The early beginnings of this cocktail is the late 70’s at the Aviary Bar in the Hilton Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This Tiki bar cocktail made with rum, and brightly colored, has evolved considerably for the modern palate.
The ingredients almost seem at odds with one another. You have a built-in sweetness with the pineapple juice, and the rich simple syrup but, instead its funky and earthy, balanced out by the bitter black strap rum and Campari.
My husband made this cocktail on a late Saturday afternoon. Our brains were twirling with how to describe the flavors. “I don’t dislike it… I like it… Oh wow, I really like it.” Damn, it was complex. On Saturday evening, we invited our cocktail loving neighbors for a sample or two. They were equally stumped with a description. Suddenly our friend described this cocktail like a “Blind Date.” ” Your first sip reveals some unique and unexpected flavors…Intriguing enough that you want to finish what you started… Sipping it slowly and tentatively, the flavors reveal a really intriguing and interesting profile… By the time you have finished your First Date, you are emboldened to suggest a second one.”
Don’t waste time. Gather the cocktail ingredients and invite your friends for a FUNtastic evening of enjoyment. I promise by the second cocktail (and you will request one) you will have come up with your own fanciful description.
The Perfect Jungle Bird Cocktail
Recipe from Vine Pair
3/4 ounce rich Demerara simple syrup (2:1 ratio)
Note: You can use a 2:1 ratio of dark brown sugar and water, if you are unable to locate Demerara syrup
7/8 ounce fresh lime juice (scant 1 ounce)
1-1/4 ounces fresh pineapple juice
3/4 ounce Campari
1 ounce blackstrap rum, such as Cruzan
1/2 ounce Demerara rum, such as El Dorado 12 (There are other quality less expensive rums you can use)
Pinched smoked salt
1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with one large cube of ice.
2. Shake until cold and strain into a double Old Fashioned glass over one large cube of ice.
3. Garnish with your choice of pineapple wedge, orange, cocktail cherry, and/or pineapple fronds.