Food - Drink
The Polarizing Ingredient In Some Jungle Bird Cocktails
Tiki drinks, such as the jungle bird cocktail, were once known for being frivolous and overly sweet, so they were ready for reinvention by the 2000s, when the craft cocktail revolution turned humble bartenders into creative and daring "mixologists." One controversial addition to the jungle bird is blackstrap rum.
The original jungle bird recipe called for generic "dark rum," plus Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. In 2002, the generic liquor was changed to "Jamaican rum" in a recipe from the popular book "Intoxica," but other mixologists began using blackstrap rum instead, and the trend caught on.
Some bartenders dislike blackstrap because it can be laden with sweeteners and additives, while other drinks simply find it "gross." However, the right blackstrap rum lends the jungle bird a maple-like flavor that contrasts nicely with the acidity of fruit juice and lends a smooth backdrop to Campari's bittersweet, herbaceous notes.