The Damn-Near Original Zombie Cocktail: AKA Skull-Puncher

In The Imbibery and Distillery by Christine McKellar

According to legend, the first Zombie appeared in late 1934 at Hollywood’s Don the Beachcomber restaurant. It (the cocktail) was invented by Donn Beach (formerly Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gannt) to help a hung-over customer get through a business meeting. The hapless inebriated customer later complained that the concoction, rather than aid, him turned him into a complete zombie. The smooth, fruity taste of this masterpiece works to conceal its extremely high alcoholic content to such a degree that Don the Beachcomber restaurants limit their customers to two Zombies apiece.

The below recipe for the Zombie is a close approximation to the highly safeguarded original and recipe. Happy Halloween! Please sip safely…

The Damn-Near Original Zombie Cocktail

1 1/2 oz. Jamaican rum
1 1/2 oz. gold Puerto Rican rum
1 oz. 151-proof Demerara rum
1/8 tsp. Herbsaint or Pernod
1/2 oz. falernum
*1/2 oz. Donn’s Mix
1 tsp. grenadine
1 dash Angostura bitters
6 oz. crushed ice
Tools: blender
Glass: chimney
Garnish: mint sprig

Put everything in blender but the ice.Blend at high speed for no more than 5 seconds. Pour into a glass and add ice cubes to fill. Garnish.

*Donn’s Mix
3 cinnamon sticks, crushed
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
fresh grapefruit juice

Create an infused simple syrup by heating cinnamon sticks, sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stir until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit for at least 2 hours before straining into a clean glass bottle. Add 1 part of the syrup to 2 parts fresh grapefruit juice.