Revolutionary East Village cocktail bar Death & Co. may have just hit the 10-year mark, but its Zombie Punch, a refreshed version of the classic Tiki drink (with a fiery twist), is still one of the city’s most important cocktails.
The Zombie has been a classic Tiki drink since its invention in 1934, when the legendary bartender Don the Beachcomber concocted a recipe so strong he limited his customers to only two per visit. Death & Co.’s version honors the classic cocktail but takes its presentation to a whole new level; you can order the $18 drink as a single, but if you want to feel like you’re literally on Treasure Island, you should opt for the $125 large-format version. Poured in an octopus punch bowl topped with a flaming skull, the punch is big enough to share with your entire group and will almost make you feel like a Polynesian king (or queen).
The exceptionally strong drink involves three different types of rum shaken together with fresh lime juice, classic Donn’s Mix, grenadine, Velvet Falernum, Angostura bitters, and a few drops of absinthe. To play up the tropical vibe, the punchbowl is garnished with mint leaves, orange slices, and orchid petals, and gets filled with mounds of ice to keep the punch chilled for hours. Once the drink is poured into the bowl, it’s naturally topped off with a flaming skull and ready for you and your friends to get after with a few long, colorful straws.
To learn more about the punch, check out the video above.