Professor Cocktail`s Zombie Horde

Zombie book cover

A book entirely devoted to one of my favorite tiki drinks – the Zombie!!

For the first time ever (as far as i know) has an entire book been written about ONE tiki drink, the famous Zombie. That`s how much this drink fascinates…

Now the book does of course not contain only one Zombie recipe – it contains no less than 86 different recipes…..starting with my favorite the 1934 Zombie Punch – the original version. This was the one that started it all, as served at Don the Beachcomber’s famed Hollywood restaurant. This was the drink that made Don’s reputation and secured his place in cocktail history.

86 different Zombies? that could keep you busy and boozed out for a long time, especially seen to that the old saying “two at the most” was stated for a reason.

The author professor Cocktail about Jeff “Beachbum” Berry:

This book could not have been written without Jeff’s extraordinary efforts at resurrecting Don the Beachcomber’s Zombie. He truly is the Indiana Jones of Tiki Drink Archaeology.

PROFESSOR COCKTAIL’S ZOMBIE HORDE

Recipes for the World’s Most Lethal Drink – by David J. Montgomery aka Professor Cocktail

zombie book - napkin

The book starts with a presentation of the Zombie which was the drink that launched a Tiki empire. Created in 1934 by a former bootlegger named Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gantt – better known to the world as Don the Beachcomber – the Zombie was a revelation.

“I originated and have served this ‘thing’ since 1934…Anyone that says otherwise is a liar!” —  Don the Beachcomber

A potent mix of different rums, fruit juices, and exotic spices, the Zombie was to become Don’s signature drink and, eventually, a key part of his success and that of his namesake restaurant.

Don’s genius was found in rum and the varying ways in which it could be combined with other ingredients. Not only was he the first bartender to invent Tiki drinks, he was among the first to use rum itself in a serious way.

Out of all of Don’s creations, the Zombie reigned supreme. It was the drink that everyone wanted to try. The book goes on telling us how reportedly the Zombie was invented – whether true or not – and goes on to telling us about how many years later our beloved Beachbum (Jeff Berry) managed to crack the code for Don the Beachcomber’s original Zombie.

And that`s why – thank you Jeff! – i have been able with many others, to enjoy this drink from it´s original recipe albeit with different rums than was used at the time.

After the introduction there´s a note about ingredients explaining what they are and where you can try to find them. The composition of the Zombie varied over the years depending on who was making it – but there are certain ingredients, however, that popped up most frequently and they are listed in the notes.

And then – on to the recipes, all 86 Zombies! and it`s not just the recipes, there´s stories, anecdotes and pictures – all written in an entertaining style.

zombie book don beach ca 1950 in Hawaii

Don Beach in Hawaii cirka 1950

Conclusion:

In Zombie Horde, David J. Montgomery (aka Professor Cocktail) leads you on a journey through the history of the Zombie, starting with its humble beginnings in Hollywood, and following it as it evolved and spread over the decades.

Zombie Horde includes recipes from notable bartenders like Trader Vic, David Embury, Salvatore Calabrese, and Dale DeGroff, as well as the formulas for the Zombies served at famous Tiki joints like the Tonga Room in San Francisco, Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas, and the Luau Room in San Diego.

It also includes recent cocktails that were inspired by the Zombie, with offerings from Martin Cate (Smuggler’s Cove), Brian Miller (Death & Company), Allan Katz (Caña Rum Bar), Brian Dressel (Midnight Cowboy), and Audrey Saunders (Pegu Club).

I`d recommend this book to anyone who`s interested in tiki drinks and of course – the Zombie. With such a gold mine of Zombie recipes from the 1934 original Zombie Punch to Bar Agricole’s Cap Haitien Zombie you just can`t go wrong.

zombie book shrunken head mugs

Otto’s Shrunken Head mugs

About the Author

David J. Montgomery mixes his love of history and alcohol into one potent concoction through his work at ProfessorCocktail.com He is also a nationally renowned book critic and commentator on writing and the publishing industry. Mr. Montgomery is an emeritus columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Beast, and has written for USA Today, The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, and other fine publications.

His short fiction has appeared both online and in print. A former Professor of History, he lives in the Washington, D.C. suburbs with his wife and two daughters.

The ebook will be available exclusively through Amazon (as well as various international versions of Amazon), and costs just $2.99 to download. There are no plans for a print edition at this time, although it’s possible that could change.

You don’t need a Kindle to read the book, though. You can also use the Kindle app that’s available for various platforms, including PC, Mac, various tablets (iPad, Android, etc.), and smartphones (iPhone, Android, etc.).

Obviously it has a lot of rum in it. So what’s not to like? Go get it!

