Ruby Mae’s Second Surfin’ Bird

Bird is the word when it's tiki time in the Windy City.
Photo by Michael Persico / Styling by Kelsi Windmiller

Courtesy Paul McGee, Lost Lake, Chicago

Once considered an obscure tropical drink, the Jungle Bird has become one of the most popular on the tiki bar circuit. The original, made with dark rum, pineapple and Campari, was invented in 1978 at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton.

Tiki bars are all about dramatic, over-the-top drinks and presentation. At Chicago’s Lost Lake, perhaps today’s most-lauded tiki bar, the Jungle Bird adds a few more feathers to its exotic plumage. Tequila (with mezcal in a supporting role) replaces rum, ruby Port adds depth and glow, and passion fruit syrup ups the tropical fruit factor.

Although bartender Paul McGee usually presents his Surfing Bird in a huge bowl to serve six thirsty revelers, this drink is pared down to a single serving.

Ingredients
  • 1½ ounces reposado Tequila
  • ½ ounce mezcal
  • ¼ ounce Campari
  • ¼ ounce ruby Port
  • ¾ ounce fresh pineapple juice
  • ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce passion fruit syrup, like Monin
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
Directions

Combine all ingredients and 1 cup of crushed ice in a blender. Blend for 3 seconds. (Or, add to a cocktail shaker, and shake well.) Pour into a tiki mug and top with 1 cup of crushed ice. Garnish tropically.

How to Crush Ice

Scoop ice cubes into a sealable plastic bag. Squeeze out all the air and seal. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the ice into small pieces. Another option? Use a Lewis Bag, which bartenders use to gleefully thwack ice into bits.

Published on June 8, 2016
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of Shake.Stir.Sip.: 40 Effortless Cocktails Made In Equal Parts (Chronicle Books, 2016) as well as ROAD SODA: Recipes and techniques for making great cocktails, anywhere (Dovetail Press, 2017). Email: spirits@wineenthusiast.net



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