Zombie Marmalade

Welcome to the holiday gift(s) of Jelly of the Month Club!

From L to R: Spiced Beer Jelly, Cardamon-Orange Sparkling Riesling Jelly, Aleppo-White Zinfandel Jelly, Mead Jelly, Spiced Merlot Jelly, Limoncello Jelly

Each December I try to do a themed event.  Thanks to Food ‘n Flix for the inspiration for 2019.   (You can read a further explanation here.)

I started this jelly making odyssey with a Mead Jelly  and designated it as the January installment.   For my second post and the February feature preserve, I chose a truly colorful and delicious Zombie Marmalade.

No zombies were harmed in the writing of this post.

It is the holiday season of good will and kindness.

Why “Zombie”?  It’s simple.   This marmalade was inspired by the Zombie Cocktail.  I did some research and went to my go-to cocktail expert, John from Kitchen Riffs.   As he explains, a Zombie is the “bad boy of Tiki drinks.”  With three types of rum, it’s one potent potable.  It’s also a pretty complicated drink with a few hard to find ingredients and homemade syrups.   (Please check out Kitchen Riffs for much more historical information and two recipes for this “bad boy” drink.)

Not only is this marmalade colorful and delicious, it can also be used to make a much easier cocktail.  Score!

Zombie Marmalade


This cocktail-inspired preserve will surely please any giftee this holiday season.


  • 2 large pink grapefruits
  • 1 orange
  • 1 medium lime
  • 1 1/3 c. water
  • 1/8 t. baking soda
  • 2 two inch sticks cinnamon, broken in half
  • 1 t. whole cloves
  • 5 c. sugar
  • 1 (6 oz.) pkg. liquid fruit pectin
  • 2 T. dark Jamaican rum
  • 1 T. grenadine syrup


  1. Sterilize jars and prepare water bath for canning.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly peel off zest of each grapefruit, the orange, and the lime. If needed, use a sharp knife to scrape off the white portions of peels.  Cut peels into thin strips and coarsely chop. In a medium saucepan combine peels, the water, and baking soda. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Do not drain.
  3. Meanwhile, section citrus fruits, reserving juices. Add fruit and juices to peel mixture; return to boiling. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes (you should have about 3 cups fruit mixture).
  4. Place cinnamon and cloves in finely meshed metal tea ball.   In a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot combine spice bag, fruit mixture, and the sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in pectin. Return to a full rolling boil; boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Remove spice bag. Quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon. Stir in rum and grenadine syrup.
  5. Ladle hot marmalade into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids and screw bands.
  6. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.

This marmalade may take up to two weeks to set.

Yield: 6-7 half-pints

Now, for the pièce de résistance:  Make a cocktail.  Obviously, this is easier with a more “runny” marmalade so you can make this drink as soon as the marmalade cools.


Easy Zombie Cocktail

A holiday helper


  • 2 t. Zombie Marmalade
  • 1-2 shots of rum (your choice of variety)
  • tonic water
  • ice
  • lime slice
  • maraschino cherry


  1. Place marmalade and rum in a rocks glass. Stir.
  2. Add tonic water and ice. Garnish with lime and cherry.
  3. Enjoy!

Yield: 1 drink

If you’re busy wrapping presents and need a “holiday helper,” whip this up.

If it’s cold outside and you want to pretend you’re on a beach, pour yourself a drink.

If you want a delicious and colorful and inventive gift, make this marmalade.

If you’re not an imbiber, this stuff is delicious on toast, bagels, crackers, or simply on a spoon right out of the jar.

Use the smaller 4 oz. jars, wrap it up with a bottle of rum, some nice cocktail glasses and some tonic water for a do-it-yourself party gift.

What’s up next?

Spiced Merlot Jelly

Bloody Mary Jam

Whisky Sour Cocktail Marmalade

Aleppo-White Zinfandel Jelly

Cinnamon Coca-Cola Jelly

Jalapeno-Tequila Jelly

Limoncello Jelly

Cardamon-Orange Sparkling Riesling Jelly

Spiced Apple Beer Jelly

Mulled White Wine Jelly

Stay tuned!

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