And for your drinking pleasure, here´s two recipes:

The Undead Gentleman (2011 by Martin Cate)

Undead Gentleman

As served at the high-end Tiki and rum bar located in San Francisco, CA.
Martin Cate’s Note: Simplified slightly and served on the stem, for the sophisticated savage.

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker:
1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice (white or pink)
1/2 oz. Falernum
1/2 oz. Cinnamon Syrup
1 oz. Lemon Hart 151 Rum
1 1/2 oz. Aged Jamaican Rum
1 dash Angostura bitters

Shake and fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass that has been rinsed with absinthe blanc. Garnish with a lime and grapefruit twist that have been twisted together.

And then i brought back my old Guyana Zombie which i made in 2009 for the TDN Zombie. It doesn`t contain more than two rums but one is overproof to give the drink that kick it needs. It`s not an authentic Zombie, more a drink that is Zombie inspired.

Guyana Zombie

guyana-zombie1

2 oz demerara rum

1 oz pineapple juice

1 oz honey-mix ( equal parts honey and water, dilute the honey in warm water)

1 tsp cream of coconut ( Lopez or Coco Real)

0.5 oz fresh lime

A decent float of 151 demerara.

Serve in goblet with crushed ice. Sprinkle demerara sugar on top.

Blend with crushed ice at high speed for 5 sek. Pour into goblet with more crushed ice. Garnish with sprinkled demerara sugar, lime wedge and brandied cherry.

THE Q.B. COOLER AND THE MAI TAI

killer-mai-tai

This is not a new topic…but If there´s a drink that fascinates me its this one, tthe QB Cooler and the reason is as many of you can guess – it tastes much like a Trader Vic´s Mai Tai – but does only have two ingredients in common, rum and lime and not even the same rums either – or proportions. Of course it doesn´t taste exactly like a Mai Tai but actually close enough to be a mystery to many.

And not only is the drink tasty and tastes like Mai Tai it also has an interesting story that dates back to the time of the Mai Tai war between Donn the Beachcomber and Trader Vic, a topic that has been discussed for over half a century now and will probably never stop being discussed..

In ca 1937 Donn the Beachcomber created the Q.B. Cooler and it is said – that Trader Vic took that recipe and reformulated it to what we know as the Trader Vic´s Mai Tai – but there`s is no proof of that though – and it is also said that it was Donn who created the Mai Tai…and also that Trader Vic created the Mai Tai… and actually both did – just not the same Mai Tai..

Donn Beach Mai Tai is entirely different from Vic`s and to me and most others, what is the real Mai Tai – is Trader Vic`s and it`s also the one that made commercial success and became a living legend. It simply is THE Mai Tai and it has a perfect balance and layers of flavors.

That said, just because Vic has won the Mai Tai war doesn´t mean Donn Beach wasn`t an awesome bartender – he was! he was Mr awesome! – and so was Vic.

Whether or not Trader Vic`s Mai Tai evolved from Donn`s Q.B.Cooler or not and which really is just speculations is really not important but nevertheless its a fascinating topic and i guess since we really never will know for sure the Mai Tai conflict will never end.

In any case what puzzles me is how these two drinks can taste so similar, even though we can see the flavor profile goes towards dark rums, lime and orange. But there`s no falernum or ginger syrup in the Mai Tai.

And i haven´t gotten to the rums yet – we know that the Mai Tai originally contained one rum, the 17 yo Wray & Nephew and later on a blend of Jamaican and Martinique rum while the Q.B. Cooler contains Jamaican and light Puerto Rican rum. And still they manage to taste quite similar.

Isn`t it fascinating? anyway, even though very close, the Mai Tai is more intense in my opinion. So go get your shakers and mix up these two drinks and taste them side by side, you´ll be surprised.

Hopefully pleasantly so..and its never wrong to have two awesomely tasty drinks on hand..

The recipe for the Mai Tai is once again as follows:

mai-tai-2011

1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum
1 oz Martinique Rhum
1 oz Lime Juice
0.5 oz Orange Curacao
0.25 oz Simple Syrup
0.25 oz Orgeat

Shake with crushed ice, pour into a double old fashioned, garnish with a mint sprig

Q.B. COOLER

qb-cooler

1 oz fresh orange juice
1 oz  club soda
1 oz Jamaican rum
1 oz light Puerto Rican rum
0.5  oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz honey mix (equal parts honey/water)
0.5 oz Demerara rum
0.25 oz  Falernum
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1/2 teaspoon ginger syrup

Blend with 4 ounces crushed ice for 5 seconds; top up with more crushed ice and garnish with mint (Julep style)

I really enjoy this drink, here´s a range and depth of flavors that we can thank the cocktail-genius Donn Beach for. a

Do you think these two drinks tastes the same?

