National Rum Day Recipe

Don “The Beachcomber” Zombie

Well today is national rum day!!! As this day is a big one for us island loving folk I tried to think of what was a good cocktail to highlight this most festive of days. So I decided to go with a recipe from my favorite Key West bartender and rum experts book. So this comes to you from Bahama Bob’s “Cocktails and Tales So I bring you the Zombie.


The following is all direct from Bob’s book

When you write about the classic tiki cocktails you will be referring to Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s writings and research on the subject. Jeff has spent many years researching the puzzle of the zombie. Donn Beach was cagey guy who never seemed to give any one person all the information. that was necessary to create the zombie alone. The cocktail had it’s origins in the 1930’s and until Jeff chased down the former employees, friends, and black books of Donn’s, the mystery wasn’t unraveled. There was several versions that surfaced. The 1934 and 1956 versions are believed to be the ones that were concocted by Donn himself. From the information I have been able to glean this is the original Don “The Beachcomber” Zombie.



  • 3 cinnamon Sticks (crused)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Fresh Grapefruit Juice

To create this infused simple syrup place the cinnamon sticks and sugar in boiling water.  Stir until all sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 2 minutes then remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature. Strain into a squirt bottle. Refrigerate until needed. When ready to use, complete the mixture by mixing 1 part syrup to 2 parts fresh grapefruit juice.

Place all ingredients into a blender with the ice last. Turn on for no more than 5 seconds and our into a pint glass.  Granish with a sprig of mint and an orange peel.

Want to see Bahama Bob’s take on this cocktail or perhaps more great classic cocktails and stories behind them. Then check out his book. Cocktails and Tales. You’l all this plus some of his originals.





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