Once again, I face the slings and arrows of the internet and made a video for the Oregon Bartender’s Guild, in which I prepare a Zombie, 1950 style, aka – The Spievak Zombie.
I tend to favor this variation when I’m bartending, as the consistent 1 oz measurement makes it real easy to put together in a hurry.
Zombie, 1950 (from The Barbecue Chef, by Louis Spievak, submitted by Donn Beach)
- 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
- 1 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
- 1 oz White Puerto Rican Rum
- 1 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum
- 1 oz 151 proof Demerara Rum
- 1 tsp Brown Sugar
- dash Angostura Bitters
Stir sugar in Lime juice until dissolved. Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with lots of crushed ice and pour into a tall chimney (Zombie) glass, usually 14 oz. Garnish with a mint sprig.
When one is serving tropical and exotic libations, as one is wont to do, it is best to have a “safe bet” on the menu. For all the Zombies and Jet Pilots we know and love, the idea of a potent blend of rich and funky rums doesn’t always appeal to every customer (just our favorite ones).
I’ve been putting this drink on my Tiki Night menu for the past few years, and it’s always an easy sell. Fruity, elegantly sweet, and a beautiful shade of pink, it’s one of the few drinks I always get asked “What’s that!” that doesn’t come with a backscratcher or in a flaming volcano bowl.
- 3 oz Guava Nectar
- 1 ½ oz Pineapple Juice
- ¾ oz Lime Juice
- ¼ oz Rock Candy Syrup
- 1 ½ oz Coconut Rum
Combine ingredients in mixing tin and shake with 1 cup crushed ice, or use a handy dandy top-down mixer for 3 seconds. Pour into your nearest coconut shell or chimney glass.
As I like to say on the menu, despite being developed at Disney’s Polynesian resort, this ain’t no Mickey Mouse cocktail. For all the fruit juice and flavored rum, that lime cuts through like a knife, adding balance to all the flavors. It’s certainly still on the sweeter side, but will certainly please even the most refined tropical palates.
A lot of people have asked me how I got into the whole, as some might put it, “tiki thing”. Well, like anything good, it doesn’t take much to push you over the edge. Having damned good friends in the interest certainly got me started, but the properly made Fogcutter and Mai Tai one dark and enchanted eve at Trader Vic’s Emeryville really pushed it over the edge. Now, I could’ve gone to the trouble of getting a job behind the stick at Trader Vic’s, or tried to find some old time bartenders from Don the Beachcomber’s, but that damned well sounds like a lot of work. Though I won’t go so far as to accuse the man who cleared this path of working harder than he had to, I’d like to thank Jeff “Beachbum” Berry for laying the historic groundwork so the rest of us can make posts on the internet and sound like we know a damned thing or two.
If you haven’t picked up a tome from this silver-tongued devil of the south pacific, well, you’re just not getting the full picture of the tiki drink phenomenon. Jeff’s books have sent many a mad mixologist through the pantheon of exotic cocktails, with few turning back.
Jeff’s first book, Grog Log, was released in 1998. It contains over 80 tropical drink recipes, and includes many well loved classics, such as the Mai Tai, Navy Grog, Fog Cutter, and Missionary’s Downfall. This book really focused on unlocking the more well known of the Vic and Don cocktails, including a very interesting take on the Zombie.
Intoxica!, the next tiki tome, came out in 2002, and also features just over 80 exotic libations, including the unearthed 1950 “Spievak” Zombie. This book brings in more classics, but also includes quite a few original drinks, often the bum’s interpretations of recipes that were still under lock and key.
After nearly 7 years of mixing and making these classic drinks, Tiki Drink enthusiasts were full of knowledge, and rum, but needed a little something more… solid. So, taking a look at some dusty old books of Trader Vic’s, and researching “authentic” Polynesian cuisine, Jeff brought out his Taboo Table, featuring Tiki Cuisine from Polynesian Restaurants of Yore. Some of the more famed recipes being the Luau Spare Ribs, and Trader Vic’s Bongo Bongo Soup (no baby food spinach included). Of course, there are a few whistle wetters in here as well, including quite a few punches… to help with digestion, of course.
All of the above are now modern day classics, researching down a rich vein of recent history that had faded to its last glimmer. The recipes are there, a lot of lovely illustrations, and even sources and a paragraph or two of the history of the drinks, but what about the restaurants and mixologists behind them? What was it really like “back in the day”, when people were looking forward to the next Martin Denny album, or making reservations at Don the Beachcomber’s. Jeff’s 2007 book Sippin’ Safari finally got Jeff deep into the text. Sippin’ Safari holds within its cover many interviews with Donn Beach’s former bartenders, and other historic figures who may never have graced the headlines, but sure gave the customers a thing or two to talk about.
The Bum’s next book, Beach Bum Berry Remixed, will feature a revisit of recipes from the Grog Log and Intoxica, new photography, modern exotic cocktails, and we’re sure a few other surprises. There’s no set publishing date just yet, but “before the end of the year” is all we’ve gotten so far. What can you expect from a Bum? Well, a lot of good reading and drinking material, that’s for sure. Pre-order Beach Bum Berry Remixed from Amazon.com.