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Jungle Bird Recipe

Go wild and craft a Jungle Bird cocktail at home! Despite its surprisingly simple recipe, the sophisticated tiki cocktail is a delight whether you live in an actual jungle or an urban one.

Jungle Bird Cocktail with White Background

Welcome to the jungle!

We’re not talking about a genuine jungle. We’re talking about the Jungle Bird cocktail, a modern classic tiki drink with vibrant colors and flavors straight out of the tropics.

What Is the Jungle Bird Cocktail?

Jungle Bird Cocktail from Above with Green Background
You don’t have to travel to the jungle to imbibe Jungle Bird cocktails.

The Mai Tai may be king of the tiki cocktails, but the Jungle Bird reigns supreme for drinkers seeking a sweet yet sophisticated five-ingredient cocktail. These ingredients include dark rum as well as two fresh juices and simple syrup.

It’s the fifth ingredient, bitter Campari, that transports Jungle Bird drinkers from the beaches of Penang to the streets of Milan. It’s a twist that may seem extreme to traditional tiki drink lovers but there’s no denying that the colorful cocktail is a beverage beauty.

Discover more colorful cocktails.

History of the Jungle Bird Cocktail

Jungle Bird Cocktail with Black Background
The Jungle Bird first flew into bars a half-century ago.

The Jungle Bird has roots in Malaysia, a country known for its dense rainforests and tropical climate. However, despite the cocktail’s evocative moniker, the Jungle Bird wasn’t created in the jungle.

Instead, Jeffrey Ong invented the Jungle Bird at the tony Aviary Bar inside the Kuala Lumpur Hilton. As the legend goes, he got his inspiration from the hotel’s onsite aviary filled with actual jungle birds. He proceeded to serve his inspired tiki drink in bird-shaped glasses.

Jungle Bird Cocktail with Liquor Bottles
The Jungle Bird cocktail is a boozy beverage crafted with both dark rum and Campari.

After debuting on the Aviary Bar’s menu in the 1970s, the Jungle Bird hit the international radar when John J. Poister included Ong’s cocktail recipe in his The New American Bartender’s Guide in 1989. Jeff Berry did the same when he published Beachbum Berry’s Intoxica in 2002.

It didn’t take long for the Jungle Bird to become a fixture at bars around the world. It’s at those bars where the drink caught our attention. Prior to crafting the cocktail at home, we previously imbibed a layered Jungle Bird at The Aviary in Chicago as well as classic Jungle Birds at a Strasbourg speakeasy in France and a craft cocktail bar in Verona, Italy.

Jungle Bird Ingredients

Jungle Bird Cocktail Ingredients
The Jungle Bird’s ingredient list includes dark rum, Campari, a pineapple, a lime and simple syrup.

Despite its name, the Jungle Bird’s ingredients aren’t difficult to source. In fact, you should be able to find the following ingredients at your local market and neighborhood liquor store:

  • Dark Rum
  • Campari
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Simple Syrup
  • Jumbo Ice Cube
  • Small Ice Cubes (for shaking)
  • Pineapple Wedge (for garnish)
  • Pineapple Leaves (for garnish)


A pineapple is the most exotic ingredient in the Jungle Bird recipe and serves three purposes. First, the pineapple’s juice provides much of the tropical cocktail’s sweet flavor. Second, a pineapple wedge serves as a colorful garnish. And, finally, leaves plucked from the pineapple give the cocktail a distinctive plumage-like flair.

Using a fresh pineapple provides wow factors both in the drink’s appearance and taste. You could hypothetically use canned pineapple and omit the recipe’s decorative pineapple leaves but then you’d be concocting something more suitable for imbibing on an Ikea couch than in a Park Avenue townhouse.

Jungle Bird Cocktail with Rum Bottle
While our Jungle Bird recipe calls for dark rum, the specific dark rum is up to you. We used Goslings Black Seal black rum to craft this Jungle Bird cocktail..

Other than deciding whether to buy a fresh pineapple or not, choosing the rum will be your biggest decision.

The original Jungle Bird recipe simply specified dark rum and Poister’s book did the same. Berry went one step further by specifying dark Jamaican rum in his recipe. Bartenders in NYC later upped the ante with blackstrap rum distilled with molasses.

Having both dark Jamaican rum (Appleton Reserve) and blackstrap Bermudan rum (Goslings Black Seal) in our liquor cabinet, each with a 40% ABV, we opted to use the latter rum in our Jungle Bird recipe. We’d previously bought the blackstrap rum to craft Dark & Stormy cocktails and were curious to see how it would work in the this recipe. With deep rum flavors that counteracted the sweet pineapple juice and bitter Campari, our rum choice was a success.

Discover our favorite rum cocktails.

