Yellow Bird Cocktail

Yellow bird cocktail garnished with maraschino cherry and fresh mint

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
179 Calories
0g Fat
9g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 179
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 24mg 120%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 99mg 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.)

The yellow bird is a fun rum cocktail that is filled with tropical fruit. While the primary recipe features orange juice, pineapple, and banana also appear in many variations on the yellow bird. It's a drink that is a hit on the beaches of the Caribbean, though you will be hard-pressed to find two yellow birds made the same way.

As is common in tropical cocktails, the yellow bird uses both light rum and dark rum. A touch of Galliano (anise and vanilla liqueur) is added to bring in another layer of flavor and make things a bit more interesting. It's a fabulous flavor combination, and you'll likely enjoy every sip of it.

No matter how you mix it, the yellow bird makes a great summertime cocktail.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for yellow bird cocktail recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Squeeze the juice of half a lime into a cocktail shaker with ice.

    Juice of half a lime squeezed into a cocktail shaker with ice

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add the orange juice, both rums, and Galliano.

    Orange juice, rums, and Galliano added to the cocktail shaker

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Shake well.

    Cocktail shaker being shaken

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Strain into a collins glass filled with crushed ice.

    Yellow bird cocktail strained into a collins glass filled with crushed ice

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Garnish with a cherry and a sprig of mint, if you like.

    Yellow bird cocktail garnished with a maraschino cherry and a mint sprig in a collins glass

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Variations

The name "yellow bird" is a popular choice for a number of yellow-colored, tropical cocktails. The recipe above is one of the most popular and oldest recipes. If you're in the mood for a slightly different yellow bird, try one of these:

  • The blended yellow bird is a popular frozen cocktail on cruise ships. It is made by blending 1 ounce each of light rum and pineapple juice, 1/4 ounce each of Galliano and crème de banane liqueurs, and 2 ounces of orange juice. It's served over ice in a hurricane glass. You can also skip the blender and shake the ingredients.
  • Many yellow bird recipes come from Caribbean vacation hot spots, and one popular version includes coffee liqueur. Shake 1 1/2 ounces light rum, 3/4 ounce crème de banane, 1/2 ounce each of Tia Maria (coffee liqueur), and pineapple juice, and 2 1/2 ounces orange juice. Strain it over fresh ice.
  • Another popular option skips the orange juice in the Galliano recipe.
  • For a simple yellow bird, top a shot each of rum and banana liqueur with orange juice.
  • Sometimes, vodka is added to the mix. These versions often skip the juice, opting for sour mix with 151-proof rum instead.

How Strong Is a Yellow Bird?

When it comes to alcohol content, the yellow bird falls in line with many similar tropical cocktails. They tend to contain a nice amount of liquor offset by an abundance of fruit. This makes the drinks deceptive because the alcohol is masked by all the flavor, so it's very easy to have one too many (not the best idea on a sunny beach). Be sure to drink plenty of water with the yellow bird as it weighs in around 18 percent ABV (36 proof). It's not the strongest cocktail you can mix up, but it's also not the lightest.