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The Tiki-5 … Zombie Punch

Cue fog machine … cue creepy sound track music … cue sound of foot steps off in the distance … and, ACTION!

Ok so it is not exactly a horror film set (although my creative home base mixology can often be thought of as such) but we are at the finale of this very brief excursion into the complex world of tiki-style drinks and we are ending (hopefully) with a bang.

It seemed natural, a must, that we include a zombie as part of the Tiki-5 – and I say a zombie because as you will see shortly there are plenty of versions, variations and riffs floating around in the cocktail universe.  For example the version Craig highlighted here is similar but slightly different then the version Robert Hess highlights which differs in many respects from the version on the Esquire drinks database and there are plenty of variations in one of Rick’s classic drink comparisons.  Any of these choices I am sure would have yielded a fine drink and frankly I am sure given how much I have enjoyed this foray into world of tiki will likely mix another version up in the not too distant future.

In the end though theSpeakista opted for the drink recipe (and post) which started me thinking and gave rise to this little experiment.  Matt (aka Rum Dood) has an excellent blog and is one that I read on a consistent-weekly basis.  His post for the Zombie Punch was my gut first choice for use in this experiment.

Note:  in the interest of full disclosure when I developed the roster for the Tiki-5 I started at the bookends; I wanted the Mai Tai to lead off and I wanted to end with the Zombie.  As noted above the Zombie Punch recipe on Matt’s blog was my original inspiration to do more with tiki and so I held to that recipe. Frankly it was not until I was in the middle of prepping to make the Zombie Punch that I realized something which should have dawned on me much earlier – boy this Zombie Punch recipe is in many respects familiar with the Jet Pilot recipe I used a few days earlier.  Sure there are some small differences between the two but they are pretty close kissing cousins (and frankly using the same exact rums doesn’t help out much either). In essence I made virtually the same drink twice — don’t get me wrong, this is not a criticism of Matt’s posting or the recipe but on my “dunce-ness” for not noting this and opting for a different Zombie recipe or in holding to the Zombie Punch selection but finding a replacement for the Jet Pilot.  Oh well … no harm, no foul.  Just another reason for theSpeakista to mix up one (or many) of the aforementioned alternative Zombie recipes.

Zombie Punch
Recipe adapted from the Rum Dood blog (itself originally adapted from “Sippin’ Safari” by Jeff “Beachbumb” Berry)

•    1 1/2 oz Jamaican rum (Appleton Estate V/X used per Matt’s suggestion)
•    1 1/2 oz gold Puerto Rican rum (subbed in Mount Gay Eclipse)
•    1 oz 151-proof Lemon Hart Demerara rum
•    3/4 oz fresh lime juice
•    1/2 oz Don’s Mix (mixture of two parts grapefruit juice to one part cinnamon syrup … Trader Tiki Cinnamon syrup was used with fresh grapefruit juice)
•    1/2 oz falernum (John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum brand)
•    1 teaspoon grenadine (house made version)
•    1/8th teaspoon Pernod
•    1 dash of Angostura bitters
Garnish: two sprigs of mint
Glass: tall chimney style glass
Tools: blender

Assembly: Blend all ingredients in the blender with crushed ice for about 5 seconds. Pour contents into the serving glass that has been filled with added crushed ice, garnish and drink.

The verdict: Strong, bold and flavorful.  You definitely get the taste and heat from the Demerara rum together with the other two rums. As I thought (see my note above) there is a familiar taste and similarity between this recipe and the Jet Pilot recipe used previously although the Jet Pilot brings a little more to the party by way of a balanced spice flavor and the Zombie Punch has a twinge of sourness that the Jet Pilot was missing.  This was likely due to the Jet Pilot having more by way of sweet modifiers via a higher dose of cinnamon syrup and grapefruit juice (which are reduced in the Zombie Punch via the use of the Don’s Mix).  All and all a nice drink although by this tasting I preferred the Jet Pilot a tad more.

For the novice imbiber: Similar feedback to the Jet Pilot – this is a fun and complex drink to try.  The complexity of ingredients might prevent many from attempting but if you are drinking out and at a place of repute, ask them to make you up one (any version) and drop me note to let me know what you think.

theSpeakista’s Rating: (a soft) 4 stars (out of 5)

theSpeakista asks?

1. What versions of the Zombie have you imbibed and what did you think?

2. Comments, thoughts, questions on the entire Tiki-5 line up?

I hope that you have enjoyed this little trip down tiki-drink lane?  If you were a novice on the subject like theSpeakista clearly is then hopefully you are encouraged to give them a try, either at your home base or out on the town. If a more sophisticated imbiber (which, relative to theSpeakista would be most of you) then I welcome any feedback or commentary you have.

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