Rum • Sweet

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The Zombie — or Skull Puncher, as it’s also known — is the handiwork of Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, better known as tiki guru Don the Beachcomber, who is said to have whipped one up for the benefit of a Hollywood bar patron in serious need of some hair of the dog back in the 1930s. The guest reportedly returned later complaining that the potable was so potent, it had turned him into a zombie. And make no mistake, the Zombie is a monster—containing not one, not two, but THREE different types of rum of varying potency, falernum liqueur and a touch of absinthe for good measure. It’s not a cocktail one typically unwinds with at home after a long day of the office (unless you’re a true tikinaught). The Zombie is intended for recreational use on a very limited basis. More than two or three in one sitting is not recommended, unless you…no…oh no…you’re one of them aren’t you?

The Essentials

Bar Spoon
The Details


1.5 oz Jamaican Rum (Appleton Estate Signature Blend, or V/X)
1.5 oz Puerto Rican Gold Rum
1 oz 151-Proof Rum (preferably demerara rum)
.25 oz Absinthe (Herbsaint or Pernod Absinthe Superieure)
0.5 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 sprig fresh mint (for garnish)


  • In a shaker tin add all ingredients except for 0.5 oz of the 151-rum and shake.
  • Strain into a 14 oz glass (or a tiki mug) and add crushed ice (fill to the top). Float the remaining 0.5 oz of the 151 rum on top.
  • Garnish with a bouquet of fresh mint.
Rum Sweet Expert
Pearl Diver

The Pearl Diver comes to us from one of the one of the founders of tiki, Don the Beachcomber, by way of Jeff "Beach Bum" Berry who revived both the vintage drink—a sort of tropical iced Hot Buttered Rum—and its signature, ribbed glassware. Like most tiki drinks, this is not a recipe you can simply throw together. Aside from the specialty glass...