm   Permalink


On 2006-01-23 14:03, pappythesailor wrote:
I was wondering about this one-- When did Don The Beachcomber claim to have invented the Zombie? Was he famous enough by 1934 to have his drink included in a mixing guide? (By the way, I like this recipe best--it just seems right)

According to Intoxica, ca 1950 Donn claimed that he invented the Zombie in 1934. "Anyone that says otherwise is a liar!!" Who is the liar he is referring to? Vic? Gavin?

The recipe from Patrick Gavin Duffy's book is nearly identical to the one on pg 89 of Grog Log, which Berry attributes to an anonymous 1934 attempt to reproduce Donn's recipe.

If Donn opened his first place in 1933/34 and Prohibition was repealed in December 1933, then yes, I too wonder how in such a short time the drink became popular and influential enough to appear in mainstream books in 1934 and 1935.

In Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits... he states that Gavin Duffy "practically radiated contempt for the drink in his books." For what it's worth.

I'd have to guess that there was a drink called "Zombie" prior to Donn's version but that he came up with his own recipe. Or perhaps he even came up with the name on his own, not realizing that a drink with the same name was already making the rounds in the bars of countries not suffering under Prohibition.

Zombie. Carribean. Rum. Juice. It's a natural.

Just for kicks I googled an online etymology dictionary:

1871, of W. African origin (cf. Kikongo zumbi "fetish;" Kimbundu nzambi "god"), originally the name of a snake god, later with meaning "reanimated corpse" in voodoo cult. But perhaps also from Louisiana creole word meaning "phantom, ghost," from Sp. sombra "shade, ghost." Sense "slow-witted person" is recorded from 1936."

Note the "reaminated corpse" in voodoo cult bit. According to Donn legend, he invented the drink to help a hungover customer make a business meeting (Grog Log pg 5). The businessman said "I felt like the living dead - it made a zombie out of me."

From Haigh's book: "The Corpse Reviver was more a class of drink than a single recipe. It originated at the turn of the twentieth century, sometimes merely as the "reviver" or "eye opener." At the time, however titled, it's meaning was obvious: "hair of the dog" or a little more of what bit you last night.

"Corpse Revivers are largely forgotten because, for a time, fruit juiced, complex, "up" cocktails went out of style. Drinking in the morning remained off limits to most people. The "Reviver" name was bound to Prohibition, and with the temporary ascendancy of highballs in the 1940s and beyond, it simply died out with the generation that drank such drinks."

Or perhaps it lived on...as The Zombie! BWAAAHAAAHAAA!!

Oops, got carried a way there. I don't see it as such a stretch that the Zombie was a sort of evolution of the Corpse Reviver. The name alone suggests the possibility.

Well, I'm done. Where's me rum??

EDIT: Just checked IMDB.com and searched "zombie." The Bela Lugosi movie "White Zombie" was the earliest US release with the word "zombie" in the title and it was released in 1932. Just in time to capture the imaginations of a generation of mixologists and suggest a new spin on the old Corpse Reviver!

OK, maybe now I'm stretching it a bit? Done for real now.


[ This Message was edited by: Kono 2006-01-23 17:42 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Kono 2006-01-23 17:52 ]

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Sep 29, 2003
Posts: 958
From: near Atlanta, Georgia
Posted: 2006-01-23 6:08 pm   Permalink

edited, links are gone, that recipe from 2003 needs to be revisited
for the earliest scoop on new Ocea Otica works

[ This Message was edited by: oceaotica 2009-02-14 13:11 ]

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