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Zombie Cocktail Recipe – Dare to Sip the Undead

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The Zombie cocktail, a bewitching concoction steeped in tiki bar lore, is as mysterious as it is potent. Originally crafted in the late 1930s by Donn Beach of Hollywood’s famed Don the Beachcomber restaurant, this drink was designed to help a hungover customer get through a business meeting. Its formidable blend of three different types of rum, lime juice, falernum, cinnamon syrup, grenadine, Pernod, and a dash of bitters packs a punch strong enough to “revive the dead.” Traditionally served in a tall glass brimming with garnishes, the Zombie is not just a cocktail but an experience—a tropical escape with a kick that has enchanted adventurous drinkers for decades.

Tasting Notes

The Zombie cocktail emits a complex and inviting aroma. The robustness of Jamaican and Puerto Rican rums offers a rich molasses and slightly spicy scent, complemented by the anise-like fragrance of Pernod and the aromatic spice of Angostura bitters. The cinnamon syrup adds a warm, sweet spiciness, while the falernum contributes notes of ginger, almond, and cloves.

Zombie Cocktail

Zombie Cocktail

Survive the Night with a Legendary Zombie


  • 1.5 oz jamaican rum
  • 1.5 oz puerto rican rum
  • 1 oz high-proof rum*
  • 0.75 oz fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 oz cinnamon syrup
  • 0.5 oz falernum
  • 1 splash grenadine
  • 4 dashes Pernod
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • fresh mint for garnish


  1. In a blender add all ingredients (except mint) plus 6 oz of ice.
  2. Blend in the highest speed for 5 seconds (to crush ice and mix the drink).
  3. Pour into a tall, large glass, garnish with mint, and serve.


* the high proof rum in this recipe is supposed to be 151 proof, which used to be Bacardi 151 until 2016. Nowadays you can try:

- John Crow Batty Rum (160 proof), use 1 oz.

- River Antoine Royale Grenadian Rum (180 proof), use 0.75 oz.

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Tips & Tricks

Switch up the rum varieties to explore different flavor profiles. Consider using aged rums for deeper, oakier notes, or agricole rum for a grassier, earthier taste. Each type of rum can dramatically change the drink’s character.

Replace the cinnamon syrup with homemade spiced syrup, such as one infused with star anise, nutmeg, or cardamom. You could also try using honey or agave syrup instead of simple syrup for a different kind of sweetness.

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