alcoholic beverage

Zombie, Hits the Spot on Hallowe'en

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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.

Now?

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.

Zombie

  • 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

Mai Tai

All the snow this winter got me to thinking about the beach. 
 I don’t actually love the beach. I have very fair, freckled skin and spent my youth getting red and sunburned, then peeling, then back to very fair and freckled. Never got a tan. What was the point of even trying?  
 But beach sounds good when it’s 18 degrees out and there is a foot of snow on your lawn and more coming. 
 Ed and I did take short beach vacations occasionally. And it’s those I was thinking about in the past couple of days. Those days away gave us a chance to sleep late, do nothing and drink more than usual for 3 or 4 days. Not that we drink much when we’re home.  
 But on one particular occasion when we were really really tired and needed a good rest, we took ourselves to the Bahamas and on the first full day there we sat ourselves down at the beach at 10:30 a.m. and some nice woman came over and asked if she could get us something to drink. By 10:45 we downed our first Mai Tai. 
 If you’ve never had a Mai Tai, let me just say, they are potent. Especially if you start drinking them at 10:45 a.m. Even if they are watered down at a resort bar. 
 A real Mai Tai is made with rum, orange Curacao, lime juice, sugar syrup and orgeat, which is an almond flavored syrup. At beach resorts they sometimes add pineapple and/or orange juice. 
 I don’t know if the Mai Tais we drank were authentic or not. They tasted good. They must have because Ed told the woman to come back every hour with another round and so by the time we left the beach in the afternoon we had had, let’s say, quite a few and were feeling pretty merry. We had french fries for dinner and called it a day. 
  The original Mai Tai may have been a creation of Victor Bergeron Jr. (Trader Vic). He said that he concocted the drink at his Oakland, California restaurant in the 1940s and when he served it to some Tahitian friends they said “Mai Tai Roa Ae,” which apparently means “this stuff is beyond wonderful” or “out of this world” or “the best” and that’s how the cocktail got its name.  
 Vic’s competitor during the Polynesian food and drink trend (popular post World War II), was a man named Ernest Gantt (who changed it to Donn Beach), and he said he invented it at his restaurant, Don the Beachcomber, back in the 1930s. 
 I don’t care who was first. I’ll leave that debate to the men’s heirs. 
 All I know is, this tastes really out of this world and I have a feeling there will be one in my near future. 

 Mai Tai 
 1 ounce light rum 
 3/4 ounce lime juice 
 1/2 ounce Orange Curacao or Triple Sec 
 1/4 ounce sugar syrup 
 1/4 ounce orgeat 
 1 cup crushed ice or about 12 ice cubes 
 1 ounce dark rum 
 mint sprig 

 Place the light rum, lime juice, Curacao, syrup, orgeat in a cocktail shaker filled with the ice. Shake vigorously. Pour the mixture into a tumbler. Pour the dark rum on top, stir gently. Add a sprig of mint for garnish. Makes one 

  
 
 
 //

All the snow this winter got me to thinking about the beach.

I don’t actually love the beach. I have very fair, freckled skin and spent my youth getting red and sunburned, then peeling, then back to very fair and freckled. Never got a tan. What was the point of even trying? 

But beach sounds good when it’s 18 degrees out and there is a foot of snow on your lawn and more coming.

Ed and I did take short beach vacations occasionally. And it’s those I was thinking about in the past couple of days. Those days away gave us a chance to sleep late, do nothing and drink more than usual for 3 or 4 days. Not that we drink much when we’re home. 

But on one particular occasion when we were really really tired and needed a good rest, we took ourselves to the Bahamas and on the first full day there we sat ourselves down at the beach at 10:30 a.m. and some nice woman came over and asked if she could get us something to drink. By 10:45 we downed our first Mai Tai.

If you’ve never had a Mai Tai, let me just say, they are potent. Especially if you start drinking them at 10:45 a.m. Even if they are watered down at a resort bar.

A real Mai Tai is made with rum, orange Curacao, lime juice, sugar syrup and orgeat, which is an almond flavored syrup. At beach resorts they sometimes add pineapple and/or orange juice.

I don’t know if the Mai Tais we drank were authentic or not. They tasted good. They must have because Ed told the woman to come back every hour with another round and so by the time we left the beach in the afternoon we had had, let’s say, quite a few and were feeling pretty merry. We had french fries for dinner and called it a day.

The original Mai Tai may have been a creation of Victor Bergeron Jr. (Trader Vic). He said that he concocted the drink at his Oakland, California restaurant in the 1940s and when he served it to some Tahitian friends they said “Mai Tai Roa Ae,” which apparently means “this stuff is beyond wonderful” or “out of this world” or “the best” and that’s how the cocktail got its name.

Vic’s competitor during the Polynesian food and drink trend (popular post World War II), was a man named Ernest Gantt (who changed it to Donn Beach), and he said he invented it at his restaurant, Don the Beachcomber, back in the 1930s.

I don’t care who was first. I’ll leave that debate to the men’s heirs.

All I know is, this tastes really out of this world and I have a feeling there will be one in my near future.

Mai Tai

1 ounce light rum

3/4 ounce lime juice

1/2 ounce Orange Curacao or Triple Sec

1/4 ounce sugar syrup

1/4 ounce orgeat

1 cup crushed ice or about 12 ice cubes

1 ounce dark rum

mint sprig

Place the light rum, lime juice, Curacao, syrup, orgeat in a cocktail shaker filled with the ice. Shake vigorously. Pour the mixture into a tumbler. Pour the dark rum on top, stir gently. Add a sprig of mint for garnish. Makes one

Zombie

Hallowe’en used to be kid stuff but these days it’s become an entire industry of food and costumes for both children and grownups, in a “season” that lasts for weeks and only culminates on Hallowe’en, which is this weekend in case you’ve been visiting outer space and had no clue.

I don’t know about anyone else but when my kids were young we took them trick-or-treating and somehow Hallowe’en was always the night when then weather broke and it was suddenly cold and often rainy so the costumes were hidden below heavy sweaters and raincoats and no one really saw the princess, ballerina, vampire or witch underneath. By the time we got home everyone was cold and shivering and needed something hot to drink. Hot chocolate the way my Dad used to make it (recipe elsewhere on www.ronniefein.com) or hot mulled cider (a recipe also on the site).

Occasionally something stronger would be needed after the kids were asleep. I’m sure things like this are no different today, so for those of you who are in need of a tasty libation to warm you up when Hallowe’en moves into the later hours, here’s a recipe for a Zombie, a fitting drink for the occasion.

Zombie

  • 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 confectioner’ sugar
  • 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