Category Archives: spiced rum

Jungle Bird and Jungle Boogie


In my ongoing quest to learn to love Campari (shudder), this week I whipped up a Jungle Bird (pictured above). I figured that, seeing as it contained numerous other ingredients that I like – rum, citrus, pineapple – there was a good chance I’d appreciate what the Campari added to the mix, and wouldn’t reject the drink simply because I could taste, well, Campari in it.

As usual I was partly right and partly wrong. I did appreciate the way Campari added a bitter complexity and notes of burnt orange to the cocktail.

But that didn’t mean I liked it.

For me, the Campari flavour overrode the nuances of the rum, though perhaps that’s because I was seeking it out, the way a beautiful person will look for a flaw in their appearance. The CTO said he liked the way it balanced out the rum’s sweetness, and that it was an interesting and well-rounded drink. I thought the drink might be better without it, and so I made another one, omitting the Campari.

It was much more approachable – a refreshing, if a bit run-of-the-mill (rum of the mill?), sweet-sour concoction, with notes of Christmas spice and vanilla courtesy of the rum. I called it a Jungle Boogie (pictured below) and it was only when I was halfway through it that I realised I’d made something akin to a Pisco Sour, but with rum instead of pisco. No wonder I liked it – I love Pisco Sours. Did I love the Jungle Boogie enough to start making it instead of Pisco Sours, though? Would it be on high rotation at my bar, like its very distant Peruvian cousin? Would I start offering it to all and sundry? Er…


It just didn’t have enough ‘wow’ factor for me.

So in the end, the best thing I can say about this experiment is that it gave me an excuse to open my first bottle of Kraken black spiced rum, which I’ve been wanting to try for ages simply because of the label (yes, I’m a sucker for packaging). I’m no rum aficionado, but it’s delicious. And hey, I got to try out two new cocktails – can’t complain about that. If you want to try them out, the recipes are below.



45ml black spiced rum

25ml Campari (include this if you are making a Jungle Bird; omit if you are making a Jungle Boogie)

45ml pineapple juice

15ml fresh lime juice

15ml sugar syrup


Tumbler or old-fashioned


Add all ingredients to a shaker that’s half-full of ice, and shake hard. Strain into a tumbler that’s half-full of ice and garnish with pineapple pieces and pineapple leaves (failing that, use mint, as I’ve done…or don’t garnish at all!)


The Jungle Bird recipe is in Dan Murphy’s Cocktail Discovery Guide – edition 2.

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Hot Toddy


Regardless of how well you look after yourself – exercising daily (by shaking cocktails until 1am), ensuring your diet is balanced (by following gin flights with whisky flights) and taking time out to be with your loved ones (as long as they’re at a good bar) – you’re bound to get ill sometime. When that happens, you might feel the strange urge to stop drinking. Don’t worry – that’s just the fever talking. What you need is a hot toddy.


15-30ml rum or whisky, to taste (I used Sailor Jerry because the lass on the label is clearly the picture of health and something to aspire to)

15-30ml lemon juice, to taste (I used equal parts lemon juice and rum)

1 teaspoon honey

boiling water

lemon slice, to garnish


A mug or heatproof glass


Add the rum, lemon juice and honey to your vessel of choice. Top with boiling water and stir to dissolve the honey. Add the lemon slice, then stagger around the house feeling sorry for yourself and pretending you’re a pirate because hey, you’re delusional with fever and being a pirate sounds like fun.


The lemon and honey drinks you had as a kid, only better, because rum.


Seemingly everyone has a recipe for a hot toddy, with some calling for a cinnamon stick garnish, others swearing you have to use whisky, not rum, and still others saying you can use whatever spirit you have on hand. We’re not sure a vodka hot toddy would be any good but hey, whatever gets you through the night, sicko.


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Mulled Cider


When it’s so cold that you can chill your cocktails by placing them outside for a split second, but you’re reluctant to make mulled wine because it seems like such a tired cliche, either get the hell over yourself or make mulled cider instead. This recipe makes enough to serve two cold, thirsty humans.


