Let's Make Jungle Birds
The Jungle Bird might just be my desert island cocktail. I had it for the first time this past year at Scotch and Soda when I ordered the bartender's choice option. Is that something you're into? Bartender's choice? I tend to love it when it's built into the menu because I'm steered into flavor directions that I might not normally take myself and there's something really satisfying about bellying up to the bar and letting the bartender do their thing. With the risk of ending up with a drink less than thrilling is the chance of discovering a new love affair.
The Jungle Bird traces back to the Aviary Bar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in the late 1970s using Jamaican rum as the base. Modern versions swap in blackstrap rum, full and molasses-forward, giving this tropically-inspired cocktail a wonderful complexity when meshed against the beautiful bitterness of Campari and pineapple and lime juices. I love it, I love it, I love it. I'll swap in roasted or grilled pineapple with the cold and warm seasons, letting the concentrated fruit sweetness and smokiness amplify the drink even more. Also, that color!
1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
3/4 ounce Campari
1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice, muddled from fresh pineapples (optional: roast or grill pineapples first)
1 1/2 ounces blackstrap rum
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Combine lime juice, Campari, pineapple juice, rum and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Strain onto a large ice cube in a mule mug or a rocks glass.