“Zombie” Cocktail on Rum

The “Zombie” cocktail is a classic tiki drink that has gained legendary status for its potent blend of rums and tropical flavors. Originating from the creative minds behind the tiki bar culture of the mid-20th century, the Zombie is renowned for its complex taste and high alcohol content, making it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts. Here’s a detailed recipe to craft your very own Zombie cocktail.


  • 1 1/2 oz (45 ml) light rum
  • 1 1/2 oz (45 ml) dark rum
  • 1 oz (30 ml) overproof rum (preferably 151-proof)
  • 1/2 oz (15 ml) apricot brandy
  • 1 oz (30 ml) lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 oz (30 ml) pineapple juice
  • 1 oz (30 ml) papaya juice
  • 1/2 oz (15 ml) grenadine
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint sprig and cherry for garnish


  1. Prepare the Ingredients: Begin by gathering all your ingredients. Fresh juices are recommended to enhance the flavor profile of the cocktail.
  2. Mix the Ingredients: In a shaker, combine the light rum, dark rum, overproof rum, apricot brandy, lime juice, pineapple juice, papaya juice, grenadine, Angostura bitters, and brown sugar. Stir well to ensure the brown sugar is dissolved completely.
  3. Shake with Ice: Add a generous amount of crushed ice to the shaker. Shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds until the mixture is well-chilled.
  4. Serve: Strain the mixture into a large glass filled with crushed ice. The crushed ice not only chills the drink but also slowly dilutes it, balancing the strong flavors over time.
  5. Garnish: Garnish with a sprig of mint and a cherry on top. This adds an aromatic touch and visual appeal to the cocktail.

Tasting Notes:

The Zombie cocktail is a symphony of flavors, combining the sweetness of pineapple and papaya juices with the tartness of lime. The blend of three types of rum creates a deep, layered profile, while the apricot brandy adds a subtle fruity undertone. The grenadine imparts a slight sweetness and a vibrant color, making the drink as visually appealing as it is tasty.

Tips for the Perfect Zombie:

  • Use Quality Ingredients: Opt for good-quality rums and fresh juices for the best flavor.
  • Balance the Sweet and Sour: Adjust the lime juice and grenadine to suit your taste preferences.
  • Enjoy Responsibly: The Zombie is known for its strength, so sip slowly and enjoy responsibly.

In conclusion, the Zombie cocktail is a testament to the creativity and indulgence of tiki culture. Its rich, tropical flavors and potent kick make it a perfect choice for those looking to explore classic tiki drinks. Cheers to mastering the art of the Zombie!