One thing about me is that I love a good tiki cocktail. Hell, I love a bad tiki cocktail as long as the tiki bar is playing the right music and the decor is next-level kitsch. When I decided to throw my hat into the ring for this year's Tanteo Tequila Standoff competition, I grabbed a bottle of Tanteo Chipotle tequila and the brainstorm began. Naturally, a dozen variations of margaritas and even palomas raced through my mind, but I couldn't resist the urge to put my own smoky flair on one of my favorite tiki classics: the Junglebird.
By swapping out the traditional dark rum, I knew I would be missing out on some sweetness, so I traded the Campari for its slightly sweeter sister, Aperol. Did I stop there? Of course not. I decided to go with florals for spring (groundbreaking, I know) and cook up my own raspberry-hibiscus tea syrup. The end result is a smoky and sweet elixir reminiscent of a cozy beach bonfire.
For the syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
5 raspberry hibiscus tea bags
In a cocktail shaker
1.5 oz Tanteo Chipotle Tequila
1.5 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz Aperol
.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
.5 oz raspberry hibiscus tea syrup
Start by making the syrup. In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Add in the teabags and reduce to a slight simmer. Let that steep for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool and strain the liquid into an air-tight container. Syrup will keep in the fridge for a week.
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously with plenty of ice. Serve in your favorite tiki glass over ice, preferably of the pebble variety.
Go all out with garnishes (berries, pineapple chunks, flowers, umbrellas, etc) or start sipping immediately.