alcoholic beverage

Zombie, Hits the Spot on Hallowe'en


My kids are grown now so the only thing I do these days for Hallowe’en Trick-or-Treaters is have a supply of goodies for whoever comes to my door.

I do remember the old days though, when my husband would take the kids out. Hallowe’en night was always cold. The kids didn’t want to wear coats for fear it would ruin the measly costumes I bought or made for them and they’d come back home freezing cold but happy to be loaded down with crap candy.

I would welcome them with something hot and comforting. Like hot cocoa.


No kids at home, so for us — some libation that’s, let’s say, more adult, to celebrate that I have reached the age when I don’t have to go out in the cold OR make or buy costumes OR make sure the kids get over the shivers.

For example — this Zombie cocktail, originally the prize beverage at the original Don the Beachcomber’s restaurants. Apparently the recipe for this drink was a secret for decades and someone either got the recipe or somehow duplicated it. It’s got a lot of rum plus a little of this and that and frankly, some of the ingredients were beyond what I wanted to bother with. For instance, I didn’t want to buy a whole bottle of falernum (a nut and spice seasoned sugar syrup) or even grenadine (a tart fruit syrup) — though I did go to the trouble of cooking a homemade cinnamon syrup. (Btw, if you don’t have grenadine, you can use 1/2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses or 1 teaspoon pomegranate juice.)

So I more or less made up my own recipe and it is quite delicious.

In the interests of making sure my recipe works I tried it several times already.

Happy Hallowe’en.


  • 2 ounces dark rum

  • 1 ounce light rum

  • 1/2 ounce apricot brandy

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon confectioners sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon syrup, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses or grenadine, optional

  • ice

Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker or blender, shake until well blended and pour into a tall glass filled with ice cubes.

Makes one

To make the cinnamon syrup: Place one 3-inch cinnamon stick plus 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cook at a simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is syrupy. Let stand for at least 2 hours. Remove the cinnamon stick. Makes 3-4 tablespoons

Ruth Bader Ginger Cocktail

A few weeks ago my daughter Meredith told me to check a post on Buzzfeed, in which Amanda McCall blogged about how Ben & Jerry's could solve its "woman problem."

What? Woman problem? Isn't this the company known for its progressive views on social and political issues?

Yes, but.

The company has no ice cream flavor named after a woman. There are, and have been, many flavors named after men. Like Cherry Garcia and Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream and the new Tonight Dough, named for the one-year anniversary of Jimmy Fallon's gig on The Tonight Show.

For what it's worth -- are you listening Ben & Jerry's? -- we women want some recognition!

And we actually eat more ice cream than men.

Ms. McCall said she realizes that creating a new "woman" ice cream won't help the gender pay gap, nor will it help more women win elective office, but it can't hurt, can it?

One of the flavors she suggested is Ruth Bader Ginger. In fact, if you agree, you can sign a petition urging the company to get to it.

Food writer that I am, I thought about creating my own Ruth Bader Ginger ice cream. I've taken cues from the company before -- I invented a version of Ben & Jerry's Charoset ice cream because that flavor is only available in Israel and I wanted to try some for Passover. 

But if Ben & Jerry's does this, it would make headlines and history. If I do it? Not so much.

Besides, I had a particularly hectic weekend recently and so I decided to relax with a nice stiff drink and opted to invent a cocktail, rather than an ice cream, to honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And it was amazingly good.

I believe it would be even more marvelous with a little dollop of Ruth Bader Ginger Ice Cream in it too.

But for now -- The Ruth Bader Ginger Cocktail.

In honor of one of the most brilliant, thoughtful and progressive Supreme Court Justices of all time.

The Ruth Bader Ginger Cocktail

  • 4-6 ice cubes

  • 3 ounces dark rum

  • 1 ounce ginger liqueur or brandy

  • 2 teaspoons orange juice

  • 2-3 pinches ground cardamom

  • 2 slices of orange

  • 2 mint leaves, slightly crushed

Place 2-3 ice cubes in each of 2 glasses. Place the rum, brandy, orange juice and cardamom in a cocktail shaker or glass jar. Shake vigorously and pour equal amounts in the two glasses. Twist the orange slices slightly to extract a few drops more of orange juice into the liquid, then place the slice on the rim of the each glass. Place one slightly crushed mint leaf in each glass, stir and serve. 

Makes 2 (or one, depending on your mood)