The Jungle Bird should have been one of the very first cocktails I wrote about on this site.
It’s got so much going for it. It’s strong, yet balanced. It’s sweet and it’s bitter.
It’s a great base with which to experiment.
It’s versatile, delicious, and quite simply, it’s one of my favorite cocktails in the world.
So why have I written about dozens of cocktails here on Slightly Pretentious over the last 4 years, and not written about the Jungle Bird?
I have no idea. But here we are.
And it’s time to teach you how to make a Jungle Bird cocktail, because it’s delicious, easy, and an impressive drink to serve to both cocktail newbies and aficionados alike.
How to Make a Jungle Bird Cocktail
The Jungle Bird is a classic tiki cocktail known for its unique combination of flavors. It’s a tropical drink that was first created in the 1970s at the Aviary Bar in the Kuala Lumpur Hilton, Malaysia.
What I love about the Jungle Bird cocktail is the fact that it’s one of the easiest tiki cocktails to make. I use the recipe from the Smuggler’s Cove book, which is by far my best recommendation if you’re looking for other good tiki cocktails.
If you love tiki cocktails, look no further than this book. This book covers fantastic versions of all the best tiki cocktails, and gives a wonderful background on the history and culture of tiki drinks,
Here’s how to make a Jungle Bird:
Jungle Bird Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 oz dark rum
- 3/4 oz Campari
- 1 1/2 oz pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup (1:1 ratio of sugar and water)
- Pineapple slice and maraschino cherry for garnish
- Fill a shaker with
- Add the dark rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice, and simple syrup to the shaker.
- Shake well until the mixture is chilled.
- Strain the mixture into a tiki glass filled with
- Garnish with a pineapple slice and a maraschino cherry.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind In Order to Create a Great Jungle Bird Cocktail:
- Use Quality Ingredients: Since the Jungle Bird cocktail has a relatively simple ingredient list, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients. Choose a good dark rum (I’ve had good luck with Zaya), fresh pineapple juice, and fresh lime juice for the best results.
- Balance the Flavors: The Jungle Bird is known for its unique balance of sweet, bitter, and fruity flavors. The bitterness of Campari, the sweetness of pineapple juice, and the acidity of lime juice makes for a really unique and delicious drink.
- Garnish Creatively: The garnish is a crucial part of tiki cocktails. I’m admittedly not the best when it comes to garnishes. But if you want to truly go for it, use a pineapple slice and maraschino cherry for a classic look, and consider adding other decorative elements like cocktail umbrellas, tropical fruit skewers, or Pineapple fronds to finish out the design.
- Experiment with Variations: While the classic Jungle Bird recipe is well-loved, don’t be afraid to experiment with variations. You might try different types of rum, adjust the ratios of the ingredients, or even add a splash of another fruit juice to customize the flavor profile to your liking.
- Presentation Matters: Tiki cocktails are known for their elaborate and fun presentation. Serve your Jungle Bird in a tiki mug or a stylish glass to enhance the overall experience. Note: Do as I say, not as I do. I my Jungle Bird photos aren’t exactly elaborate and fun 🙂
With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to create a fantastic Jungle Bird cocktail that will impress your guests and transport them to a tropical paradise.
Jungle Bird Cocktail
- 1.5 oz Dark rum
- .75 oz Campari
- .5 oz Fresh lime juice
- .5 oz Demerara Syrup
- 2 oz Pineapple Juice
- Fill a shaker with ice
- Add all ingredients
- Give a few hard shakes for 5-7 seconds
- Double strain over fresh ice
- Garnish with Pineapple