Nothing like sitting on the front porch for Halloween, passing out candy to the neighborhood kids, and enjoying the final version on the Zombie cocktail that i’ve been working on perfecting. After lots of research and experimentation of old recipes, i finally dialed in making a Zombie that i think is pretty damn good.
The Zombie was supposedly invented by Donn Beach of “Don the Beachcomber” fame in 1934. First I experimented with what i believe is Donn’s original recipe. Over time, Don’s modified his original recipe several times. It’s the 1950′s recipe that i used as a base for my favorite Zombie (i like the cherry liquor that was added by Don’s in the ’50s.) Here’s it goes, with exact booze that i used, as well as slight modifications:
- 3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed pineapple juice
- 1/4 oz. Nut Tree Falernum#1 (my own recipe described here: http://www.notebooms.com/blogger/?p=844 )
- another 1/4 oz of fresh squeezed lime juice, because i don’t put it in my falernum, because of fermentation.
- 1 1/4 oz. Havana Club Cuban Anejo Anos Dark Rum
- 1 oz. Havana Club Cuban Anejo Especial Gold Rum
- 1 oz. 151-proof El Dorado Guyanan Demerara rum
- 3/4 oz. Heering cherry liqueur
- 1/4 tsp. Scrappy’s Syrups Grenadine
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers West Indian orange bitters
- 6 drops Kubler Swiss Absinthe
Don’s original recipe recommended putting all ingredients in a blender with ice for 5 seconds, but i really prefer it shaken in a metal shaker with ice and then poured into a favorite tiki mug (tonight i used the Frankenstein tiki mug we got from Otto’s Shrunken Head in NYC) with a fresh pineapple and a mint sprig garnish.
(NOTE: Fresh squeezed fruit makes a big difference. You’ve gotta be crafty to be able to get Cuban rum here in the USA. For the other stuff, Cask in San Francisco is a great place for top notch ingredients.)
I love to build things. Now i’m ready to make some of these Zombie’s for my pals.
October 31st, 2010
Through the years, falernum has been considered a drink in itself, a liqueur, or simply an ingredient. To most, and to me, it’s one in the same.
The earliest years that I found falernum mentioned in print was in the late 1800′s (although it’s believed to have been around as early as the mid 1700s.) The recipe consisted of “one part sweet, one part sour, one part weak and one part strong,” with the ingredients being: simple syrup (sweet,) lime (sour,) water (weak,) and rum (strong.) As the Tiki years came around, the recipe got that much more interesting.
In my quest to perfect the “Zombie” cocktail, I realized i needed a good falernum as a key ingredient. This caused me to go into learning mode and obsess over the history, old recipes, new recipes, as well as the science of flavor infusion and fermentation that goes along with wine and spirits making. In the end, i’ve come up with my own recipe. The reason i call it “Nut Tree Falernum #1″ is because my last name (Noteboom) translates in it’s native Dutch to “Nut Tree” (go figure, haha,) and #1 symbolizes my first version (seems lots of folks number their recipes) that i just started to make today. Hope it goes well:
Nut Tree Falernum #1:
6 oz dark Havana Club single barrel rum
2 oz white Havana Club rum
9 medium sized limes worth of zest only, micro-grated
2 cardamom pods
1/4 cup slivered, dry-roasted almonds
1/4 cup peeled, micro-grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
“Stinger Syrup” consists of:
1 part local honey
1 part mint leaves
1 part Fiji brand water
STEPS / NOTES:
1) Wash the 9 medium sized limes (or more smaller ones– i happen to like the smaller, ripe ones) under very hot water– not just to clean, but to make sure that the grocery snake oilmen didn’t put wax on the fruit to make it look good. If so, get the wax off, as that’s no bueno and will corrupt your falernum. Micro-grate the zest off the limes, getting the green only into its own bowl. Avoid the white behind the green zest, as that’s no bueno either.
2) Peel and micro-grate 1/4 cups worth of fresh ginger, into its own bowl. I haven’t seen anyone else do this, and i think it helps make the flavor pop.
