Zombie Cocktail Recipe

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Cocktail Type


Great for




Two Zombie cocktails with lime wheel garnish

If you’re looking for the perfect (potent) drink to get the party going, our Zombie cocktail recipe is a great place to start. This classic cocktail has a special place in American cocktail history and was first mixed together in 1934 by Donn Beach, owner and creator of the country’s first-ever tiki bar, Don the Beachcomber, in Hollywood. As the tiki bar craze became more popular, so did retro rum-based fruity drinks like the Mai Tais, Rum Runners, and Zombies.

What is a Zombie cocktail?

The original Zombie cocktail recipe contains a staggering amount of ingredients, including Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum, gold rum, 151-proof rum, lime, grapefruit juice, cinnamon syrup, Grenadine, falernum, Pernod, and bitters.  

As the Zombie alcoholic drink became more popular across the country, different influences and bars evolved the cocktail into various fruit flavors—from passionfruit to pineapple and even papaya. The one constant that remained part of Zombie cocktail ingredients throughout the years, however, is the addition of rum. This is definitely one of the most famous rum-based summer cocktails out there.    

The best Zombie cocktail recipe

This is our take on the best Zombie cocktail, and it’s the perfect tropical cocktail for hot summer days—especially when served with a tiki-themed snacks menu. 

While the original recipe calls for 10 different ingredients, we like to keep things simple. Still, we’ll warn you: you and your friends might turn into creatures from The Walking Dead if you have too many of these rum-based fruity cocktails, so take it slowly.



Add a special touch and serve your Zombie cocktail on crushed ice.


For an extra burst of tropical and tart flavor, add 1 oz of passion fruit syrup to your Zombie cocktail recipe.


For the best fruity cocktail, always use freshly squeezed fruit juice.



1 Person

1 Oz

30 Ml

1 Parts

2 Oz

60 Ml

2 Parts

Lime juice
5 Oz

150 Ml

5 Parts

Pineapple juice
Dash of Grenadine
Cherries, mint, and orange slices to garnish  



Fill a cocktail shaker with ice



Add the rum, then the pineapple and lime juice


Shake until your fingers feel at risk of frostbite, then shake a bit more


Fill a Collins glass with ice


Strain the rummy juice into the glass


Add a dash of Grenadine


Garnish with orange wedges, cherries, and mint


Pop in a swizzle stick and serve

There are three types of rum in the Zombie cocktail

Our original Zombie cocktail ingredients contain three types of rum. 

  • Appleton Estate Rum: This blended rum has an aroma of molasses, banana, orange, and sweet fruit with notes of caramel, vanilla, and cinnamon.  
  • Gold rum: this is most commonly used in mojitos and has notes of vanilla and toasted almonds.  
  • 151-Proof: Also known as overproof rum, this blend of light and dark rum contains 75.5% alcohol and is mainly used in cocktails and shots. 151-proof rum usually floats on top of drinks and can be ignited as part of your cocktail party trick. Be careful, though—it’s got quite a kick!
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The first-ever Zombie alcoholic drink was created by the iconic barman and tiki-trendsetter Donn Beach. Legend has it that a very hungover businessman walked into Donn’s bar in desperate need of a pick-me-up before an important business meeting. The 3-rum cocktail packed such a punch, the businessman complained that it had turned him into a zombie. In fact, the Zombie cocktail is so potent that Don the Beachcomber restaurants limit their patrons to no more than two cocktails each.

A zombie punch is a heavily-spiked frozen fruit cocktail made with fruit punch and three types of rum.

It depends on which Zombie cocktail recipe you make! There are so many variations of the Zombie cocktail, but in general, expect anything between 20-25% ABV.

There are loads of variations of this cocktail, but the main ingredient in this Zombie alcohol drink has always been rum.

Legend has it that the first person to drink a Zombie alcohol drink was a hungover businessman looking for a quick hair of the dog. With four ounces of rum in the original Zombie, he later complained that the drink was so strong it left him in a zombie-like state.