1 can cider (we used Monteith’s)

1/2 can ginger ale

1/2 orange (prick the peel with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife to help release its flavour)

1 lemon wedge (likewise)

4 cloves

1 cardamom pod, crushed

1 teaspoon good-quality ground cinnamon (we used one from Gewurzhaus)

Dark rum (we used Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum)


Insulated glass (eg a double-walled glass) or regular glass tea cup


Add everything except the rum to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat. Slosh some rum into the glass (15-30ml, depending on your taste), then strain some cider over the top. Garnish with an orange slice.


Autumn in a glass –  the aroma of baking spices and apple strudel hits you as the steam rises towards your face, and then you’re a kid in grandma’s kitchen all over again as you take that first sip (although if grandma was serving you alcoholic mulled cider when you were still in nappies, she should possibly be in jail).


This one’s adapted from The Londoner – the original recipe is here.



Mulled cider is great for a winter party, as it means you don’t get stuck making individual cocktails all night. As per The Londoner’s suggestion, we made a big batch using Old Rosie cider, and found that it required quite a lot of honey or brown sugar (or both, we’re not fussy) to sweeten it up. This is because Old Rosie is more like a sour-ish, flat scrumpy than a sweet, bubbly cider. Cider purists will hate us for this but we preferred the recipe we made with Monteith’s. If you have a sweet tooth, you probably will, too. Oh, and yes, we know this is not actually a cocktail recipe, and frankly, we don’t care.

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Between the Sheets


As a long-time fan of Aussie cooking icon Margaret Fulton, I can understand why people would want to get her between the sheets. She’s vivacious yet well-balanced and so retro that she’s cool again – just like the Between the Sheets cocktail we made from her 1984 cocktail book, pictured above. Most recipes for this elegant drink call for light (white) rum, but this one specifies dark rum. The 52 Cocktails team used a spiced dark rum, tried it out on a guest drink taster and elicited the following review:

52 Cocktails: So what do you think?

Guest Taster: Ooh. That’s delicious.

52 Cocktails: What are the nuances of this cocktail that you’re enjoying?

Guest Taster: Nuances? You’re asking me for nuances when I’ve been drinking all day? Ack. (Pause) OK, let’s see. Nothing really stands out, because it’s so well-balanced. It’s smooth. It’s sophisticated. If you were trying to get me between the sheets it would work. And if you were to offer me another I would definitely drink it, no questions asked.

Enough said.



1 dash lemon juice (How much, exactly, is a dash? It’s defined as 1/8 teaspoon but we didn’t know that at the time and used 1/2 a teaspoon. It worked just fine.)

1 measure brandy (we used St Agnes VSOP brandy)

1 measure Cointreau

1 measure dark rum (we used Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold rum)

Note: the book defines a measure as 45ml, but also points out it doesn’t matter what you use to measure spirits so long as you’re consistent. You could therefore use, say, a coffee-mug full of each spirit, but you’d want to have a spare liver and a surgeon on standby if you did. We don’t have these things handy so we wimped out and used 30mls of each spirit instead.




Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.


If you can open a bottle while some sexy sax plays on the cassette deck, you can make this drink.


Despite its name, if you/the person you’re trying to seduce with this suggestively named cocktail drink too many of these, the only action you’re likely to get between the sheets will be when you roll over with a groan to face the alarm clock the next day.


This recipe appears in Margaret Fulton’s Book of Cocktails & Party Drinks (Octopus Books, 1984). Sure, the recipes are actually by Joe Turner and it’s possible that Fulton’s name only got whacked on the cover because, in an eerie parallel to 1984, propaganda – sorry, branding – was more important than the truth, but hell, it’s a good book nonetheless. Joe Turner may not be a household name but his book doubtless sold lots of copies and for that – and this recipe, among others – he deserves kudos. Kudos, Joe Turner. Kudos.

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