3) Sliver 1/4 cup of whole dry-roasted almonds, without cutting your finger off. Fresh whole almonds is key because fresh= good almond oil. Combine in it’s own bowl with 40 fresh cloves and 2 fresh cardamom pods. Mix these ingredients together and then brown them all over medium heat in a non-stick pan. This allows the oils and flavors to come out of the nuts and the spices. You should smell and see it. Be careful not to burn anything on you or your ingredients.
4) Combine the lime zest, ginger and almond/clove/cardamom mixture into one bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon of fresh cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg. Mix that shit up good.
5) Add 6 oz of Cuban dark rum (I used 45% Havana Club barrel proof) and 2 oz of Cuban clear rum (I used 40% Havana Club) into a one pint Mason jar (wash that shit out good with hot water beforehand.) Note that smuggling Cuban rum into the US helps continue the tradition of rum running and increases your testosterone level a bit through feeling like an outlaw.
6) Put your mixture into the Mason jar with the rum. Seal that shit up tight. Shake it up good. Let it infuse for 48 hours it in a place where temperature is cool and light levels are dim for a couple days. I keep it in my basement. See, it’s totally being a poseur, with Anissa’s tapa cloth and my turtle shell instrument. (NOTE: infusing is different than fermentation. Nothing is rotting over this 48 hour period. Therefore, don’t let it infuse for more than 4 days or so.)
7) Next, make up a batch of my “Stinger Syrup,” by combining 1 part honey, 1 part water and 1 part fresh mint leaves in a pan. Medium heat it all until the honey breaks up and combines with the water. Strain the mint leaves out when you’re done. Bottle what you don’t use for your falernum. (NOTES: I’m using this honey syrup over regular “Simple Syrup” (made of sugar and water) because i think honey’s longer fermentation timeline works better than sugar for this case, and i think that the flavor is likely better suited to the other flavors in the falernum. Think about it: spices, nutty, rum, limey…. better matches honey.)
Now go to the basement and get your mason jar of your 48 hour infused rum mixture. Pour your mixture through a coffee filter (or cheese cloth) from your infusing Mason jar, into a new clean one. It should leave about 8 oz of clean, infused rum. Next add 8 oz of the Stinger Syrup. Put the top on the jar and shake that shit up.
9) You are done, and your mixture should stay good for a month. That said…
IMPORTANT NOTE: your 16 oz of Falernum will still need another 4 oz of lime juice mixed into it before serving. I highly recommend not adding the lime juice until the day you are going to be drinking the Falernum. Otherwise, the lime juice starts to ferment pretty quickly and will quickly destroy the taste you are looking for. We are not looking to ferment the lime juice– we want the original lime flavor.
MOST IMPORTANT NOTE: I came up with this recipe by reading a whole bunch of other Falernum recipes, as well as wine and spirits making tips. I even adjusted the recipe based on feedback from my mom, who is a good cook and advised me to lessen my ginger and nutmeg content. My recipe has a couple unique things about it, but is more based on inspiration than invention. Thanks to everybody that can take credit for influencing me. It’s infusing right now, so i’ll let you know how this tastes in a couple days…..
October 24th, 2010
This morning a couple things possessed me to write a new punk rock song: 1) i’m a bit hung over, so im lazy still in bed; 2) i watched an old Circle Jerks video “Letter Bomb“; 3) i noticed that “Fight Club” was on my ipod. So, along those lines, here’s a little jingle about the conflicting new religions of today: Islam and Corporation’ism. I call it “Ali Baba and the 110 thieves.”
its ceo’s versus bearded sheiks
islam and corporation’ism: new religion freaks
in your place and in your face
to define and govern your human race.
in the holy battle a lots at stake
new religion in exchange for your fate
what’s it going to be, pick your side
funeral pics on Facebook or virgins: when you die.
the koran and “what’s on” are all the same
preach, pray, sing the same fucking game
110 stories of falling corporations
110 stories of kid strapped bombs
110 stories of tv reality
110 stories of what’s gone wrong.
now i just gotta get someone to sing it for me. my voice is too fucked up– i lost my beautiful vocal range from being punched in the throat over the years…. haha.
October 2nd, 2010