How to Make a Jungle Bird Cocktail

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If you like tiki cocktails, you will love the Jungle Bird! It’s a rum cocktail made with sweet pineapple juice and Campari! This drink was invented at Kuala Lumpur Hilton in 1978 and it’s one you’ll want to make at home!

So what does this drink taste like? Think of it as a tropical rum cocktail with tropical flavors. It’s made with dark rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, and Campari. It is sweet, tart, and slightly bitter.

For more Campari cocktails check out our classic negroni, Italian Paloma, and negroni popsicles!

Jungle Bird cocktail in a glass with pineapple wedge and lime wheel

We’re big fans of tropical, tiki-inspired drinks. The jungle bird cocktail is made with classic tiki ingredients and one somewhat odd ingredient, Campari. Campari is not a typical tropical ingredient, but it works so well in this cocktail. Who knew an Italian liqueur would end up in a tiki drink?!

To our surprise, the sweetness of the pineapple is complemented by the bitterness of Campari. The underlying notes all play a lovely part in creating the most flavorful tiki drink. It’s delicious!

After testing recipe variations, we settled on this one. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness. 

bottle of Campari, pineapple juice and dark rum

How to Make a Jungle Bird Cocktail

Here’s everything you need to make this tiki-style cocktail!

Supplies

Shaker Tin

Cocktail Jigger

Old-Fashioned Glass

Ingredients 

Dark Rum – A type of rum that is usually aged in oak barrels. It has a deep, rich flavor and is often used in cocktails that require a strong, flavorful base.

Campari – A type of bitter liqueur that is often used in cocktails. It has a strong, bitter flavor and is usually bright red

Simple Syrup – We use this to add more sweetness to the cocktail. Simple syrup is made from equal parts sugar and water. It is often used in cocktails to sweeten them up.

Pineapple Juice – A type of fruit juice that is made from fresh pineapples. It has a sweet, tropical flavor and gives the drink a tropical vibe.

Lime Juice – Use freshly squeezed juice when making this cocktail. Lime juice is a citrus juice that is made from fresh limes. It has a tart, acidic flavor and adds a bit of tartness.

Simple syrup is an easy sweetener you can make at home. It’s 1/2 sugar and 1/2 water simmering in a saucepan until sugar is melted. Read our guide to making simple syrup here

Demerara Syrup

The original jungle bird recipe uses a sweetener called Demerara syrup. It’s a type of sugar syrup that is made from demerara sugar and has a rich, molasses-like flavor and is often used in cocktails to add a bit of sweetness. However, we made it with this sweetener, and combined with Campari it had an overwhelmingly bitter flavor.

So we made it with simple syrup instead and liked it much better!

pouring a Jungle Bird cocktail into a glass with ice

Directions

First, make sure you have the right tools. 

Add all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. 

Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. This is a crucial step when making the cocktail. The water from the ice needs to melt while shaking so dilute the cocktail so the ingredients blend.

Once the cocktail has been shaken, strain it into a glass filled with ice. 

You can use large ice cubes or crushed ice for this cocktail. 

Garnish the cocktail with pineapple, lime, or even fresh mint. 

classic tiki cocktail in a glass

Tips for Making This Jungle Bird Recipe

Use high-quality ingredients like good quality rum, organic pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, and organic cane sugar when making the simple syrup. 

As mentioned above, shaking with ice is crucial for making this cocktail.

If the drink is a little too strong, add a splash of soda water over the top. 

Add a pineapple garnish, like a pineapple wedge or pineapple fronds and/or a lime wheel.

Serve in a rocks glass or Collins glass.

Recipe Variations

Substitute Aperol or another type of bitters.

Use vodka or gin instead of rum.

Use orange juice instead of pineapple juice. You can also use grapefruit juice or cranberry juice.

Swap out the lime juice for lemon juice.

For a natural sweetener, try using honey or agave nectar.

Make it light by using half of the rum in the recipe.

Jungle Bird Mocktail

If you want to make a jungle bird cocktail without alcohol, you can use club soda or sparkling water. You can also use a zero-proof rum substitute. You will also need to substitute the Campari with a dash of grenadine.

Campari

Campari is an Italian alcoholic liqueur, considered an apéritif. It’s a type of bitters that are made from herbs, bark, and citrus fruit. It has a strong bittersweet flavor and a bright red color.

red cocktail with ice cube and l

Best Dark Rum for Tiki Drinks

There are many varieties of dark rum you can use to make a jungle bird. We used Zaya for this recipe which is a 16-year-old dark rum. It goes well with this cocktail. Here are some other options.

  • Smith & Cross 
  • Meyers Original Dark Rum 
  • Plantation Original Dark Rum 
  • Angostura 1824
  • Rogue Dark 
  • Gosling’s Black Seal 

Best Garnishes

There are many different garnishes that you could use for a jungle bird cocktail. Some popular options include fresh pineapple wedges, lime wheels, maraschino cherry, pineapple leaves, or mint leaves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a jungle bird taste like?

A jungle bird cocktail tastes like a tropical cocktail with pineapple and lime juice. The Campari balances out the sweetness with a little bitterness. It’s a fruit-forward drink with complex rum and Campari flavor.

What is a jungle bird drink?

The jungle bird cocktail is a tropical drink made with rum, pineapple juice Campari, lime juice, and simple syrup. It was invented by Jeffrey Ong at Kuala Lumpur Hilton in 1978. It’s said to have been served inside a bird-shaped vessel, hence the name! 

Can you use white rum?

Yes, you can use white rum in this cocktail. However, the flavor will be different than if you were to use dark rum. The drink will be less robust and have a more mellow flavor.

Jungle Bird Cocktail

When to Serve a Jungle Bird

Since this cocktail has tropical notes to it, it is the perfect summer cocktail. Here are some of our favorite occasions to serve a jungle bird:

Pool Parties

Happy Hour

Tropical Parties

Birthday Parties

Dining Alfresco 

Cookies and Cocktails Party

Welcome Drink

cocktail with Campari and pineapple juice

More Rum Cocktails and Other Drinks You’ll Love

If you love summer drinks as much as we do, you have to try these recipes!

Three Ingredient Daiquiri

Frozen Mojito

The Perfect Tiki Cocktail

Turks and Caicos Rum Punch

Brass Monkey Cocktail

Rum and Orange Juice

The Best Pina Colada

Classic Mojito

Also check out more great cocktail recipes our favorite brunch recipes, the best-mixed drinkstequila cocktails, gin cocktails, vodka cocktails, and cheap drinks to make at home!

Let us know if you make this delicious, Jungle Bird cocktail! We would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a review and comment below.

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jungle bird cocktail

Jungle Bird Cocktail

A simple, 5 ingredient tropical cocktail with Campari!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: Caribbean
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
6 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes
Servings: 2 Cocktails
Calories: 181kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces dark rum
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice , fresh
  • 1 ounce lime juice, fresh

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. 
  • Shale for vigorously for 30 seconds. This is a crucial step when making the cocktail. The water from the ice needs to melt while shaking so dilute the cocktail so the ingredients blend together.
  • Once the cocktail has been shaken, strain into a glass filled with ice. 
    jungle bird cocktail
  • You can use large ice cubes or crushed ice for this cocktail. 

Notes

Use fresh lime juice for this recipe. 
If it’s too strong, add a splash of soda water over the top.
Don’t forget to SHAKE with ice for at least 30 seconds. So important! 

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 55mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
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