Zombie Cocktail Drink

Zombie

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

Searching for a standout drink? This Zombie Cocktail recipe packs all the right ingredients for an unforgettable experience.

Zombie Drink Recipe

Check out this classic Zombie Cocktail recipe! It's the ideal drink for the summer, with a blend of rums, fruit juices, and a hint of sweetness.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

2 minutes

Servings:

1

Calories:

277 kl

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Light Rum
  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 oz apricot Brandy
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • ½ oz lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp grenadine
  • 1 tsp superfine sugar
  • 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Pineapple slice and cherry, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Tall Glass like a Collins or Highball
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Shaker
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Chill glass: Stir some ice cubes in your highball glass to chill.
  • Mix Ingredients: Pour 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters, 1 tsp superfine sugar, 1 tsp grenadine, ½ oz lime juice, 1 oz pineapple juice, 2 oz orange juice, 1 oz apricot Brandy, 1 oz Dark Rum, and 1 oz Light Rum into the shaker.
  • Prep Shaker: Fill your shaker half full with ice cubes.
  • Shake Well: Seal the shaker and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
  • Serve: Strain the mixture into the tall glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and cherry, if desired.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Light Rum: If I run out of light rum, white rum or gold rum can easily take its place. They provide a clean, crisp flavor that mixes well with the other ingredients.
  • Dark Rum: Sometimes, I use spiced rum for an added depth of flavor. It provides a nice, warm undertone with its spices.
  • Apricot Brandy: Peach brandy is a favorite when I can't find apricot. It's fruity and pairs well with the tropical theme.
  • Grenadine: If you're out, pomegranate juice with a touch of sugar works wonders.

Making a Pitcher of Zombie Cocktail:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher serving 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. For instance, you'll need 8 oz of light rum, 8 oz of dark rum, and so on.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher and stir well.
  • Serve: Pour into individual ice-filled tall glasses, garnish, and enjoy immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rum Substitute: I recommend using non-alcoholic versions of rum available in the market. They capture the essence without the alcohol.
  • Apricot Brandy Substitute: Opt for apricot nectar or juice, providing that apricot flavor.
  • Follow the Original Steps: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the steps to enjoy a non-alcoholic Zombie.

Making it Vegan:

The Zombie cocktail, as listed, is vegan-friendly since it doesn't contain any animal-derived products. However, always double-check your rum brands and other ingredients to ensure they don't have animal byproducts or were processed using animal-derived agents. 

Nutrition Facts

Calories
277
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.2
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
4
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
19
g
6
%
Fiber
 
0.2
g
1
%
Sugar
 
15
g
17
%
Potassium
 
170
mg
5
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.03
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.02
g
Vitamin A
 
122
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
35
mg
42
%
Calcium
 
12
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.2
mg
1
%

 

Zombie Cocktail Drink

Zombie Drink Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Check out this classic Zombie Cocktail recipe! It's the ideal drink for the summer, with a blend of rums, fruit juices, and a hint of sweetness.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 277

Ingredients
 

  • 1 oz Light Rum
  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 oz apricot Brandy
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • ½ oz lime juice - freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp grenadine
  • 1 tsp superfine sugar
  • 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Pineapple slice and cherry - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Tall Glass like a Collins or Highball
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Shaker
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Chill glass: Stir some ice cubes in your highball glass to chill.
  • Mix Ingredients: Pour 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters, 1 tsp superfine sugar, 1 tsp grenadine, ½ oz lime juice, 1 oz pineapple juice, 2 oz orange juice, 1 oz apricot Brandy, 1 oz Dark Rum, and 1 oz Light Rum into the shaker.
  • Prep Shaker: Fill your shaker half full with ice cubes.
  • Shake Well: Seal the shaker and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
  • Serve: Strain the mixture into the tall glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and cherry, if desired.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Light Rum: If I run out of light rum, white rum or gold rum can easily take its place. They provide a clean, crisp flavor that mixes well with the other ingredients.
  • Dark Rum: Sometimes, I use spiced rum for an added depth of flavor. It provides a nice, warm undertone with its spices.
  • Apricot Brandy: Peach brandy is a favorite when I can't find apricot. It's fruity and pairs well with the tropical theme.
  • Grenadine: If you're out, pomegranate juice with a touch of sugar works wonders.

