Jungle Bird Cocktail

There’s nothing more summery than a Jungle Bird cocktail. Made with dark rum, bitter liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice and simple syrup, this classic tiki drink is filled with sweet and bitter flavor.

A refreshing Jungle Bird Drink with pineapple and cherry garnishes on a white table.

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Jungle Bird Cocktail recipe

If you love tropical cocktails and long walks on the beach, you’ve got to try the Jungle Bird.

With its combination of dark rum, Campari, pineapple juice and lime, this classic drink packs a delightful punch of sweet and bitter flavors.

It has some serious Negroni vibes, so if you’re a fan of the Negroni craze, you will adore this tasty cocktail. 

This drink is a must-try for my fellow tiki lovers. Let’s learn how to make this beauty of a cocktail, right down to the plumed garnish.

More rum recipes: Mai Tai • Fish Bowl DrinkStrawberry MojitoHurricane

A refreshing Jungle Bird Drink with pineapple, lime and cherry garnishes.

Why you’ll love this recipe

The Jungle Bird is a bright and beautiful beverage that you’re going to love.

  • This tropical cocktail is a must-try for any tiki lover.
  • It’s a complex sipper, the perfect blend of sweet and bitter.
  • With just a handful of ingredients, it’s easy to put together — and so is that bird garnish!
A vibrant Jungle Bird cocktail with refreshing pineapple and tangy lime garnishes.

What is a Jungle Bird cocktail?

The Jungle Bird drink is a tiki drink made with dark rum, bitter Italian liqueur, simple syrup, pineapple juice and lime juice.

According to Thirst Mag, the drink was created by Jeffrey Ong and first served as a welcome drink at the opening of the Kuala Lumpur Hilton Hotel on Jalan Sultan Ismail in 1973. The recipe was published in The New American Bartender’s Guide by John J. Poister in 1989. 

The hotel’s Aviary Bar was connected to the swimming pool by a glass panel, where guests could view native birds contained in a habitat within a netted area, hence the Jungle Bird name.

Inspired by the hotel’s birds, the signature drink was served in a bird-shaped porcelain glass and garnished with an orchid and slices of lime and orange. 

Tools & glassware

You’ll need a basic bartending set to make the Jungle Bird, complete with a jigger, shaker and strainer.

For the garnish, you’ll need a sharp knife and a cutting board, plus a cocktail pick to hold the bird garnish together.

The drink is typically served in a rocks glass with a big ice cube.

Ingredients for a Jungle Bird cocktail measured out.

Ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients to make this classic tiki cocktail recipe. Here’s what to grab at the grocery store:

  • dark rum or blackstrap rum: There are a variety of rums at your local liquor store, but you’re looking for a dark-colored rum for this tropical rum cocktail — it’s a staple for tiki drinks. Dark Jamaican rum has a rich, sophisticated flavor with hints of molasses. Bacardi, Cruzan and Plantation all have great dark rums.
  • fresh pineapple juice: Fresh is ideal, but you can also buy cans or cartons of sweet pineapple juice. 
  • bitter liqueur: These are Italian liqueurs that are meant to be aperitifs, which are drinks to enjoy before dinner. The bitter flavor helps to balance the sweetness of the fresh juices, contributing to the overall Jungle Bird taste. The red and bitter Campari brand is most common, but you can also use the slightly sweeter Aperol or any similar bitter Italian liqueur. 
  • fresh lime juice: Fresh lime juice is best! You can use store-bought, bottled lime juice, but it’s a bit more tart than fresh juice. 
  • simple syrup: You can use plain simple syrup but demerara syrup steps things up a notch.  

Jungle Bird garnish ingredients

Any tiki-style cocktail always has an impressive garnish. The Jungle Bird has a pineapple garnish that resembles a little bird. Here’s what you’ll need: 

Two Jungle Bird Drinks with pineapple and lime garnishes.

Variations and substitutions

Mix things up with one of these variations on this pineapple drink: 

Bitter liqueurs: Try this cocktail with different types of bitter liqueurs. Campari is more bitter than Aperol.

Non-alcoholic Jungle Bird: Use a zero-proof rum such as Ritual rum alternative and a zero-proof bitter liqueur such as Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Italian Spritz.

How to make a Jungle Bird cocktail

Here’s how to make this classic cocktail recipe: 

A cocktail shaker with ice and Jungle Bird ingredients.
A person pouring a refreshing Jungle Bird Drink into a glass with a pineapple garnish.
  1. To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add rum, pineapple juice, bitter liqueur, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake well.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass with a large clear ice cube.
  3. Add a garnish of pineapple leaves, a wedge of pineapple and a cocktail cherry to resemble a bird with a big tail.
A Jungle Bird cocktail with a pineapple garnish and a cherry on top.

