The Jungle Bird is sort of like Squidward from Spongebob or Marvin Gaye’s 1978 album Here, My Dear - it’s dark and kind of bitter, but also surprisingly sweet. On the one hand, you have the bright, tropical notes of pineapple juice, but then you also have the dark, molasses-y rum and assertive Campari. It’s an interesting drink (invented in Kuala Lumpur in the 1970s by bartender Jeffrey Ong), and it's an increasingly popular one as well. So let’s go ahead and learn how to make this excellent rum cocktail, in case you wake up one morning, and it turns out you’re the only one who doesn’t know how.
How It Tastes: Bitter, Juicy, Tropical
The Jungle Bird
- Rocks glass
- .5 ounce simple syrup
- .5 ounce lime juice
- 1.5 ounce pineapple juice
- .75 ounce Campari
- 1.5 ounce dark rum
Step One: Simple Syrup
Add .5 ounce simple syrup to your shaker. (As a reminder, simple syrup is just equal parts white sugar and warm water, stirred until the sugar is dissolved.)
Step Two: Lime Juice
Find a lime, and squeeze it. That should give you about an ounce of juice, and you’re going to put .5 ounce of that lime juice in your shaker (just to brighten things up and round out your cocktail).
Step Three: Pineapple Juice
If you have a pineapple, and you’re willing to juice it, we respect you and think that you deserve your own genre of Hallmark card. But if you just have a can or bottle of pineapple juice lying around, that’s perfectly great. Add 1.5 ounce pineapple juice to your shaker.
Step Four: Campari
The next time you find yourself drinking a cocktail, wondering why it’s pleasantly bitter, look down and see if your beverage is a reddish color. If so, that’s almost definitely because there’s Campari in it. And that’s what we’re going to use here. Put .75 ounce in your shaker.
Step Five: Rum
You’re going to want a dark rum for this drink. If you aren’t sure what that means, picture a shade the color of a chocolate lab or Keanu Reeves’ beard. There are all sorts out there, and they mostly all work fine (although some will give a little more molasses flavor than others). Add 1.5 ounce of dark rum to your cocktail shaker.
Step Six: Shake
Shake everything for about 15 seconds. And be sure to shake hard. Now, pour your cocktail into a rocks glass filled to the rim with ice (or stuffed with one large ice cube). If you shook hard enough, there should be a layer of foam on top. This foam is A) fun to drink and B) aesthetically pleasing, in an ASMR-adjacent kind of way. Finally, garnish with a couple of pineapple leaves, a slice of pineapple, a big mint sprig, or all of the above.