Making a Pitcher of Zombie Cocktail:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher serving 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. For instance, you'll need 8 oz of light rum, 8 oz of dark rum, and so on.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher and stir well.
  • Serve: Pour into individual ice-filled tall glasses, garnish, and enjoy immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rum Substitute: I recommend using non-alcoholic versions of rum available in the market. They capture the essence without the alcohol.
  • Apricot Brandy Substitute: Opt for apricot nectar or juice, providing that apricot flavor.
  • Follow the Original Steps: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the steps to enjoy a non-alcoholic Zombie.

Making it Vegan:

The Zombie cocktail, as listed, is vegan-friendly since it doesn't contain any animal-derived products. However, always double-check your rum brands and other ingredients to ensure they don't have animal byproducts or were processed using animal-derived agents. 

What is a Zombie Drink?

Zombie Cocktail is a mix of rums, fruit juices, and a hint of sweetness. Historians trace its origins to tiki bars and tropical-themed restaurants of the early 20th century. The name “Zombie” likely stems from the drink’s potent mix of ingredients that can awaken the spirits. The International Bartender Association(IBA) recognize the drink and lists it under “Contemporary Classics”.

A side shot of a Zombie cocktail in a tall glass on a blue cloth surrounded by oranges, pineapple, limes, a jigger and a shaker, placed on a blue table in front of a green wall.

What is a Zombie Drink made of – The ingredients

Prepare the making of your Zombie Drink by gathering these ingredients:

  • Light Rum: Adds a clean, crisp base.
  • Dark Rum: Offers deeper flavor tones.
  • Apricot Brandy: Introduces a fruity sweetness.
  • Orange Juice: Provides a tangy citrus note.
  • Pineapple Juice: Adds tropical freshness.
  • Lime Juice: Gives a sharp zestiness.
  • Grenadine: Offers color and a touch of sweetness.
  • Superfine Sugar: Balances out the acidity.
  • Bitters: Adds complexity and depth to the cocktail.

White rum, dark rum, apricot brandy, grenadine, angostura bitter, oranges, pineapple, limes and superfine sugar laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Zombie Drink?

To mix together your own Zombie Drink, follow our simple instructions:

1
<p>Fill up your highball glass with ice cubes.</p>

Fill up your highball glass with ice cubes.

2
<p>Stir the ice cubes into the highball glass to chill it.</p>

Stir the ice cubes into the highball glass to chill it.

3
<p>Dash into the shaker the Angostura aromatic bitters.</p>

Dash into the shaker the Angostura aromatic bitters.

4
<p>Add sugar to the shaker.</p>

Add sugar to the shaker.

5
<p>Add grenadine to the shaker.</p>

Add grenadine to the shaker.

6
<p>Pour the lime juice into the shaker with the jigger.</p>

Pour the lime juice into the shaker with the jigger.

7
<p>Add the pineapple juice to the shaker.</p>

Add the pineapple juice to the shaker.

8
<p>Continue with the orange juice.</p>

Continue with the orange juice.

9
<p>Pour into the shaker the apricot brandy.</p>

Pour into the shaker the apricot brandy.

10
<p>Pour the light rum into the shaker.</p>

Pour the light rum into the shaker.

11
<p>Pour the dark rum into the shaker.</p>

Pour the dark rum into the shaker.

12
<p>Fill the shaker half-full with ice cubes.</p>

Fill the shaker half-full with ice cubes.

13
<p>Seal the shaker tightly and shake the mixture vigorously for about 10-15 seconds.</p>

Seal the shaker tightly and shake the mixture vigorously for about 10-15 seconds.

14
<p>Remove the ice cubes from the chilled glass.</p>

Remove the ice cubes from the chilled glass.

