Yellow Bird Cocktail

Yellow Bird Cocktail

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail

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 make an appearance 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 tiki-style cocktails, the yellow bird uses both light rum and dark rum. A touch of Galliano (the 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 enjoy every sip of it.

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


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Yellow Bird Cocktail ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

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

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Add the orange juice, both rums, and Galliano to the cocktail shaker

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Shake well.

    shake the cocktail shaker

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Strain into a collins glass filled with crushed ice

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Yellow Bird Cocktail, Garnished with a cherry and a sprig of mint

    The Spruce / 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 that you might find in your travels includes coffee liqueur. For this tropical fruit mix, 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.