A DUST OF NUTMEG

tdn-tiki-poaha-punch1

An interesting fragrant spice and an old favorite tiki drink

The fragrance of nutmeg is very special, i cannot even really describe it – its spicy-woody and fresh, nutty and very satisfying.

Most often i connect nutmeg with either christmas drinks or libations from the caribbean both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Nutmeg and carrot juice  is a common combo for instance among the non-alcoholic drinks. Nutmeg pairs well with drinks containing milk and cream, maybe that´s the reason its so common around christmas. Its also often use to top various punches.

The nutmeg spice itself is often ground – its a brown nut encased first by the red mace which is sweeter and then by a yellowish shell.

Nutmeg is one of the oldest spices known. It comes from an evergreen tree (myristica fragrans) native to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, near Indonesia. This tree is bearing a nut with two separate flavors. Nutmeg is one flavor and the mace another, achieved by grinding the lacy outer covering surrounding the nutmeg.

It has a warm spicy flavor and as heat greatly diminishes its flavor its best added towards the end of cooking and should be grated fresh. Mace is often preferred in light-coloured dishes as it gives a saffron-like bright orange colour.

When i experimented with a drink for the Tiki TDN – the weekly thursday drink night by the Mixoloseum –  i wanted to play with my – oh so beloved – Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum. I found that this rum pairs well with aged agricole as well. I have kept talking about how well it pairs with demerara, especially El Dorado 12 yo and there is El Dorado rum in this drink too, the 15 yo.

For that drink i used one of my favorite agricoles which is Clèment VSOP – a smooth rum with good flavour.

The drink Po`aha Punch ( in Hawaiian Po`aha means Thursday) was dusted with nutmeg powder on top of crushed ice – a common way to crown many tiki (and other) drinks.

To my delight the Po`aha Punch also delighted the palate our beloved Bum! may it delight you too?

PO´AHA PUNCH

1oz Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum
1oz El Dorado 15yo
1 oz Clemènt VSOP, 0.5 oz fresh lime
¼ oz simple syrup
0.5 oz coffee liqueur
1t cream of coconut,
Fresh pineapple juice to top.

Run in blender until smooth with crushed ice. Pour in tall glass, top with fresh pineapple juice and more crushed ice to fill,dust nutmeg on top and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 4 – Beachcombers Gold

This tiki cocktail was served in a ice mold. In the old days when they didn`t have any ice machines they carved in large ice blocks and some tikidrinks were stylishly served in various ice molds and no wonder it was appreciated by the customers. Imagine sitting in a dark tikibar..and being served an exotic drink in a ice mold!  Some tiki cocktails was served in a glass placed inside an ice vessel like Dr Funk`s Son.

The most important thing in making a successful ice mold is to use shaved ice which is easier to mold and shape. Another important factor is the temperature. You don`t want the ice to start melting but you don´t want it to be too hard either. Leave it out for a  while until it becomes  a little bit more soft, then it molds easier and then you have to work pretty quick. Then we can discuss water quality for ice but i won`t do that now because it would make the post way too long and besides there are other good resources if you wanna read how to get clear ice.

Without shaved ice its much harder to do this. I made my first attemps using a handmixer after I used my ice crusher. Last time I wasn´t totally satisfied with the molds, especially not the ice shell called “Spanish comb” and that`s the one this drink recipe calls for. As I said, shaved ice is the key. A handcranked ice crusher and a handmixer is not for the lazy person and basically i`m lazy so I haven`t re-attempted to make this type of ice molds and especailly now since my handmixer is broke. Of course you can use a big mortar and beat the hell outta it but i think i`ll go for lots of crushed ice instead.

When you shape the spanish comb ice mold you place the crushed or shaved ice (try to get it like snow) in the glass, a whole heap of it and then gently press the ice towards the sides of the glass with your hands and form an ice shell or hood on one side. Make sure to give enough room in the glass for the liquids. Then to keep it in balance I placed the glass beside the wall in my freezer leaving it there overnight.

This cocktail  which is the 4th in Grog Log was made by Don the Beachcomber.

Here`s the recipe for the drink:

BEACHCOMBER`S GOLD

beachcombers-gold

0.5 oz french vermouth

0.5 oz italian vermouth

Dash Angostura bitters

1/8 tsp pernod

1.5 oz light Puerto Rican rum

Blend for 5 seconds with 2 ounces crushed ice. Strain into cocktail glass or saucer champagne glass with ice shell forming hood over glass.

