Food & Drink » Happiest Hour

Happiest Hour: The Zombie


  • Photo by Erika Fredrickson

What you’re drinking:
A sweet cocktail mostly made of rum, fruit juices and brandy that makes you feel like you’re in a tiki lounge in the Caribbean. 

Why you’re drinking it: It’s Halloween time and zombies are the literal embodiment of gruesome. Plus, you just finished watching the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” and they killed off your favorite character. You need a drink!

Where you’re drinking it: On a recent fall afternoon, Al’s & Vic’s bartender Joe Hammond kindly obliged my request for the spooky cocktail, but it’s a rarity you’ll find this—or most weird Halloween drinks—on a bar menu. The Zombie, in particular, was fashionable in the 1970s, but not so much now. Our suggestion: Make a batch of it at home and bring it to a Halloween party.

Where it came from: Donn Beach, a former bootlegger and founding father of Hollywood’s Don the Beachcomber tiki lounge, invented the cocktail for a hungover businessman. Legend goes that the businessman turned up two days later complaining the deceptively strong drink turned him into a zombie.

How to make it:
1 part golden rum
1 part white rum
1 part apricot brandy
1 part dark rum
1 part lime juice
1 part pineapple juice
½ part 151-proof rum

Mix all ingredients except for 151 in a shaker of ice. Pour into glass and top with high-proof rum. Light on fire if desired.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email

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