jungle bird recipe

Jungle Bird Recipe: A Tropical Cocktail for Home Entertaining

Jungle Bird Recipe: A Tropical Cocktail for Home Entertaining

jungle bird recipe

Everything You Need to Know About the Jungle Bird Cocktail

Imagine a warm summer evening, the laughter of friends mingling with the clinking of ice against glass. You, the host, unveil a vibrant concoction – a Jungle Bird cocktail, its ruby-red hue catching the light. The first sip transports your guests to a tropical paradise, a symphony of sweet pineapple, tart lime, and earthy Campari, all balanced by the rich depth of rum. But here's the secret: this impressive cocktail is surprisingly easy to create at home, requiring just a few ingredients and a touch of flair. Welcome to the world of the Jungle Bird, a delightful tiki drink perfect for elevating your home entertaining game.

Who Created the Jungle Bird Cocktail?

The Jungle Bird boasts a fascinating origin story, taking flight in the early 1970s at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton's Aviary Bar. Credit for this tropical masterpiece goes to Jeffrey Ong, the beverage manager at the time. Initially served as a welcoming drink for guests, the Jungle Bird quickly took off, becoming a signature offering at the Hilton. Interestingly, the drink's rise to international fame wasn't immediate. It wasn't until the late 20th century that the Jungle Bird recipe appeared in cocktail books like Jeff "Beachbum" Berry's "Intoxica" (2003), propelling it into the spotlight enjoyed today.

Jungle Bird Recipe

jungle bird recipe

Now that you've explored the Jungle Bird's intriguing history, let's get mixing! Here's a classic recipe that captures the essence of this iconic tiki drink:


  • 1 ½ ounces dark rum (Jamaican, blackstrap, or another bold variety)
  • ¾ ounce Campari
  • 1 ½ ounces pineapple juice (freshly squeezed for the best flavor)
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup (you can make your own with equal parts sugar and water dissolved over low heat)
  • Pineapple wedge and leaves, for garnish
  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish (optional)


  1. Gather your ingredients: Assemble all the necessary components for your Jungle Bird magic.
  2. Chill the Glass: Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the glass to chill thoroughly. Discard the ice before starting the next step.
  3. Shake it Up: Combine the rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds to ensure the drink is well-chilled and the flavors are well-integrated.
  4. Strain and Serve: Strain the chilled cocktail mixture into your rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
  5. Garnish Time!: Now for the fun part - the garnish! (See the following section for detailed instructions on creating the classic Jungle Bird garnish.)

How to Create the Jungle Bird Garnish:

jungle bird recipe

This tropical garnish adds a playful touch to your cocktail and complements its island vibes. Here's how to create it:

  1. Cut a Pineapple Wedge: Using a sharp knife, cut a 1/2-inch thick slice from a fresh pineapple and cut it into a triangular wedge.
  2. Assemble the Bird: Stack a few pineapple leaves of varying sizes. Use a cocktail skewer to pin a maraschino cherry (optional) on top of the leaves and through the pineapple wedge. Fan out the leaves to resemble bird feathers and place them inside the glass alongside the pineapple wedge.


  • Rum Choice: While dark rum is the traditional base spirit, you can experiment with different varieties to discover your perfect Jungle Bird. Jamaican rum or blackstrap rum offer a richer flavor profile, while other bold dark rums can also work well.
  • Sweetness: The simple syrup adds a touch of sweetness to balance the tartness of the pineapple and lime juice. Feel free to adjust the amount of simple syrup to your taste preference.
  • Fresh is Best: For the most vibrant flavor, use freshly squeezed pineapple and lime juice.
  • Ice Matters: A single large ice cube is ideal for keeping your Jungle Bird chilled without excessive dilution.
  • Variations: The beauty of cocktails lies in exploration! Here are a few variations you can try:
    • Dark Rum Float: For an extra layer of complexity, pour a small amount of dark rum over the top of the finished drink to create a layered effect.
    • Fruity Twist: Add a splash of grenadine or another fruit liqueur for a touch of sweetness and a vibrant color gradient.

Nutritional Info (per serving):

While the Jungle Bird offers a delightful taste experience, it's important to be mindful of its sugar content

(due to the pineapple juice and simple syrup). Here's a rough estimate of the drink's nutritional breakdown:

  • Calories: 265 (depending on the sugar content of your simple syrup and the type of rum used)
  • Sugar: 34g (primarily from the simple syrup and the natural sugars in the pineapple juice)
  • Fat: 0g
  • Protein: 1g

Please note: This is just an approximation, and the actual nutritional value can vary depending on the specific ingredients and brands you use. Enjoy this drink responsibly and consider pairing it with lighter snacks to balance the sweetness.

Beyond the Recipe: Mastering the Art of Home Bartending

Crafting delicious cocktails at home is a rewarding experience that allows you to impress your guests and elevate your home entertaining game. However, navigating the world of mixology can seem daunting at first. This is where Barprints' Mixology Mastery: Online Bartending Course can be a valuable resource.

jungle bird recipe

Designed for aspiring home bartenders, this program equips you with the knowledge and techniques to create classic cocktails with confidence, explore new flavor combinations, and craft signature drinks that will leave your guests speechless. Mixology Mastery goes beyond recipes, providing in-depth lessons on essential bartending tools, proper shaking and stirring techniques, spirit selection, and the fascinating history behind classic cocktails.

Imagine creating your own unique twist on the Jungle Bird, perhaps using a Peychaud's bitters float for an extra anise kick, or experimenting with different types of tiki rums to discover your perfect flavor profile. With the skills and knowledge gained from a program like Mixology Mastery, you can transform your home bar into a place of creativity and experimentation, ensuring your next gathering is an unforgettable experience.


The Jungle Bird is more than just a cocktail; it's a journey through history and tropical flavors. With its versatility and ease of preparation, the Jungle Bird is the perfect addition to your home bar repertoire. So, ditch the crowded bars and expensive cocktails. With a little practice and the right ingredients, you can create a taste of paradise right in your living room. The next time you have friends over, impress them with your bartending skills and a delicious Jungle Bird. What unique twist will you add to this delightful tiki drink?

jungle bird recipe