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.
- 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
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.
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.