FOG Bar sizzles up a Valentine's Day-inspired 'Love Zombie' cocktail

What's in that cocktail?

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 1:15pm

    Mike Bumiller, a bartender at FOG Bar and Cafe in Rockland, has created a special cocktail for Valentine's Day this year called The Love Zombie and half the fun is getting through all of the garnishes.

    The very first delightful discovery with this drink will be a special sugar garnish that looks like a heart-shaped icicle and can be pulled apart like a wishbone. Just what the winner of the larger piece gets, we'll leave up to you. (Insert obligatory joke here.)

    Pastry chef Kiwi Barros concocted the squiggly garnishes by combining sugar and water and bringing it up to a boil at 320 degrees, which transforms the mixture into a substance called 'hard crack." (Insert second obligatory joke here.) Before it gets too caramelized, she drizzles the mixture onto sort of like a rubber parchment paper, which allows special shapes to be peeled off without breaking.

    The second garnish is a wedge of lime coated in brown sugar and cayenne pepper, adding hot and spicy to the sweet, which can be squeezed right into the drink. Bumiller describes this original ruby-colored cocktail as something akin to the Zombie, a 1920s drink made in the Caribbean with rum, brown sugar and equal parts lime and lemon. The added passion fruit is actually the tart balance to the sweetness of the rums in the drink. "We were looking for something spicy and tart," he said. "Tart is good, spicy is better.  I am a big fan of rum drinks because I spend a lot of time in the Caribbean and enjoy them so much. None of the tastes really overpower one another, but that's why I layer it over prosecco, so it's not syrupy."

    For Valentine's Day, Bumiller admitted, "I don't necessarily like sweet." He must be referring to the taste, because his personality is decidedly sweet. Happily married for 15 years, he's always been known as one of those bartenders who looks out for the lady patrons, makes sure no one is bothering them and makes them feel comfortable.

    "This is an elixer and after a couple of these, your Valentine's Day may turn out better than you hoped," he said with a twinkle in his eye.

    To make the cocktail at home, watch our custom video and try the recipe here:

    The Love Zombie

    • In a shaker mix a squeeze of lime and lemon
    • A tablespoon of brown sugar
    • A tablespoon of passion fruit extract
    • A jigger of Bacardi light rum
    •  Ajigger of Mount Gay rum
    • 4 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters

    Pour a half glass of prosecco into a martini glass. For the sugar garnish, see description above. For the lime garnish, crush raw brown sugar with cayenne pepper and coat the lime.

    For more of our "What's in that cocktail" series featuring original drinks made by local Midcoast bartenders, check out our new Pinterest site. Kay Stephens can be reached at