Last Call

How to Make the Original Zombie Cocktail

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See Also: How to Make the Perfect Mai Tai

While Don invented quite a few tropical drinks, he was arguably most famous for the Zombie. Back in the mid-1930s, he was working on a new drink. He gave a test version to a regular who happened to be on his way off to a business trip. The guy liked it so much, he ordered another one. The man then went off on his trip. When he came back, he told Don that the drink made him feel like the living dead for the entire trip. Don decided on two things. First, the name of the drink was going to be the Zombie. Second, there was going to be a limit of two per person.

The original Zombie recipe demonstrates the immense secrecy that went into Tiki drinks back in their heyday. These signature drinks were the lifeblood of Tiki bars, so proprietors went to great lengths to make sure nobody could copy their original recipes. How secure was the Zombie? The drink was created in 1934, and the code was cracked by Tiki historian Jeff "Beachbum" Berry less than five years ago.

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JK Grence
Contact: JK Grence