Zombie Cocktail Recipe

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Invented in 1934, the Zombie was one of the original ‘Tiki’ cocktails.

Famed for its strength, as it’s typically made using three different types of rum, it is one of the most alcoholic cocktails in the world.

Traditionally served in a Tiki mug, packed with over-the-top garnishes, the Zombie is a photo-ready cocktail with its sweet taste disguising the alcohol’s strength!

The Zombie was invited by Ernest Beaumont Gantt, the man who opened the world’s first Tiki Bar. Arriving in LA in 1934 after travelling and working as a bootlegger during the Prohibition, he discovered a newly vacated tailor shop just off Hollywood Boulevard and decided to open his own bar.

Using trinkets and ornaments he’d collected on his travels from the South Pacific, he scavenged boats from the harbour to decorate the bar unknowingly creating the world’s first Tiki Bar - Don’s Beachcomber.

At the time, rum was one of the least expensive spirits and had been sampled regularly by Ernest on his travels. So he set out to create a menu focused on rum-based drinks and the bar soon became the hotspot for cocktails in Hollywood with visitors.

Legend has it, that Ernest originally concocted the Zombie to help a hungover customer get through a business meeting. The customer returned several days later to complain that he had been turned into a ‘Zombie’ for the entire trip following drinking the concoction.

At this time, zombies weren’t the bloodthirsty beasts we now think of,  but the living dead who’d been cast under a spell - think Michael Jackson’s Thriller - and so the cocktail was given its name.

Alongside the Zombie, the bar is now said to have invented cocktails including Mai Tai and Rum Punch and due to its reputation and personality, founder Ernest soon changed his name to Donn Beach.

As he would say:  “If you can’t get to paradise, I’ll bring it to you!”

This month, we’re bringing you tropical paradise to your door with Dead Man’s Fingers Rum cocktails including our in-house Zombie!

Our version is a little less potent, utilising two rums instead of three, but we’ve added a twist with HappyDown’s canned cocktail.

Grab your garnishes (orange, cherries and pineapple leaves), a Tiki mug and get ready to join the rum revolution!

The Zombie Cocktail Recipe

  • 15ml Norfolk Cordial Redcurrant Cordial
  • 50ml HappyDown Lychee, Guava, Chilli
  • 25ml RubyBlue Blueberry Liqueur
  • 25ml Dead Man’s Fingers coffee Rum

Method: Pour your rum, blueberry liqueur, pineapple juice and cordial into a shaker then fill with ice. If you’re using an orange to garnish, we recommend squeezing a couple of slices into your shaker too. Shake everything together then grab your glass and fill with cubed ice. Strain your mixture into the glass and top with HappyDown. Garnish with pineapple leaves, a slice of orange and cherries in true Tiki style!

Join our Cocktail Club today to receive everything you need to enjoy two glasses of Zombie at home without the expense of three bottles of rum, on top of additional ingredients!

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