Well, i was a bit disappoined with this drink, i found it too tart. But that`s so easy to fix, i added 0.5 oz raw sugar syrup and then the drink tasted better. But this one isn`t my favorite of tiki drinks though. Its very important here to choose a rum with a great taste and to not overdose the pernod. Even though i like some anis flavor i think even a bit less than 1/8 tsp is better here, like a drop or two.

As i wasn`t that overmuch happy with this drinks flavor i decided to try to make a twist of some sort and in my mind came of course Campari and then instead of Pernod – Peychauds. I had never yet tried Campari and Peychauds in the same drink and so that could be an interesting little experiment. Something told me to change the rum as well, so i changed it from white to dark. I used Havana Club 7, but that may be subbed with some other dark rum that is flavourful but not too “heavy”.

The recipe looks like this:

GOLDEN BROWN TIKI

golden-brown-tiki

0.5 oz french vermouth

0.5 oz italian vermouth

1 dash Peychauds bitters

o,5 os raw sugar syrup

0.5 oz Campari

2 oz dark rum

Tempting here to switch for gin but then it would be too negroni-like and its supposed to be a tiki drink. For the syrup i use oxfam raw sugar which isn´t a brown sugar but not white either, its fine textured and very flavorful.

This drink was somewhat better but not a drink to die for, but it had a pronounced bitterness that i liked but surely one could play around with the ingredients some more and maybe come up with something better but i think i`m done for today. After all one needs to sleep sometimes as well and it haven´t been much of that since last sunday. Not sure how i feel about campari and pernod in the same drink, its not exactly bad..its a bit weird – like somehow the flavors cannot really agree to share the space..

Next drink up from Grog Log will be another Beachcomber concoction that to me looks much tastier and contains my favorite rum – demerara. Soon to come.

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG – 3 Aurora Bora Borealis and a Tiki drink in honor of the preservation of the sea turtle.

We all know that Tikidrinks has exotic and/or weird names and the third drink in Grog Log certainly has exactly that: Aurora Bora Borealis…what does that mean? it sounds like the name of some sort of exotic sea creature…or the scientific name of some parasitic plant species living in the cloud forest or maybe some sort of sea star?

Seeing that name on a drink menu in a tiki bar wouldn’t give any hint of what this exotic drink may contain but to tell you the truth, I could order it for the name alone.. The “Bora” in it reminded me of the beautiful  island Bora Bora.

I had to find out the meaning of this name and the only way to do it was to turn to the author of Grog Log himself, namely our own Jeff Beachbum Berry who says the name is a combination of space-age and Tiki references — the Aurora Borealis and the island of Bora Bora. Well, i accept that – Bora Bora is like i said, my dream destination after Moorea..

In my opinion a  good cocktail starts with fresh ingredients and there´s good fresh juices in this one.

AURORA BORA BOREALIS

aurora-bora-borealis1

0.5 oz Coco Lopez coconut cream
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz orange juice
tsp orgeat syrup
1 oz dark Jamaican Rum
1 oz light Puerto Rican Rum

Blend with ½ cup crushed ice on low speed for 15 sec. Pour into large cocktail glass.

I find this cocktail very tropical indeed and also quite refreshing. If you don`t like coconut then this isn`t for you but if you like me just love it, well – then give it a try! Its a bit on the sweet side.

The next, which is made in honor of the preservation of the sea turtle is a twist on this one using blood orange juice, fresh lime, vanilla syrup and honey. To this goes El Dorado 3 year old cask aged white rum and Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced rum, two of my favorite rums. Its also a little bit sweet and tropical drink – as it should be in this case. But the Angostura bitters and spice from the ONO rum saves it from going too girlie i think.

The name Honu iti means little or small turtle. On Bora Bora there´s a sea turtle sactuary at Le Méridien which may be the only resort in the world with its own colony of this endangered specie. It may sound like a tourst trap but its about much more than entertaining tourists. They have returned some 500 turtles to the wild  – which in reality is only one teardrop in the ocean but none of those 500 turtles would be alive today had they not been rescued by the resort.

The green sea turtle is green because thier body fat is green – because they turns vegetarian as they mature. They can become 80-90 years old in comparaision to the tortoise which can reach an age of 250. Only one out of  1000  baby sea turtles will reach adult size, so they are very vulnerable. The turtle or Honu is my lucky animal and no matter what how good people say turtle soup is, i could never eat my lucky animal..

Here you can read more about the sea turtles on Bora Bora.

