Tiki Tuesday #3: Jungle Bird

Well, I didn't expect to find it so soon, but I think I've found it: a tiki drink that isn't really my cup of tea- and that's the Jungle Bird. I didn't pull the recipe out of Smuggler's Cove this time, so I can't guarantee that there aren't key differences that might change my opinion on this drink, but I did find a recipe on Liquor.com that seems to be pretty standard across the internet:

1.5 oz dark rum

0.75 oz Campari

0.50 oz Demerara syrup

1.5 oz fresh pineapple juice

0.50 oz fresh lime juice

1. Fill a mixing glass three-quarters with ice, and add all of the ingredients.

2. Shake until chilled for about 30 seconds.

3. Strain into a rocks glass over ice cubes or one large piece of ice and add the garnish. (Which in this case is a pineapple wedge.)

Created in 1978 at the Aviary Bar of the Kuala Lumpur Hilton (which is still there today and getting really good reviews on Tripadvisor, if you happen to be in Malaysia anytime soon.) the Jungle Bird is probably one of the first tiki drinks I've come across that doesn't either a. drown you in sweetness of various fruit juices or b. drown you in rum. I think my mixed feelings about it are probably down to one thing- and that's the Campari.

Campari...  I'm new to Campari. I seem to dimly recall a family trip to Chicago where my Aunt had Aperol Sprizters which I thought were pretty good (at least I think I did) and I think in my head I thought Campari would be similar or at least close enough that it would bring the citrus without overwhelming you on the bitterness and it just...  doesn't. Campari thus far seems to be a lot like the bitterness you find in Grapefruit- which doesn't bother me at all. I'll eat grapefruit like other people eat oranges- but imagine that bitterness concentrated down to it's purest essence and that's my impression of Campari thus far. I'm almost feeling like less is more with this drink and Campari, so maybe I'll dial it back a touch and see what we end up with. (Obviously, the great Negroni adventure will commence at some point as well.)

Overall: if you follow this recipe, you might like this drink or you might think there's just a skosh too much Campari in the mix that crowds out the other ingredients a wee bit too much. They're also kind of a pain in the ass to make-- lots of things to get out of your liquor cabinet and then put away again. But it does look pretty, I'll give it that. 6/10 would drink again


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