Simplified Zombie

Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, Latitude 29 | New Orleans

Don the Beachcomber’s 10-ingredient Zombie is one of the most storied cocktails in the tiki canon. Like many of the Beachcomber’s recipes, its contents were a mystery until Jeff “Beachbum” Berry decoded its cryptic ingredients, but its potency was legendary from the start. Customers who visited any Beachcomber outpost were limited to two per sitting, a mandate that helped shape the lore of this drink. In 2007, Berry created this simplified rendition, of which he says, “While nowhere near as layered and complex as Don the Beachcomber’s ten-ingredient original, my bare-bones version does approximate its flavor profile, without sending you on a scavenger hunt for 151-proof Lemon Hart rum, falernum, a blender or crushed ice.”

Reprinted with permission from Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes, by Chloe Frechette, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Lizzie Munro.


Serving: 1

  • 1 ounce aged Jamaican rum
  • 1/2 ounce overproof aged Puerto Rican rum , preferably Don Q
  • 1/2 ounce cinnamon syrup (see Editor's Note)
  • 1 ounce white grapefruit juice
  • 2/3 ounce lime juice

Garnish: mint

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled, about 10 seconds.
  3. Pour into a tall glass, adding more ice to fill if necessary.
  4. Garnish with a mint sprig.
Editor's Note

Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 ounce (16 grams) Saigon cinnamon bark, broken into pieces
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

In a small saucepan, briefly toast the cinnamon over medium heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sugar and water and bring to just under a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. Strain into an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.