HONU ITI

honu-iti

0.5 oz Coco Lopez coconut cream
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz fresh blood orange juice
0.5 oz tahitian vanilla syrup
1 tsp liquid honey
dash Angostura
1 oz El Dorado 3 year old white cask aged rum
1 oz ONO Cajun Spiced rum

Blend with ½ cup crushed ice on high speed for 15 sec. Pour into large cocktail glass. Garnish with a vanilla bean and if you have it – a lovely orchid.

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 2 – Astro Aku Aku

astro-aku-page

This time A Mountain of Crushed Ice is on a space trip with the second tiki cocktail from the Grog Log and its dark twist.

Here´s one yummy species of a tiki cocktail, its called Astro Aku Aku and is preferably served in a Moai Mug. (Easter Island Mug) unfortunately i don´t have any..so i`ll serve it in a snifter instead. On the other hand i really like when i can see the color of the drink but a stately tiki mug also gives a very special feeling because of its appearance, its like it demands more respect especially if the mug is tall or have a fierce expression.

The moai mug uses the power of silence and has an air of mystic – the expression of the face of the moai makes you wonder what thoughts and powers are inside. OK, its just a mug but still…at least the drink served has the power of making you drunk.

So therefore, enjoy all booze in moderation, especially certain strong tikidrinks – because tikidrinks are seductive…if you think you can just gulp them down like milk your`e wrong.

So where does this drink`s name come from? according to the book its the space age. More on that in the Grog Log. Astro Aku Aku is based on the restaurant Hawaii Kai`s version of the well known “Suffering Bastard” which was invented in Shepheard`s Hotel in Cairo, Egypt cirka 1950.

ASTRO AKU AKU

astro-aku-aku

1.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz papaya nectar
0.5 oz apricot nectar
0.75 oz sugar syrup
0.5 oz falernum
dash Angostura bitters
1 oz 151 demerara rum
1.5 oz gold Puerto Rican rum

Blend everything with ½ cup crushed ice. Pour into 16 oz easter Island mug filled with ice cubes or large snifter with ice cubes.

Nothing is said about garnish but there´s a drawing in the book showing a snifter and a mint sprig. As i was out of mint i used a lime peel instead.

There`s much  fruitness in this drink but it`s balanced by the spiciness of the Angostura bitters and the depth of the demerara rum. Its a lot of lime here but the demerara backs it up, oh demerara rum… – always a good strong backbone…if the demerara wasn`t here i would say this drink is a tad girly. But with some other brand of nectars it would most likely taste different, but as always – if possible get fresh. Its tasty though.

So now i`m supposed to make a twist of this? i like the idea of using papaya nectar and i really don`t fully understand why i haven`t used it in my drinks much more as papaya is my favorite fruit together with lime. What i can get here is either fresh papaya or nectar in a small glass bottle. But this time of the year the fresh papaya is really expensive and the stuff in the tiny little bottle is good so i went for that. The apricot nectar i changed for apricot brandy instead and then i switched the rums.

Angostura bitters is as we know good for everything – but having many bitters its always fun to experiment and to go with papaya and lime and the rest of ingredients i finally found the spicy flavour i was after in Bitter Truths own decanter bitters.

As for switching the rums i felt like doing something different but i wanted definetily to keep the 151 demerara. Whosoever has the wonderful but so sadly dissappearing Lemon Hart 151 its the obvious choice here. I have a bottle of it but its on the other side of the Atlantic and thus out of reach for my shaker…so i used another overproof demerara instead (Outvlugt 1990 full proof old demerara rum) and to pair with it i decided to try St James 12 year old, it can be subbed with St James hors`age. I had no clue how this twist of this drink would end up tasting and that`s the fun!

So let the mixing begin:

POWERS OF THE DARK MATTER

dark-matter

1.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz papaya nectar
¼  oz apricot brandy
0.5  oz raw sugar syrup
1-2t  molasses
0.5 oz falernum
dash Bitter Truth`s Own Decanter Bitters
1.5 oz 151 demerara rum
1.5 oz St James 12 year old rhum agricole or hors d`age

Blend everything with ½ cup crushed ice. Pour into a fancy glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and a few lime leaves if you can find.

At first sip it was way too tart so i upgraded from 1/4 oz sugar syrup to 1/2 and a little bit more molasses too and then the drink was fine. This one is much more boozy in taste, its definetily a drink for rum lovers.

The name – as its a space age theme – is referring to one of the biggest conundrums in modern astronomy which is the fact that over 90% of the Universe is invisible. This mysterious missing stuff is known as ‘dark matter’. At the same time the name also refers to the dark matters in this drink, the dark molasses and rums.

This was only the second drink..i have a feeling that when i`m done mixing the Grog Log i will be well educated in the realm of tiki drinks. Making twists of drinks is not only fun its also very good practise in balancing flavours.