“In Hindi, the word junglee means ‘from the wild,'” says Ashwin Vilkhu, whose family owns the beloved New Orleans restaurant Saffron. “My mother would call me junglee as a kid because I was a bit of a handful. I wanted to riff on one of my favorite tiki cocktails, the classic Jungle Bird, as it’s got a touch of bitterness with ripe pineapple flavors.” Vilkhu’s Jungle Bird variation contrasts elements of the traditional rum-based recipe with a Punjabi-inspired mango syrup and a touch of kosher salt solution.
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- Heatproof Liquid-Measuring Cup
- Squeeze Bottle
- Small Rimmed Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Medium Pot
- Slotted Spoon
- Heatproof Bowl
- Glass Bottle
- Tall Pilsner Glass
For the Saline Solution and Mango Syrup:
- 2½ tsp. (½ oz.) kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1 medium, semi-ripe Alphonso mango (1 lb. 2 oz.), unpeeled
- 2 tbsp. raw cane sugar
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp. Kashmiri chile powder (or substitute cayenne)
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of dried mint
For the Cocktail:
- 1½ oz. (3 Tbsp.) white rum
- ¾ oz. (1 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp.) passion fruit liqueur
- ½ oz. (2 tsp.) Campari
- ¼ oz. (1 ½ tsp.) falernum
- ½ oz. (1 Tbsp.) fresh lime juice
- Large mint sprig, for garnish
- Make the saline solution. In a heatproof liquid-measuring cup, add the salt and ⅔ cup boiling water; stir to dissolve. Set aside and let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a squeeze bottle.
- Make the mango syrup: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the mango on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the fruit is lightly browned on the bottom and just beginning to release its juices, about 20 minutes.
- In a medium pot, bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add the mango and cook until the flesh is very soft when poked with a knife, 18–20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mango to a heatproof bowl, leaving the cooking liquid in the pot; set the mango aside until it is cool enough to handle.
- Peel the skin off the mango; using your hands, squeeze the pulp off of the pit. Transfer the pulp to the pot of water, add the sugar, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to a blender, then add the lemon juice, chile powder, pepper, and mint. Blend until completely smooth. Set the syrup aside and let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a glass bottle or squeeze bottle. If not using immediately, store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make the cocktail: Fill a tall pilsner glass halfway with crushed ice. Add the rum, passion fruit liqueur, Campari, falernum, lime juice, ¾ ounce (1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons) mango syrup, and a dash of saline solution. Swizzle thoroughly, then top the glass with more crushed ice. Garnish with the mint sprig, then serve immediately with a straw.