View Full Version : The Zombie

09-30-2005, 17:23
A little while back I promised to repeat here Frederick Martin's entry on this drink from his Encyclopedia on Drinks and Drinking. The quote reveals when the book was written.

The full entry:

"The 'Z' section of an alphabetical book is always a bit short of material. I take this recipe from 'Shaking in the Sixties' (and "seventies"?) by Eddie Clarke, one time famous bartender and now proprietor of the splendid Albemarle Club in London's West End. [I wonder if said establishment still exists]. Three-quarters measure each of unsweetened pineapple juice, canned papaya juice; apricot brandy and powdered sugar; juice of a large lime; measure of heavy dark rum (90 proof); 2 measures of dark rum. Shake well with cracked ice and pour entire contents into a tall frosted 'Zombie' glass (you will have one, of course). Fill with ice. Decorate with mint, cube of pineapple and cherry on a stick. Float on top dash of 150 proof tropical rum (I do not know where you find that). [This gentleman's wide experience of life unaccountably has omitted Sam's or Binnie's]; sprinkle powdered sugar on top and serve with straws".

Now that is a flamboyant drink. Bring on the palm trees and ... never mind. If any straightbourbonite is minded to try this I will be interested in his taste reaction. Feel free to substitute ingredients. After all, there IS mint in this drink. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif


10-01-2005, 06:05
We used to drink these regularly back in the early 80's Gary. It's been awhile since I've talked to a bartender who new what one was http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

10-01-2005, 07:35
Well, we'll need to make these at home. That 90 proof rum is actually more like 100 U.S. proof since Martin would have meant Sykes proof. The drink must have been pretty potent.

I propose a new cocktail: the same as described by Martin but replacing the rums with equivalent-proof bourbons. The regular "dark rum" can be, say Wild Turkey. His 90 Sykes proof rum can be, say, Knob Creek or FRSB or anyone's BIB. And the bourbon to float on the top can (must!) be George Stagg.

I solicit suggestions for the name of this drink which I propose should honor the founder and supporter of this fine site. The honor of naming the drink will go to he (or she) who first makes it and offers taste notes here. (Suggestions: The Big Jim; the Butlerizer; the SB Squared. But whomever first makes the drink and reports on it deserves the honor of naming it).

Who will be the first to make a [name to be determined] and offer us taste notes?

I'd do it but I don't have any Stagg or apricot brandy.

If anyone does this, hard as it may seem, please follow Martin's directions otherwise, first, for residual Zombie authenticity but also because the drink sounds good made that way.

I await the first taste notes of what will be a stunning drink I am sure! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif


10-01-2005, 07:42
Well, I don't have all the ingredients (yet) http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif to try this, but keeping in the 'it's-October-think-Hallowe'en'/Zombie theme, I suggest the name "Bour-bone-ian". http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif

10-01-2005, 07:53
The decision will be his or hers who first makes this drink.

Another suggestion: the Butler Bomb.


10-01-2005, 08:46
Gary the most widely distributed high proof rum is Bacardi's 151 proof which is widely used here for flaming drinks (at least it used to be). Binnys has it for 21.99 and Sam's for 22.99.

The drink I use it most for is what I call the "Throat Lozenge" which is a half ounce each of white creme de menthe, peppermint schnapps and 151 rum. I call it that because it reminds me of one. However, I first heard of this concoction in Playboy years ago in an article about college town bar's specialty drinks and it was at that time called a "flying f***" which would be inappropriate for publication on this forum. You can light it due to the 151 rum which I mistakenly did once (the only time since it started growing that I have been sans mustache). http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/hot.gif

10-01-2005, 10:56
More evidence of the expertise on this site, indeed the daring, to put together this complex drink for Jim.

But ours must eschew all rum in favor of our raison d'etre, bourbon!


10-01-2005, 13:21

Given our assignment to create and name a bourbon-based analog to the Zombie, the link below may be of no more than peripheral interest.

If memory serves, this (http://www.rum.cz/galery/eur/uk/hart/img/uk245.jpg) is the high-proof rum that was listed in the recipe I had many years ago. I know the "Demerara" part is right, anyway.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

10-01-2005, 15:32
Well, HazMat Stagg would add the flame effect but I cringe at the thought of adding the Peppermint Schnapps and white creme de menthe.... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/puke.gif

Maybe concoct a Halloween special: The Flaming Caramel Apple Pie
half ounce 02 Stagg, half ounce Apple pucker, half ounce Hot Damn Cinnamon Schnapps, and a pinch of brown sugar. Stir with a cinnamon stick stuck into a Kraft caramel.

I ain't gonna taste it, you taste it...
I'm not gonna taste it..
Let's get Gary!
Yeah, Gary'll drink ANYTHING..... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smilielol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smilielol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smilielol.gif
(This of course a play on the old Life cereal Mikey commercial)

10-01-2005, 15:32
Yes, Dave that would qualify but not for the drink we are vowed (I trust) to create. We must set our sights solely on creating a bourbon Zombie, using the Frederick Martin/shakin' 60's recipe except for substitution of bourbon for rum spirit! Let's keep our eye on the ball, high ball that is, a bourbon Zombie killer of a drink as I conceive it!

Today I made a point to pass by our Ontario Liquor store and saw a good apricot brandy I will buy if I need to. It is made by Bols of Holland and uses real cognac. Should no one take up the challenge I have laid down - but I hope we have men here of stern stuff who won't shrink from their duty - I shall make the cocktail myself and name it. But I foresee that a stout member of our tribe - a true trustee of our group - will come forward to create this libation for our leader, for all of us. I stand by awaiting the entry of this person onto the field of bourbonic and fraternal honor.


