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The Zombie is a strong cocktail made of fruit juices and rum, so named for its perceived effects on the drinker. It first appeared in the late 1930s, invented by Donn Beach (formerly Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gannt) of Hollywood's Don the Beachcomber restaurant. He concocted it one afternoon in the late 1930s for a friend who had dropped by his restaurant before flying to San Francisco. The friend left after having consumed three of them. He returned several days later to say that he had been turned into a zombie for his entire trip. Its smooth, fruity taste works to conceal its extremely high alcohol content. For many years the Don the Beachcomber restaurants limited their customers to 2 zombies apiece.

There are countless variations on the Zombie; every bar, chain restaurant, and individual seems to have their own take on it. The following is only one of many possible zombies but is not as potent as the original recipe:

Zombie #1

Shake all ingredients except the 151-proof rum in a shaker with ice. Strain into a Collins or hurricane glass filled with ice cubes. Float the 151-proof rum on top. Garnish with pineapple and cherry.

Zombie #2

Here is another recipe that is probably close to what the original version was. Don the Beachcomber originally used 5 or 6 kinds of Caribbean rum that are no longer easily available in the United States, so generic rums have been specified.

The following ingredients are supposedly for 1 drink but, with sufficient ice in 2 or 3 glasses, can actually make 2 or 3 very potent drinks.


  • 4 ounces or 8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 ounce or 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce or 1 tablespoon sugar syrup
  • 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons golden rum
  • 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons white rum
  • 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons 151-proof rum
  • 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons Absinthe
  • 1-1/4 ounces or 2-1/2 tablespoons spiced golden rum
  • 3/4 ounce or 1-1/2 tablespoons Cherry Heering
  • 1/2 ounce or 1 tablespoon Falernum syrup
  • 2 dashes or scant 1/2 teaspoon Pernod or other anisette-flavored pastis
  • 3 dashes or scant 3/4 teaspoon Grenadine

Shake with 4 ice cubes, then pour into 1, 2, or 3 highball glasses which have been filled with crushed ice.

See also: List of cocktails