This is another post in my series recapping answers that I’ve given to various cocktail questions on Quora. This answer covers two popular rum-based cocktail recipes. There are several other good answers to this question as well, and I suggest you check them out on Quora.
The Zombie was the creation of Don the Beachcomber and certainly had several variations over the years. The 1934 recipe (courtesy of Beach Bum Berry) is:
0.75 oz lime juice
0.33 oz white grapefruit juice
0.16 oz cinnamon-infused simple syrup
0.5 oz falernum
1.5 oz gold Puerto Rican Rum (e.g. Bacardi gold)
1.5 oz aged Jamaican Rum (e.g. Appleton V/X)
1 oz 151-proof Lemon Hart Demerara Rum
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1/8 tsp Pernod (or other Absinthe-like liquor)
1 tsp Grenadine
6 oz crushed ice
Blend for 6 seconds, and garnish with a mint spring.
This one is rather dangerous. Don only allowed customers to purchase two in an evening, and I can attest that they are quite strong after making them for a party recently. They don’t taste that strong, however.
Lemon Hart 151 can be tricky to find. It is currently distributed by Ministry of Rum, and you may be able to find a local seller at: http://www.ministryofrum.
The origination of the Mai Tai involves a lot of controversy…Did Don the Beachcomber originate it, or was it Trader Vic? Regardless, I appreciate Trader Vic’s recipe a whole lot more and I prefer the variant from Employees Only in NYC:
2 oz rum (I use Flor de Cana 7 year)
1 oz lime juice
0.75 oz orange curacao
0.75 oz orgeat syrup
Garnish with a mint spring and a lime wheel.
I use Fee Brother’s Orgeat, but you can also make your own. If you use an artificial orgeat, like Torani’s crappy version, then you probably should reduce the orgeat and add some simple syrup in it’s place.
Trader Vic’s recipe used two rums (Jamaican and Martinique) and less orgeat and curacao, but added some simple syrup. I haven’t tried this, but I don’t have a Martinique rum that won’t dominate the other ingredients that it’s mixed with.
A comment on this answer by Jim Donahue suggests using a mixture of Appleton and St. James rums in place of the Flor de Cana. I’ve tried that, and I think it works really nicely.