The Zombie Cocktail
What is a Zombie and how can you make one? This is a powerful cocktail that gets served with a warning -
"ONLY TWO PER CUSTOMER PER NIGHT"
- and thus, with nothing else to go by you already know you're looking at something special.
Oh HELL No!
With a whopping four different rums (one of which is looney juice all by itself, you should know), apricot brandy, and an absolute pittance in fruit juice. Giving you a spirits / juice ratio of 5:2.
Let's just say that your less than sensible side has gone to town - and they wouldn't be serving it at all if it wasn't any good (but at the same time it's no wonder that any sensible bars will only allow two to a customer) - so you decide is worth a go!
Despite having the appearance of something concocted by a lunatic with a serious grudge against livers, or perhaps a student attempting new highs - or lows depending on your point of view - you'd be wrong to make this assumption.
Donn was reputed to be a touch paranoid about his recipes staying his recipes, he would label bottles of ingredients with anything but the actual contents.
It was actually first put together by celebrated cocktail bartender, inventor of the Tahitan Rum Punch and Mai Tai, and winner of todays least original nickname - Donn "The Beachcomber" Beach, and this was in the 1930's: an era when you assume that people would have known better.
Your publican Great Grandpa certainly wouldn't have been caught touting one of these.
Wrong again. We're talking about an age where cocktail bartenders made concoctions that could go BANG with a little persuasion. None of those Bambi level Sex on the Beaches, oh ho-ho no!
But even still, this one cocktail was (still is, always will be) decidedly crazier than many, it is the real alcoholic equivalent to being mugged.
Now, as my friend Micheal Diamond might say;
63 - 75%
Wray and Nephew 126proof / Bacardi 151proof
Gold or Spiced Rum
38 - 40%
Havana Club / Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
Lambs Navy Rum
Bacardi Superior Rum
20 - 25 %
Bols Apricot Brandy / Gabriel Boudier "Bartender Range"
Any Supermarket range will suffice provided it's not concentrated
*Admitedly this can be difficult to find in your local store, shopping online can help with this, as well as with some more obscure liquors
To start with, add one measure of each Rum, the Apricot Brandy and the Fruit Juices into a shaker with plenty of ice.
Add a small dash of Grenadine.
Cover, and with three good shakes it should be fine.
Fill a Hurricane Glass or a large Snifter to the top with crushed ice, then strain in the cocktail.
Add a splash of Angostura Bitters.
Two straws later and you've got a drinkable Zombie. For a really presentable cocktail, follow the instructions below.
For it's now insufficient to make a drink that simply gets us drunk, let's make it into a damn firework!
The sheer volume of alcohol required for this drink can cause enough outside comment that you might say "are fancy presentation tricks really necessary?"
I say add those fireworks for the sake of the wow factor, and the possibility of a memory (albeit a blurry memory) for your guests to take home.
You'll need some more of that Overproof rum, skin from a wedge of lime, a pinch of powdered cinnamon, and a lighter.
As you are reading a cocktail recipe, you really shouldn't need to be lectured on the dangers of messing with fire (and very willing substances), I'll just say, don't burn your damn house down.
So, with your cocktail already made...
Put the lime peel on top of your drink ends pointing up, it should sit on the crushed ice.
Pour a few drops of the Overproof Rum on to the lime which should act as a small cup. Take care not to spill any or have any on your fingers, and light it. With a steady blue flame rising from the lime, sprinkle the cinnamon on top.
The video to the right demonstrates the trick.
It's also worth noting that the blue flame can be difficult to see in certain lights.
All goes well, you get a little firework display! Well done!
Now drink... but... very carefully...
Some of the listed ingredients are harder to obtain than others, I can almost never find Papaya Juice, and since the fruit itself is often more readily available I sometimes make it myself, I use the method described HERE.
Another option is shopping with your online supermarket, while the actual outlets may never stock certain things, the supermarkets full range is usually available through their shopping website. When I lived in England I used to buy liquors from a website called TheDrinkShop, though I wouldn't recommend ordering to another country, having suffered disastrous setbacks attempting to import Apricot Brandy and Buckfast to France, where they seem to have neither.
Yet another avenue is your local off-licence (or liquor store), even if they don't have all the spirits you need they're often happy to deal with specific requests if you politely ask.