jungle birds summer cocktail

Originally published Jul31, 2014

JUNGLE BIRD: THE SUMMER COCKTAIL THAT CHICAGO IS BUZZING ABOUT

It is pretty easy to pick up on trends when visiting with bartenders. Granted by the time the news gets to me, it is probably old news..but let's humor me for a bit and pretend that I am special. It is foggy where or who first taught me the Jungle Bird but clearly every bar has been buzzing about this 70s era Tiki drink. Hard drink to explain to my friends, it is not overly sweet but makes the bitterness of the drink work. 

The New York Times explains why Jeff Berry thinks this tiki drink is so popular with the bartenders: "Mr. Berry said he knew why mixologists like the drink. “The reason, I am 100 percent positive, is because there’s Campari in it, which makes it the only vintage tiki drink that today’s amaro-loving bartenders can relate to,” he said."

My theory on the popularity is a bit cynical. The ingredients to make this drink are ridiculously cheap calling for cheap rum, sugar water and fruit juices. Toss some garnish on it and slap a $12 price tag on it and you have discovered one of the biggest profit makers of the bar. 

The Jungle Bird

1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 1/2 ounces Cruzan blackstrap rum
3/4 ounce Campari
1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

Each bar is going to build this differently, but most are shaking this then straining into a rocks glass with big ice. 

To all my friends, I'm sorry for bugging you about this drink so much. It really is amazing with nothing else out there like it. Enjoy this at home and let the experts at the bar make you something difficult the next time you enjoy a night out.

@bittterac

Don't forget to drink like a responsible adult  

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