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The Zombie 

The Remix: Blackstrap Zombie

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October calls for a spooky drink, so I’ve come up with a Zombie that’s suitable for grown-up Halloween parties. The original Zombie, like many Tiki drinks, calls for a dizzying array of ingredients – and deals an equally dizzying punch to the cerebellum. The remixed drink offered here is much simplified, doesn’t require a blender, and has a complex autumnal aroma. The molasses in the dark rum and the coconut meld into a caramelly flavor cut by the acidity of the juice, the sweet cinnamon turns smoky, and the bitters add a fresh herbal top note. It’s vital that you squeeze the juice on the spot – bottled juices, even those not from concentrate, make for a shockingly different cocktail.

Classic Zombie

• 1 1/2 ounces dark Jamaican rum

• 1 1/2 ounces gold Puerto Rican rum

• 1 ounce 151-proof Demerara rum

• 3/4 ounce lime juice

• 1/2 ounce falernum

• 2 teaspoons grapefruit juice

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon syrup *

• 1 teaspoon grenadine

• 6 drops Herbsaint or Pernod

• dash Angostura bitters

• 6 ounces crushed ice

Put everything into the blender, ice last, and blend for five seconds. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with fruit, mint sprig and umbrella.

Remixed Zombie

• 1 ounce fresh-squeezed pink or ruby red grapefruit juice

• 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

• 1 ounce black rum (like Cruzan Black Strap)

• 1/2 ounce 151 rum

• 1/2 ounce cinnamon syrup *

• 1/8 teaspoon coconut essence **

• dash citrus bitters (about three drops)

Measure each ingredient into a shaker with ice, shake

until frothy, then strain into a tall glass over ice. Garnish ideas: candied grapefruit peel, sugar skull, glass eyeball.

* To make cinnamon syrup, boil together 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water with two broken-up cinnamon sticks. After syrup boils and sugar is dissolved, set aside for two hours to let cinnamon infuse, then pour through a strainer.

** Coconut essence is available at most Asian markets or in the baking aisle of some supermarkets; substitute coconut extract if necessary.


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