There aren't many Tiki cocktails with Campari, but the Jungle Bird blends it deliciously with rum, lime, and pineapple for something a little off the beaten Tiki path.
The Jungle Bird is a cocktail brought back from the dead, and rightly so!
It marries the lively flavors of its unique ingredients in a vibrant Tiki drink that sweeps you off to white sand beaches with warm summer breezes.
Such an incredible cocktail.
Grab your bad parrot shirt and get shaking!
A Tiki cocktail with Campari?
When you think of tropical cocktails you don't usually think Campari.
Campari is a bitter red Italian liquor with a distinct flavor that highlights dark orange and grapefruit with a bitter herbal background. Some find it's bitterness a bit harsh, but even if that's the case for you I say give this cocktail a try.
When mixed with dark rum and pineapple the Campari gets mellowed into a slightly vegetal grapefruit flavor that works beautifully.
Choosing the rum for your Jungle Bird
With the bold flavors of pineapple and Campari it's best to use a bold and flavorful dark rum that stands up to the other ingredients.
Something labeled "Black", "Blackstrap", "Dark", or even a Dark Demerara rum would be delicious. A couple great bottles to look for are; Plantation Original Dark, Gosling's Black Seal, or Hamilton Pot Still Jamaica Black.
The flavors in the Jungle Bird are strong but the rich molasses notes of a dark rum push back enough so that it does't get lost in the sauce.
A light rum would just get covered by the pineapple and Campari so save that for your Daiquiris.
How to Make a Jungle Bird
Whenever there's pineapple juice in a cocktail, yes, it's better to have the fresh stuff. However, I realize it's a real luxury to have fresh pineapple juice and the canned or bottled stuff will still make a solid drink!
If you want to try making your own pineapple juice without a juicer you can put small pieces of fresh pineapple and a few splashes of water in your blender, then blend until liquid and pour it through a really fine strainer or a cheese cloth (it's tedious but delicious).
And here's a cool tip...
When you make recipes with pineapple juice shake it super hard and a little longer than normal (go for 20 seconds). It creates a nice foamy head on the drink.
Pineapple juice will foam up when shaken hard which looks really nice but also creates a delicious foam that you get with each sip.
The history behind the cocktail
Like so many other Tiki recipes the Jungle Bird was lost as Tiki bars really fell out of style in the late 70's.
It was discovered in a 1980s bar manual by the Tiki historian, and owner of Latitude 29, Jeff "Beachbum" Berry. I sure am glad he brought this one back from the depths of the Tiki world.
The original recipe used a whopping four ounces of pineapple juice making it a very sweet and fruity drink that has since been adjusted down to more closely match the amount of rum. The resulting drink has balance between the ingredients.
Sweet vibrant pineapple, a hint of lime, the deep spice of a good rum and the bitter citrus qualities of Campari.
Last make a nice Tiki garnish
The Jungle Bird is often garnished with a few pineapple fronds that you can pluck from a pineapple before you cut it. Stick 'em in a glass of water and store in the fridge for up to a day or two before making drinks.
Or use a few sprigs of fresh mint bunched together and stuck in the side of the glass, it's Tiki, make it over the top!
If you have fancy Tiki mugs that you want to bust out feel free, but this drink also looks great in a large rocks glass with its foamy head and beautiful pale pink color.
Beautiful and delicious.
Jungle Bird Cocktail
- 1 1/2 oz Dark Rum
- 2 oz Pineapple Juice
- 3/4 oz Campari
- 1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 1/2 oz Demerara Simple Syrup - regular works too
- Add all the ingredients to your cocktail shaker.
- Add a handful of ice and shake super hard for 20 seconds.
- Strain into a Tiki mug or large glass with ice.
- Garnish with a fancy Tiki garnish or a few sprigs of fresh mint.
Share the Bird!
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