The jungle bird is a fun tiki cocktail that has a few interesting twists. It has been a smash hit among tropical drinks since its creation in 1978 at the famed Aviary bar at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton in Malaysia. If you're looking for a great-tasting rum cocktail that gives you the chance to play with a cool garnish, it's hard to beat this recipe!
Rum, pineapple, and lime are typical in tiki cocktails, but Campari is definitely not a common ingredient. Usually reserved for dry dinner drinks like the Negroni, the bitter aperitif works surprisingly well in this mix. The fruits help smooth out its bitterness while the dark rum and simple syrup bring in a touch of sweetness to bring it all together beautifully.
The real star of the show here is the garnish, though. You'll use a pineapple wedge and a few leaves along with a cherry to create a "jungle bird" adornment for the glass. It's really simple to put together and the effect is spectacular, so if you normally skip the garnish on your drinks, be sure to add this one.
Gather the ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the rum, Campari, simple syrup, and pineapple and lime juices.
Garnish with a pineapple wedge adorned with pineapple leaves and a cherry to look like a "jungle bird."
Serve and enjoy!
To create the garnish, cut a ring of pineapple (about 1/2-inch thick) then a triangular wedge out of that. Pull a few leaves from the pineapple of varying sizes, then stack them up on top of one another (shortest on top), evenly lining up the white ends. Use a cocktail skewer to pin a maraschino cherry on top of the leaves and through the pineapple wedge. Fan out the leaves to mimic a bird's tail feathers and rest the garnish along the inside of the glass.
- Like many popular cocktails, everyone seems to have their own preference for the rum in the jungle bird. Dark rum is recommended over white rum, and the bold flavors of Jamaican rum is a favorite. You might also want to try a blackstrap (e.g., Cruzan), Goslings Black Seal, or Bacardi Dark.
- The jungle bird is almost always served over a single large piece of ice. It's easy to find 2-inch square molds, or you can use an ice ball. Either way, it will keep your drink refreshingly cold while minimizing the dilution.
- For the lime juice, it's easiest to squeeze the juice of half a lime directly into the shaker.
- Fresh pineapple juice is also recommended and you'll get the highest yield from an electric juicer. A muddler is not as efficient, but it will work: Place about 1 cup of pineapple cubes in the shaker and muddle very well until you get as much juice as possible. Leave the pineapple in the shaker and continue mixing the drink (the agitation will help produce more juice).
How Strong Is a Jungle Bird?
- Dark rums can vary in intensity, so the jungle bird's alcohol content will as well. However, it's always going to be a relatively mild cocktail and just a little stronger than a glass of wine. For instance, when made with 80 proof rum, it will weigh in around 15 percent ABV (30 proof). Higher proof rums will make that jump up just a few points.