Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Mysterious Zombie! Hangover Grip of Iron!

Check out this superb Wall Street Journal article about the legendary hangover machine known as the Zombie:
The Beachcomber issued a Barnumesque dare -- declaring the drink so potent that he would serve no more than two to a customer. (Drinks author David Embury would later note that the "fear-inspiring slogan" simply guaranteed that "everyone except Caspar Milquetoast, of course, comes back for a third.")

Don the Beachcomber came to be nicknamed the "Zombie Palace," and Beach kept four Filipino barmen cranking the drinks out. They were relegated to the kitchen to keep prying eyes from discerning the mystery drink's ingredients. And even the bartenders were in the dark about the makeup of certain key ingredients, such as "Donn's Mix."


Syndicated columnist Lucius Beebe seemed to think the New York Beachcomber was an extension of the original California club, which he described as "a gloomy grotto of strong waters specializing in rum toddies of paralyzing dimensions." In a 1940 article headlined "Rash of Tropical Saloons Spreads Across Nation," Beebe wrote that it would soon "be possible to cross the continent without ever emerging from a Zombie swoon."
Oh, for the days of gloomy grottos and rashes of tropical saloons. The article is entertaining, as drunken debacles always are, but the spoiler top secret recipe is below for those amateur mixologists who want to get started right away.
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz passion fruit syrup
1 oz white rum
1 oz gold rum
1 oz 151-proof Demerara rum
1 tsp brown sugar
1 dash Angostura
Muddle the brown sugar in the citrus until it is dissolved, then shake all the ingredients with plenty of crushed ice. Pour, without straining, into a tall highball glass and garnish with a sprig of mint. And remember, don't even think about having a third one.