A wintry take on the classic Zombie, created by Cera Grindstaff and Lauren Hinkle at Seattle's newest tiki cocktail den, Navy Strength (which was one of our favorite new bars of 2017), this bracingly strong drink is as dark as the rain-soaked skies under which it was concocted. To give the cocktail the alcoholic punch of the original, Grindstaff and Hinkle layer three different rums at the base of the drink—including Smith and Cross, an ultra boozy, super funky Jamaican rum—with absinthe. With the addition of a port wine syrup and Zucca amaro (which is made, and flavored with Italian rhubarb), the Zombie Pyre becomes rich, velvety and subtly bitter on the palate. The only thing saving drinkers from the cocktail’s liquor-heavy wrath is the crushed ice it's served over—and the two-drink limit enforced by the staff.
All the rums
1 oz abuelo añejo rum
1 oz denizen merchant’s reserve rum
1 oz Smith & cross rum
0.75 oz Mango puree
0.25 oz Grapefruit Syrup
0.5 oz Tawny Port Syrup
0.25 oz Zucca
0.5 oz orange juice
0.75 oz Lime Juice
2 dashes Bittermens Mole bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters, plus more for garnish
2 dashes Absinthe
- Shake very briefly with crushed ice and dump into a hurricane glass, filling the rest of the way with more crushed ice.
- Garnish with another dash of Angostura bitters, a mint sprig and cherries.
- Fill the hull of half a lime with Bacardi 151 or another overproof spirit, lay it on top of the crushed ice in a secure position, and light the spirit with a long lighter.
Port Wine Syrup
1 Cup port wine
1 Cup sugar
- In a saucepan, bring the port wine and sugar to a simmer over medium heat on the stovetop.
- Cook until the sugar has fully dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
Grapefruit Oleo Saccharum
1 Ruby Red Grapefruit
2 cups white sugar
1 Cup boiling water
- Peel the zest from the grapefruit in wide, fat swaths using a vegetable peeler (or Y-peeler if you have one), leaving the white pith behind. Place the peels in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the sugar on top of the grapefruit zest and stir to cover.
- Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and let the mixture sit for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator. The longer the peels steep, the more the flavor will intensify. A 24-hour steep time is optimum.
- After steeping, add the boiling water to the bowl and stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Strain the syrup through a fine sieve while hot to remove the peels. Bottle.
- The finished grapefruit oleo saccharum will keep for at least a month if stored in the fridge.