For the beginning of this years Tiki month, I thought I start with a variation of the Jungle Bird cocktail. This slightly unusual Tiki drink pairs fruity pineapple with bitter Campari. However, who said that you can only use dark rum in this cocktail?
To keep up the year long tradition of Tiki month, I also devote the entire February to those exotic style cocktails. This year I will start off with a classical rum based Tiki cocktail. The rum in question is the Veritas White Blended Rum from the Foursquare distillery. However, only a part of it comes from Barbados with the remainder coming from the Hampden Distillery in Jamaica. This also means that the Foursquare part was distilled on column stills while the Jamaican rum was distilled on pot-stills. The special thing about this “white” rum blend is that, while it was aged for a short period it was not filtered to appear as an unaged rum. On top of that, the independent bottler Velier decided to keep the rum at a slightly higher strength of 47 % ABV.
Clear Jamaica rum notes, slightly dialled down
Just when you open the bottle you instantly notice the Jamaica rum notes. There are a lot of overripe fruits and ester notes. However, it is not as pungent as it would be when being not blended. The Foursquare rum imparts some slightly mellower sugarcane and cherry flavours. In the taste the rum is surprisingly herbal. I personally never noticed clear-cut wormwood notes in a rum before. The Veritas definitely is one of the best white rum blends currently on the market!
The inspiration for the White Bird cocktail, came from the White Negroni. This version of the regular Negroni uses gentian liqueur Suze instead of Campari and Cocchi Ameriacano instead of sweet vermouth. I am a big fan of this variation as well as the White Boulevardier which is a Boulevardier with… I think you got the hang of it by now. So, I thought why just limit the “white” thing to cocktails served straight up. Especially, when I also have Luxardo Bitter Bianco on hand. This basically is the same as Suze, but with a higher ABV and a little bit similar to Campari or the regular Luxardo bitter. For a name I went for “White Bird” although “White Cockatoo” would also be a fitting…
2,25 cl Luxardo Bitter Bianco
4,5 cl Pineapple Juice
1,5 cl Lemon Juice
0,75 cl Simple Syrup
¾ oz Luxardo Bitter Bianco
1½ oz Pineapple Juice
½ oz Lemon Juice
¼ oz Simple Syrup
Garnish: Tiki garnish of your choosing – I totally forgot about that…
Song: M.I.A. – Bird Song (Diplo Remix)
Of course, the resulting drink is not really white. However, it also is not red so I guess that counts. The resulting taste is surely different from a regular Jungle Bird. Not only is the Luxardo Bitter Bianco more gentian forward than Campari, but there is also a lack of oak aged flavours. Nevertheless, this somehow brings out the pineapple juice a little bit more. Besides that, the whole cocktail is wrapped in Jamaica rum and liquorice notes. You have to be a little bit cautious on how much simple syrup you use. The Bitter Bianco is quite sweet and otherwise the drink loses its balance. However, when you get it right, you are rewarded with an interesting drink that is more herbal and slightly bitter than usual Tiki cocktails, but still has that certain exotic vibe to it.
*The fact that I received a product reviewed in this article for free, did not – in any way – influence the rating of said product.