Jet Pilot Cocktail Recipe

Jet Pilot Tiki Cocktail
Jagadeeswar Gadiyaram / EyeEm / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
248 Calories
0g Fat
20g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 248
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 12mg 58%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 94mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

With three different rums—Jamaican, Puerto Rican, and Demerara rum—and other tropical ingredients, the jet pilot is the epitome of a tropical drink for a summer party or a cookout. It also has interesting flavor accents—cinnamon, bitters, and anise, which make it intriguing to the taste buds and an extraordinary frozen drink.

The combination of three styles of rum is key to making the jet pilot. There are also options available for adding anise flavor. While many people choose to go with Pernod or Herbsaint, there is an array of absinthes available to choose from. Absinthe has a higher proof than Pernod, and a stronger herbal flavor, whereas Pernod is an anise-flavored liqueur and thus a bit sweeter. Pernod was invented as an alternative to absinthe in the 1930s in France. Whichever one you go with, remember to keep the anise in check as it can easily overpower the drink's flavor.

The other ingredient that adds flavor to this cocktail is Falernum, a Caribbean syrup or liqueur with ginger, lime, clove, and almond. It is available in both an alcoholic and nonalcoholic version. Cocktails like the jet pilot usually call for the liqueur.

The jet pilot cocktail was invented in 1958 at a restaurant in Beverly Hills. The beverage was inspired by another popular cocktail at the time, the test pilot. What distinguishes the two is that the jet pilot contains cinnamon syrup. Both are tiki cocktails, mixed drinks inspired by the flavors of the Caribbean and Pacific Islands but entirely American inventions. 

What makes a tiki cocktail instantly recognizable even without knowing its content is the lavish garnish of fresh fruit, such as banana, lime, lemon pineapple, and even flowers. But you can also keep the garnish simple and basic with just a cherry.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a blender, pour the rums, absinthe or Pernod, grapefruit and lime juices, cinnamon syrup, Falernum, and bitters. Add the crushed ice.

  3. Blend on a fast speed for about 5 to 10 seconds.

  4. Pour into a hurricane or margarita glass.

  5. Garnish with a cherry. Serve and enjoy.

How Strong Is a Jet Pilot?

The jet pilot is not a weak drink by anyone's standards, particularly compared to other blended drinks. There is a lot of rum packed into this cocktail, and the Pernod is just a small dose, so it doesn't help bring down the drink's strength. Once blended, the average jet pilot weighs in at around 16 percent ABV (32 proof).