If you’re throwing (or attending) a Halloween party this year, the Zombie is the perfect drink to serve. It has an appropriately creepy name, it’s delicious, it’s out of the ordinary and thus memorable, and it’s a fun drink for people to enjoy.
The difficult part to serving Zombies in a party setting is that they require several ingredients and take some time to make. But you can streamline the process and make it a lot easier on yourself by doing some pre-mixing.
I tended bar at my sister-in-law’s wedding rehearsal dinner last week, and I tried this method out. It worked perfectly, and the Zombies were a big hit.
The key is that you pre-mix most of the ingredients beforehand. I did mine a few days before, but you could do it right before the party instead. Whatever works best for your timeline.
Yield: Makes 11 cocktails
- Zombie Pre-Mix
- 6 oz. Coruba, Myers's or Appleton Estate Dark Rum
- 6 oz. Cruzan or Flor de Cana Gold Rum
- 6 oz. 151-proof Rum (Lemon Hart, if possible)
- 3 oz. Falernum
- 1 oz. Grenadine
- 3/4 tsp. Herbsaint/Absinthe
- 8 Dashes Angostura Bitters
- Party Zombies
- 2 oz. Zombie Pre-Mix
- 1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- 1/2 oz. Don's Mix
To make the Zombie Pre-Mix:Add all ingredients (use a funnel) to a clean, empty 750ml bottle. Shake to combine.
To make the cocktails:Once you've got your Pre-Mix made, assembling the actual cocktails at the party will be easy. Shake the ingredients with ice, then pour unstrained into a glass.
If you’d like to make your Zombies sweeter, you can add some simple syrup to the Pre-Mix. I’d start with an ounce and go from there.
For the Don’s Mix, I used B.G. Reynolds’ syrup. But you can also make your own — ahead of time, of course — by combining two parts white grapefruit juice with one part cinnamon syrup.
I know it’s a hassle, but you’ll want to squeeze limes for fresh juice. Lime juice has a very short shelf life — it starts to oxidize and change flavor almost immediately. So do it as close to when you’ll be serving as possible.
If you want to do this as a punch version, you could mix all the ingredients together right before the party and serve it in a big bowl or pitcher. If you’re going to go that route, however, you’ll need to do it shortly before you serve, and even then the flavor won’t be as good. But sometimes sacrifices have to be made.
Whatever route you choose, don’t go for the tired old shots and Screwdrivers for your Halloween party. With just a little extra effort, your drink service can be a lot more fun — and your guests can really have a haunting good time.