15
<p>Refill the chilled tall glass with fresh ice cubes.</p>

Refill the chilled tall glass with fresh ice cubes.

16
<p>Strain the shaken mixture into the chilled tall glass.</p>

Strain the shaken mixture into the chilled tall glass.

17
<p>Garnish with a slice of pineapple and cherry, if desired, and enjoy your Zombie cocktail.</p>

Garnish with a slice of pineapple and cherry, if desired, and enjoy your Zombie cocktail.

What is a Voodoo Zombie Cocktail?

Voodoo Zombie Cocktail is a twist on the classic Zombie Cocktail. It incorporates unique ingredients like absinthe and blackberries, which give it a distinct flavor profile. This variation maintains the tropical essence of the original Zombie but introduces a slightly different taste experience due to the added components.

A Zombie cocktail, shot from above, in a tall glass on a green clothwith a jigger, pineapple, orange and lime, placed on a blue table.

Zombie Drink vs. Bacardi Zombie

The Zombie Cocktail and the Bacardi Zombie differ primarily in their composition and origin. The classic Zombie Cocktail blends multiple types of light and dark rum with a mix of fruit juices and sometimes other liqueurs. In contrast, the Bacardi Zombie predominantly features Bacardi rum as its main alcoholic ingredient, emphasizing the brand. Additionally, the Bacardi Zombie often leans towards a simpler mix, incorporating fewer ingredients than the classic Zombie. While both drinks share a tropical vibe, their distinct ingredient lists lead to different flavor profiles and experiences.

A side shot of a Zombie cocktail in a tall glass on a green cloth surrounded by oranges, pineapple, limes, and a jigger, placed ona blue table in front of a green wall.

History and Origin of the Zombie Drink

Zombie Cocktail traces its roots back to the early days of tiki culture in the United States. Donn Beach, also known as Don the Beachcomber, a restaurateur and bar owner in Hollywood, California, claims to have created the Zombie in the 1930s. Legend has it that Donn crafted the drink to help a hungover customer get through a business meeting. The potent mix of rums and fruit juices worked so effectively that the customer reportedly said it made him feel like the living dead, leading to its evocative name.

The drink quickly gained popularity in Donn’s restaurant and spread to other tiki bars nationwide. The Zombie’s fame solidified when it became a staple at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Its allure lies in its potent blend and its mystery; the original recipe remained a closely guarded secret for years.

Over the years, many variations have emerged, with bartenders adding their spins and twists. Yet, the essence of the Zombie remains a potent, tropical blend that promises and delivers an escape, even if momentarily, to an exotic paradise.

A Zombie cocktail, shot from above, on a white marmol table with dark rum, white rum, apricot brandy, grenadine, Angostua bitter, sugar, oranges, limes and pineapple

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FAQ

How many calories are typically in a Zombie Cocktail?
A standard Zombie Cocktail can contain between 200-350 calories, depending on the specific ingredients and their quantities.
How strong is a Zombie Cocktail in terms of ABV and proof?
The Zombie Cocktail can range from 35-75% ABV (70-150 proof), making it quite potent. The strength largely depends on the rums used and their quantities.
What types of alcohol are used in the Zombie Cocktail?
Primarily, the Zombie contains a blend of light and dark rums. Some recipes also incorporate apricot brandy or other liqueurs.
In which type of glass is the Zombie Cocktail typically served?
The Zombie is traditionally served in a tall or highball glass.
What does the Zombie Cocktail taste like?
The Zombie offers a tropical and fruity flavor profile, with the tanginess of citrus juices balanced by the sweetness of syrups and the depth of rums.
What's the typical ratio of ingredients in the Zombie Cocktail?
While ratios can vary, a common blend is equal parts of light and dark rums, fruit juices, and a touch of sweetness from syrups or liqueurs.
How is the Zombie Cocktail usually served in terms of preparation?
The Zombie is typically shaken with ice and then strained into a glass filled with ice, ensuring it's cold and refreshing.

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