What better cocktail for Halloween than the original Zombie?

There are all sorts of great cocktail concoctions for Halloween (and plenty of terrible ones too). One cocktail that can certainly be Halloween themed and is a bona fide classic is the Zombie. Unfortunately the Zombie, much like the Mai Tai, is a classic cocktail that has found its recipe chopped and changed far too many times. As you cocktail bartenders will know, changing even one ingredient in a cocktail will completely change the cocktail altogether. The Martini and the Gibson being a prime example of this, the only difference between the two being whether the cocktail is served with olives or a pickled onion.

Halloween just like any other holiday or event is always a great excuse for a party! There is no other party in the year like a Halloween party, whether you had your party last night or are having it this weekend – what Halloween party isn’t complete without an array of spooky drinks? You can have a bit of fun with the garnish, using a peeled lychee with a blueberry in the middle makes a great fake eyeball for example! But what people really appreciate at a party is a great tasting cocktail. This is where the original Zombie comes in. Although we are sure the creator didn’t have Halloween in mind when he created it, it is perfect for this time of year being pumpkin coloured and named after the walking undead…

Courtesy of Donn Beach, here is the original recipe of the Zombie (altered for UK measurements) and all the cocktail tools you will need to make it:


Cocktail tools:

1 Mexican elbow squeezer

1 20/40 ml spirit measure jigger

1 bitters bottle

1 bar spoon

1 crushed ice maker

1 blender


Make certain that you use only fresh ingredients and good rums.

20 ml fresh squeezed lime juice
14 ml ODK falernum syrup
42 ml gold Puerto Rican rum (Bacardi Gold or better, for example)
42 ml gold or dark Jamaican rum (Myers’s Dark, for example)
28 ml 151-proof Lemon Hart Demerara rum or Hamilton 151 Demerara rum
1 teaspoon grenadine
6 drops Pernod (or any absinthe as a substitute)
1 dash Angostura bitters
14 ml Don’s mix (2 parts white grapefruit juice to 1 part cinnamon ODK syrup)

Pour everything into a blender with 3/4 cup of crushed ice and then blend at high speed for only 5 seconds, otherwise you will over-dilute the drink.
Pour into a tall collins glass. Add ice cubes to fill.
Garnish with a mint sprig and a straw and enjoy.

Happy Halloween!

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