Jungle Bird Cocktail with Campari Bottle
Campari isn’t a typical tiki cocktail ingredient which makes sense since the Jungle Bird isn’t a typical tiki cocktail.

There’s no decision regarding Campari. The complex liquor’s flavor has no substitute with its herbaceous tones derived from 50+ secret ingredients that include bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruit. It has an ABV of 25%.

You probably already have a bottle of Campari in your liquor cabinet. It’s a common cocktail ingredient found in the Negroni and other Italian cocktails.

Discover our favorite Campari cocktails.

How to Craft a Jungle Bird Cocktail

Jungle Bird Cocktail Mise en Place
The Jungle Bird’s mise en place is surprisingly simple.

The tools required for crafting a Jungle Bird at home are as basic as the tiki cocktail’s ingredient list. We use the following three bar tools in our recipe:

Don’t stress if you’re missing any of these tools. Not only are they all inexpensive, but they can also be replaced with common kitchen tools like a long spoon or an miniature angled measuring cup.

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Once you gather the necessary ingredients and tools, the first step is to measure the five liquid ingredients. We use a Japanese Jigger to achieve both accurate measurements and clean pours.

Buy a Japanese Jigger from Amazon if you don’t have a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Pour the liquids directly into a shaker as you measure each. We like to use a Boston Shaker which maximizes efficiency while minimizing spillage.

Buy a Boston shaker from Amazon if you don’t have a shaker or if you want to improve your at-home mixology experience.

Add a generous handful of ice to the shaker and shake until the five liquids are combined and chilled. This step should take about 20 seconds.

Ice in Jungle Bird Cocktail Shaker
Shaking the Jungle Bird is when the cocktail magic happens.

Place a jumbo ice cube into a lowball glass.

Strain the shaken liquids into the lowball glass.

Straining a Jungle Bird Cocktail
We used a large lowball glass for this Jungle Bird recipe but a smaller lowball glass would work well too.

Garnish the cocktail with a pineapple wedge and a few pineapple leaves.

Jungle Bird Cocktail from Above with White Background
A pineapple wedge and three pineapple leaves completed this Jungle Bird cocktail.

Pause to admire your cocktail creation before you take the first sip. Don’t worry if you forget this step as your first Jungle Bird likely won’t be your last.

Jungle Bird Drink Alternatives

Crafted Jungle Bird Cocktail with Ingredients
A crafted Jungle Bird cocktail is a beautiful beverage. It’s also a tasty tipple.

We hope that you’ll go wild for our classic Jungle Bird cocktail recipe. If not, consider the following alternatives:

  • Add extra pineapple juice to craft a fruitier Jungle Bird.
  • Proportionally increase the ingredients to prepare a party-sized Jungle Bird which you can serve from a pitcher.
  • Pull out the blender and blend a frozen Jungle Bird.
  • Craft a completely different tiki cocktail like a Mai Tai, Singapore Sling or Zombie.
Jungle Bird Cocktail with Yellow Background
You have Jungle Bird questions and we have Jungle Bird answers.

Jungle Bird Cocktail FAQs

What is a Jungle Bird cocktail?

A Jungle Bird cocktail is a tiki cocktail crafted with five ingredients – dark rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice and simple syrup. A pineapple wedge and a few pineapple leaves provide the cocktail’s finishing touches.

Where was the Jungle Bird cocktail invented?

The Jungle Bird cocktail was invented in Malaysia at the Aviary Bar located inside the Kuala Lumpur Hilton.

What are the ingredients in a Jungle Bird cocktail?

Dark Rum, Campari, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Jumbo Ice Cube, Small Ice Cubes (for shaking), Pineapple Wedge (for garnish) and Pineapple Leaves (for garnish)

Is the Jungle Bird cocktail shaken or stirred?

The Jungle Bird cocktail is shaken, not stirred.

Jungle Bird Recipe

Jungle Bird Cocktail with Grey Background

Jungle Bird Cocktail

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The Jungle Bird cocktail is a striking cocktail that tastes as good as it looks.


  • 1 1/2 ounces dark rum
  • 3/4 ounce Campari
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • jumbo ice cube
  • pineapple wedge (for garnish)
  • pineapple leaves (for garnish)
  • small ice cubes (for shaking)


  1. Pour dark rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice and simple syrup into a shaker.
  2. Add a handful of small ice cubes and shake vigorously until liquids are chilled and mixed.
  3. Drop a jumbo ice cube into a lowball glass.
  4. Strain the shaken liquids into the lowball glass.
  5. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a few pineapple leaves.


  • Prepare the simple syrup in advance using a 1:1 ratio of granulated sugar and water.

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About the Authors

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.


Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

Original Publication Date: May 9, 2023

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