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Best Zombie Cocktail ingredients for a tiki style drink

Old Fashioned Cocktail

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When was the Zombie Cocktail invented?

The Zombie cocktail is a popular tropical drink that was created in the 1930s by Donn Beach (also known as Don the Beachcomber), a bar owner and mixologist who is often credited with popularizing tiki culture and cocktails. The exact year of the Zombie’s invention is a subject of some debate, with some sources placing it in 1934 and others in 1939.

According to legend, the Zombie was created as a way to use up a variety of different rums that Beach had on hand, in order to avoid being audited by the US government during Prohibition. The drink quickly became popular with Beach’s customers and gained a reputation as a potent and flavorful cocktail.

The original recipe for the Zombie included several different types of rum, as well as lime juice, grapefruit juice, cinnamon syrup, grenadine, and other ingredients. Over the years, the recipe has been modified and adapted by different bartenders, but the Zombie remains a classic tiki style drink that is enjoyed by many.

What Ingredients do I need to make a Zombie Cocktail?

  • lemon juice
  • orange juice
  • pineapple juice
  • grenadine syrup
  • passion fruit syrup
  • dark rum
  • white rum
  • gold rum

How to Make a Zombie Cocktail

The Zombie Cocktail is a classic tiki drink that packs a punch with its mix of rums and fruit juices.

  • Fill a shaker with ice.
  • Add white rum, golden rum, dark rum, orange juice, lime juice, pineapple juice, passion fruit syrup and grenadine.
  • Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds.
  • Strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice.
  • Float 151-proof rum on top (optional).
  • Garnish with a pineapple wedge and cherry.

Enjoy your Zombie Cocktail!

Best Zombie Cocktail ingredients for a tiki-style drink

How To Serve a Zombie Cocktail

Making your own grenadine or passion fruit syrup can add a unique and delicious flavor to your Zombie cocktail. By using fresh ingredients and controlling the sweetness, you can customize the taste to your liking and create a one-of-a-kind drink. Homemade grenadine syrup is sweet and tart, and can provide a burst of pomegranate flavor that complements the fruity and spicy notes of the Zombie.

Passion fruit syrup, on the other hand, is tangy and tropical, adding a bright and refreshing taste to the cocktail. Both syrups can elevate the flavor profile of your drink and give it a distinct and exotic twist. So why not try making your own grenadine or passion fruit syrup to take your Zombie cocktail to the next level?

How to Make Grenadine Syrup

Grenadine syrup is a sweet and tart syrup made from pomegranate juice and sugar. It is a key ingredient in many classic cocktails, including the Tequila Sunrise and the Shirley Temple. Here’s how to make your own grenadine syrup at home:


  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the syrup has thickened and reduced by about half.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature.
  5. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any solids or seeds.
  6. Transfer the syrup to a clean jar or bottle and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

You can also customize the flavor of your grenadine syrup by adding a splash of orange flower water or a few drops of rose water. Enjoy your homemade grenadine syrup in your favorite cocktails, or use it to sweeten teas and other beverages.

Best Zombie Cocktail ingredients for a tiki-style drink


How to Make Passion Fruit Syrup

Passion fruit syrup is a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used to add flavor to cocktails, desserts, and other recipes. Here’s a simple recipe to make passion fruit syrup at home:


  • 1 cup passion fruit pulp (about 8-10 passion fruits)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. Cut the passion fruits in half and scoop out the pulp into a blender or food processor.
  2. Pulse the pulp for a few seconds to break it up and release the seeds.
  3. Strain the pulp through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing down on the solids to extract as much juice as possible.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the passion fruit juice, sugar, and water. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature.
  7. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve again to remove any seeds or pulp that may have slipped through earlier.
  8. Transfer the syrup to a clean glass jar or bottle and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

You can adjust the sweetness and tartness of the syrup by adding more or less sugar or passion fruit pulp, depending on your preference. Enjoy your passion fruit syrup in cocktails, lemonade, ice cream, or any other recipe that could benefit from a tropical twist!

Passion Fruit Syrup

Tip For Making a Zombie Cocktail

  • Use high-quality rums to enhance the flavor of the cocktail.
  • Use fresh lime and grapefruit juices for a bright, tart flavor.
  • Float the absinthe on top of the drink for a dramatic effect.
  • Crushed ice is essential for the texture of the drink.
  • Experiment with garnishes to add a personal touch to the cocktail.

Frequently asked questions

How strong is a Zombie cocktail?

A Zombie cocktail is a strong drink, typically containing 3-4 ounces of alcohol per serving. It’s important to drink responsibly and not to drive after consuming this cocktail.

What does a Zombie cocktail taste like?

A Zombie cocktail has a fruity, tropical flavor with a hint of spice. It’s sweet and tangy, with a strong rum flavor that can be balanced out by the other ingredients.

Can you make a non-alcoholic version of a Zombie cocktail?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of a Zombie cocktail by omitting the alcohol and replacing it with fruit juices and syrups. You can also add carbonated water or soda for a fizzy finish.

What is the difference between a Zombie Cocktail and a Mai Tai?

A Zombie Cocktail typically contains more types of rum and more fruit juices than a Mai Tai, which is usually made with just two types of rum, lime juice, and orange curaçao.

What are some variations of the Zombie Cocktail?

There are many variations of the Zombie Cocktail that use different types of rums or include additional ingredients like absinthe, cinnamon, or bitters.

Print the Recipe

Old Fashioned Cocktail


Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes

This is one of the most popular of the whiskey cocktails and one of the representatives of the sour cocktails. It is usually mixed with bourbon whiskey and has a refreshing and aromatic taste, with a moderate amount of sweet and sour, and a great deal of layers. There are two very famous cocktails that have evolved from this drink: the Boston Sour, which is made by adding egg whites to the whiskey sour, and the New York Sour, which is made by floating a layer of red wine on top of the whiskey sour.


  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ⅔ oz orange juice
  • ⅔ oz pineapple juice
  • ⅓ oz grenadine syrup
  • ⅓ oz passion fruit syrup
  • ⅔ oz dark rum
  • ⅔ oz silver rum
  • ⅔ oz gold rum


Add the above ingredients together in a shaker, shake well with ice and pour into an ice-filled zombie glass, garnish with mint leaves, red cherries and lemon peel. Halve the lemon, hollow out the pulp, add dry ice to the lemon peel, add strong wine and rise a white haze to add a sense of fantasy!


When serving the Zombie cocktail, it's important to remind guests to drink responsibly and pace themselves, as this cocktail can be quite strong. It's also a good idea to offer some light snacks or appetizers to help balance the alcohol and prevent guests from drinking on an empty stomach. Enjoy!

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About Robin Lee

Robin is author, photographer, and cocktail enthusiast. He has a passion for life, love of mixology, and enjoys exploring the great outdoors. Robin’s cocktails are both visually stunning and bursting with flavor. He’s always pushing the boundaries of mixology and loves to experiment with unique ingredients and techniques. With Robin’s guidance, you can learn the art of mixology and create cocktails that are sure to impress.

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