10-01-2005, 15:41
Dane, no, let us not enter on beside-the-point discussions of caramel, Halloween, peppermint schnapps and anything other than a bourbon Zombie created to honor our leader and our group. We must be resolute. We have the chance to create a great, potent drink, one based on a classic of the cocktail art but lacking in an essential detail which holds it from greatness - it has no bourbon in it. I don't even want to hear talk of rye whiskey. This cocktail is made for bourbon. Jim used to like Zombies but can't find (conveniently) a bartender to make one. Let's make one for him, a version which will please him (I hope) by its flavor and its moniker but which also creates a new cocktail for this decade. The Wallbanger had its day. Ditto 7&7. Ditto the Cosmopolitan. Ditto even the 70's/80's Zombie. We need a new Zombie which by virtue of its 3 bourbons will change its status from half-forgotten curio to something new and triumphant. Onward fellows, don't disappoint me - but if you do I'll be there to fill the breach.


10-02-2005, 05:44
Jim used to like Zombies

I still do Gary, but they sort of went out along with Pat Benatar. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I truly appreciate your drive to name a drink in my honor, but I don't know; a tropical drink with bourbon in it?

10-02-2005, 06:10
Yesterday I found a few nice bottles of 101 Russell's but while checking out the rest of the store I came across a 151 proof Cruzan estate rum.

Cruzan 151 (http://www.ministryofrum.com/rumlocator/action.lasso)

That would work


10-02-2005, 06:19
Jim, thanks, the Zombie, true, was popular then but had existed for some time (it has the hallmarks of a 40's drink, from the time of the Kon-Tiki Lounge and so forth). Possibly (like the Martini and Manhattan) it can go in and out of fashion. Your initial comments have inspired me to conceive and (I think it will be me) create this drink! But your caution about the tropics and bourbon suggests that before naming the drink in your honor, it needs to be tested . If it doesn't taste great, let's put the essay aside as an experiment that didn't work. If it works, with your permission I'd like to name the drink after you. Butler Blast is the name I am favoring now. Leave this with me. I plan to create two Zombies, one a traditional one with rum, the other a bourbon variation, and will report well and truly here on my findings. Fruit juices indeed can go well with bourbon, the Old-Fashioned is an example, the Sour even more so. The climate of some of the bourbon States is conducive to a tropical-style drink. Stay tuned. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif


10-02-2005, 06:33
Well, maybe a final coating of high test rum makes sense, as a nod to the origins of the drink and because of its high proof - even Stagg does not reach this very high abv content. Plus, rum and bourbon can go together (they have been combined e.g. in egg nogs and Tom and Jerry drinks). I have some high proof white rum from Jamaica but I wouldn't use that, it has a very particular taste that wouldn't work in a bourbon and fruit juices drink. We have available here high test darker rums like the Cruzan I believe. I'm still thinking how to do this, but maybe a final thin layer of dark strong rum would work with two bourbons underneath it. While others are free as suggested earlier to try their version, I have now decided that it would not be right to ask Jim to lend his name to it unless I am satisfied it is really good, I describe its attributes on this board and have his assent. So, others are free if they wish to devise their bourbon version and indicate any comments here. I however will later this week do my bourbon version, final flourish still to be decided, put my taste notes here, and if I think the drink is good enough, will ask Jim if I can call it the Butler Blast. Stay tuned. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif


10-02-2005, 07:00
Looking forward to your review. It is not at all something that would sail on my boat but I'll enjoy reading your results.

(It is getting my thinking about a Mai Tai for this evening, though....)


10-02-2005, 09:25
Why couldn't the high-proof topping be Booker's or Stagg?


10-02-2005, 09:58
As you say, the high proof rum was usually a final coating. In this era, sweet fruity drinks were the craze but most lacked the alcohol punch using an 80 proof rum as the base liquor. The high proof was added to "zing" the drink and in some bars I frequented in the late 70s you were limited to two drinks that included the high test rum. Some considered them date drinks since it usually only took one to get an alcohol intolerant date loosened up.

I fear that your attempt to substitute bourbon for rum in the Zombie may not work out too well though. Bourbon will probably overpower the light fruit juices too much and impart too much barrel to them. Rum was used in a lot of tropical drinks because it seemed to lurk in the background rather than give a pronounced flavor to them.

10-02-2005, 10:08
Well I don't know Dane, dark rum has quite a pronounced flavour, not all that different (in intensity) from bourbon. True, some Zombies, and the similar Mai-Tai, use light rum as the base rum, but Martin's recipe specifies all-dark rums. I agree bourbon that is too old may not work well. Most of the bourbon I have in stock now tends to be the older type. Still, it is worth pursuing this. The mint - no need to boost its bourbon connections - will help to moderate the barrel effect as will the sweet elements. The sour too (a whole lime is used) will offset I think excess barrel features. I think this drink will be good but I don't want to prejudge it. I realise I have a good rum for the finish, it is a Sykes proof (57% abv) white rum from Newfoundland called London Dock. That will be the "floater". The two bourbons likely will be one of my blends (which are a good mixture actually of young and older bourbon) and maybe Knob Creek - one of the few older bourbons that doesn't have a strong barrel taste.

This one may have legs, no pun intended. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif