We have a nice collection of Trader Vic's cookbooks -…
The Jungle Bird is a relatively young drink, as tiki cocktails go. It dates back only to 1978, when it first appeared at the Aviary Bar at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton. A basic Jungle Bird is made with dark rum, Campari, pinapple juice, lime juice and simple syrup – a fairly straightforward ingredient list. The Campari is essential, giving the drink its signature red hue and a somewhat unexpected bitterness (unexpected if you haven’t had a Jungle Bird before and were expecting a fruitier drink due to the vibrant color).
We’re fans of the original Jungle Bird, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t like to play around with the ingredients in this drink just as much as any other. This riff on the original – which we’ve dubbed the Jungle Bird of Paradise – adds Cointreau and orgeat to the recipe, enhancing the orange flavor of the Campari and tempering the bitterness a bit, making the drink softer and more refreshing. We also added a dark rum float to bring a bit more molasses to the drink, as well as giving it a nice visual contrast.
We used Blackwell Rum here, both for the base of the drink and the float, and highly recommend it. Not only does it have a rich molasses flavor that we need in the drink, it has all that funky fruitiness that we love in a Jamaican rum. If you don’t have Blackwell, opt for another dark Jamaican rum, like Coruba, instead.
Jungle Bird of Paradise
1 1/2 oz dark Jamaican rum (such as Blackwell)
1/2 oz Campari
1/4 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 1/4 oz pineapple juice
1/4 oz Giffard orgeat*
1/2 oz dark rum float
Combine all ingredients (except for the extra dark rum for the float) in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until well-chilled, about 20 seconds, then strain into large rocks glass filled with crushed ice and float remaining 1/2 oz dark rum on top.
Garnish with a lime wheel and a chunk of pineapple.