Jungle Bird garnish

The garnish for a Jungle Bird is designed to resemble a bird’s tail with lots of plumage.

A cocktail pick works nicely to pierce all the elements together. Here’s what you will need:

  • cocktail cherry: such as Luxardo Cherries, but not the bright red maraschino cherries
  • pineapple leaves: cut from the crown of a fresh pineapple
  • pineapple wedge: a pineapple slice cut into quarters.
A person is placing a garnish on a Jungle Bird Drink.

How to garnish a Jungle Bird

To make the bird-shaped garnish for the Jungle Bird, here’s what to do:

A slice of pineapple and pineapple fronds to create a Jungle Bird garnish.
A person piercing a pineapple wedge and serving it on a skewer, accompanied by a cherry and pineapple fronds.
  1. Pierce a cocktail cherry with a cocktail pick. Set aside. This is the bird’s head.
  2. Arrange three or four pineapple leaves in a fan shape. This will be the tail of the bird.
  3. Place a wedge of pineapple on top. This will be the body of the bird. 
  4. While continuing to hold the pineapple and leaves, take the cocktail pick with the cherry and pierce it through the pineapple wedge, being careful to pierce it through the leaves, forming a bird shape with a head, body and plumed tail.
  5. Place on the rim of the cocktail to finish it off.
A refreshing Jungle Bird cocktail on a wooden cutting board.

Tips & tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:

  • Use fresh lime juice and pineapple juice for the best flavor.
  • Garnish the drink with the bird-shaped fruit garnish — it really steps it up a notch.
  • Shake the drink well so it is very cold.

What to serve with tiki drinks

Tiki drinks go well with tiki food, such as popcorn shrimp or spam musubi.

And because so many tiki drinks contain pineapple and coconut, they go so well with those flavors. You’ll love them with pineapple salsapineapple pizza or coconut shrimp.

For dessert, enjoy margarita barscoconut cupcakes or pineapple dole whip. You could even make a batch of spiced rum balls.

Two Jungle Bird Drinks with pineapple and lime garnishes on a table.

FAQ

What is Jungle Bird cocktail?

The Jungle Bird drink is a tiki drink made with dark rum, bitter Italian liqueur, simple syrup, pineapple juice and lime juice.

What is the best dark rum for jungle birds?

Dark Jamaican rum has a rich, sophisticated flavor with hints of molasses that works well with the tart flavors of the Jungle Bird cocktail. Bacardi, Cruzan and Plantation all sell delicious and affordable dark rums.

Can you use Aperol in a jungle bird?

Yes, you can substitute Aperol or any other bitter Italian liqueur for the Campari in the Jungle Bird recipe. Aperol is less bitter and slightly sweeter than Campari, so it makes for a lighter cocktail that’s just as delicious.

More tiki cocktails

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

Two Jungle Bird Drinks with pineapple and lime garnishes on a table.

Jungle Bird Cocktail

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
The Jungle Bird is a refreshing, bittersweet tiki drink that'll make you want to pretend you're in a tropical locale.
5 from 1 vote
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ingredients

  • 1 ½ ounce dark rum
  • 1 ½ ounce pineapple juice
  • ½ to ¾ ounce bitter liqueur, such as Campari, Aperol or similar to taste
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 large ice cube

Garnish

  • 1 cocktail cherry (not maraschino cherries)
  • 3-4 pineapple fronds (pineapple leaves)
  • 1 pineapple wedge

instructions

  • To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add rum, pineapple juice, bitter liqueur, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake well.
  • Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube.
  • Add a garnish of pineapple leaves, a wedge of pineapple and a cocktail cherry to resemble a bird with a big tail.

notes

The garnish for a Jungle Bird is meant to resemble a bird (or at least a tail with lots of plumage). To make the bird-shaped garnish, here’s what to do:
  1. Pierce a cocktail cherry with a cocktail pick. Set aside. This is the bird’s head.
  2. Arrange three or four pineapple leaves in a fan shape. This will be the tail of the bird.
  3. Place a wedge of pineapple on top. This will be the body of the bird.
  4. While continuing to hold the pineapple and leaves, take the cocktail pick with the cherry and pierce it through the pineapple wedge, being careful to pierce it through the leaves, forming a bird shape with a head, body and plumed tail.
  5. Place on the rim of the cocktail to finish it off.

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nutrition information

Yield: 1

amount per serving:

Serving: 4.5ounces Calories: 200kcal Carbohydrates: 21g Protein: 0.2g Fat: 0.1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g Sodium: 10mg Potassium: 82mg Fiber: 0.1g Sugar: 15g Vitamin A: 9IU Vitamin C: 9mg Calcium: 9mg Iron: 1mg
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