Imagine being transported to a lush, tropical paradise with every sip you take! The Jungle Bird cocktail, a true embodiment of the tropical spirit, promises just that. This tropical cocktail, an enchanting blend of bold flavors and vibrant colors, has become a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts and home bartenders worldwide.
The Jungle Bird cocktail emerged as a welcome drink at the Aviary Bar of the Kuala Lumpur Hilton in the early 1970s, made popular by bartender Giuseppe González and conceived by a Penangite named Jeffrey Ong See Teik, who was inspired by the tropical birds that he saw in the area.
The cocktail gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, maybe thanks to popping up in “The New American Bartender’s Guide” by John J. Poister. Then it made an appearance in Jeff Berry’s book “Intoxica.”
The original recipe for the Jungle Bird cocktail included any generic dark rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice, and simple syrup, although in Berry’s book, he changes it up and makes it dark Jamaican rum, which has stuck with most bartenders!
Where to find ingredients for the Jungle Bird and other rum cocktails
Ingredients for the Jungle Bird
To craft the Jungle Bird cocktail, you’ll need an assortment of ingredients that blend harmoniously to create a symphony of tropical flavors. The core ingredients include:
- Blackstrap Rum: The deep, rich flavors of blackstrap rum provide the foundation for this cocktail’s complexity.
- Campari: The bitter Italian aperitif introduces a hint of bitterness that plays beautifully against the other components.
- Fresh Pineapple Juice: Sweet pineapple juice brings the exotic, fruity element that defines a tropical drink.
- Fresh Lime Juice: The zesty lime juice adds a refreshing acidity that balances the sweetness and bitterness.
- Demerara Syrup or light brown sugar: This rich syrup, made from demerara sugar, imparts a touch of sweetness and depth.
- Pineapple Wedge and Leaves: For garnish, a pineapple garnish, especially the pineapple leaf, contribute visual appeal that’s as enchanting as the drink itself.
What equipment you need to make Jungle Bird
You’ll be shaking this one, so grab your cocktail shaker!
- Cocktail Shaker: An essential tool for mixing and chilling the ingredients to perfection.
- Rocks Glass: The cocktail’s final destination, where its captivating colors and flavors will shine.
- Barspoon: Ideal for stirring and layering ingredients.
- Jigger: Precise measurements are crucial in mixology, and a jigger ensures you achieve the right balance of flavors.
- Muddler: While not mandatory for the Jungle Bird, a muddler can be used to release extra juice and oils from the citrus.
Now that you’re well-equipped and familiar with the ingredients, it’s time to bring the Jungle Bird to life. Follow these steps for a flawless creation:
- Prepare Your Glass: Start by chilling your rocks glass. You can place it in the freezer or fill it with ice water while you prepare the cocktail.
- Combine the Ingredients: Grab your cocktail shaker and add the blackstrap rum, bitter Campari, fresh pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, and demerara syrup.
- Add Ice: Fill the shaker with ice. Remember, the quality of ice can impact the final texture and dilution of your cocktail, so opt for large, high-quality ice cubes.
- Shake, Shake, Shake!: Seal the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds. This not only chills the ingredients but also ensures they meld together harmoniously.
- Strain into the Glass: Discard the ice water from the rocks glass and strain the shaken mixture into it.
- Garnish with Style: Now for the finishing touch. Gently place a wedge of fresh pineapple on the rim of the glass, and tuck a couple of pineapple leaves into the side. The garnish adds an instant tropical allure.
- Optional Creative Touch: If you’re feeling extra creative, consider adding an edible flower on top of the pineapple wedge. This not only adds visual appeal but also complements the drink’s exotic nature.
Why Lush Life loves it
The Jungle Bird cocktail is more than a drink; it’s an invitation to escape to a tropical paradise with every sip. Bottom’s up!
Plus more tropical rum cocktails here
Here is the Jungle Bird recipe!
- 1 1/2 ounces blackstrap rum
- 3/4 ounce Campari
- 1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
- 1/2 ounce lime juice freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce demerara syrup
- Garnish: pineapple wedge
- Add the rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice, and demerara syrup to a shaker
- Add ice
- Shake, shake shake
- Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
- Garnish with a pineapple wedge.
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