There are many versions of this drink floating around in cocktail land. It was invented in the 30’s by Don the Beachcomber, who closely guarded the recipe. Rumor is he created the drink for a hung-over customer who was dreading a business meeting. After serving him the fruity but sneakily potent cocktail, the customer came back and complained that it has turned him into a zombie for his entire business trip. I guess the name stuck. The Zombie included 3 different types of rum, Falernum, bitters, grenadine, and Don’s mix, a combination of cinnamon syrup and grapefruit. This easy version is far from the original recipe, but it has more accessible liquor cabinet ingredients. In other versions similar to this one, Bacardi 151 is floated on top (about ½ ounce) for an even stronger kick. I chose to stick with the 3 rums below. To quote Esquire, “Supply a straw and, after two, a hammock. After three, a stretcher.” No wonder Don’s restaurants limited their customers to two Zombies apiece. I’m honestly not much of a rum fan, (Cachaça aside)  but this is a fun throwback to kitchy tiki culture of the 50’s. The real reason I’m posting “The Zombie” is to celebrate the premiere of season 4 of…yes you guessed it…The Walking Dead. I figured a drink named the Zombie would be perfect to usher in the next season. Let’s just say I’m excited for Sunday. And for any of you who may be wondering- I   DARYL. So here’s to Daryl and killing zombies.

makes: 1

1 ounce pineapple juice
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce lime juice
½ ounce apricot brandy
1 teaspoon simple syrup
2 ounces light rum
1 ounce gold rum
½ ounce dark rum
splash of grenadine (optional)
pineapple slice and cherry for garnish


Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a collins glass or tiki mug. Garnish with the pineapple and cherry and find a hammock.



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2 Replies to “Zombie”

  1. Where did you find these great glasses!?
    And, I’m loving all your Halloween recipes, btw 🙂

  2. The Ruby Spoon says:

    Thanks Brittany! I found the glasses at the Paper Source. They have them online I believe-https://search.paper-source.com/index/_/N-/Ntt-sugar%20skull%20glasses
    Hope you all are doing well!!

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