Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Cocktails

Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday cocktail
Image: A.J. Trela

You might know the Jungle Bird, a 1970s classic from the Aviary bar of the Kuala Lumpur Hilton. It features a flavorful combo of dark rum, Campari, lime, pineapple and demerara syrup, and since its debut, it’s become a Tiki favorite served in bars around the world.

This, however, is the Roman Holiday, a riff on the Jungle Bird that hails from Cindy’s, the beloved rooftop bar on top of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. It’s an updated take on the original that skips the rum entirely and instead calls for Amaro Meletti, a bittersweet Italian liqueur made with botanicals including anise, clove, gentian, orange peel, saffron and violet flower. The floral and caramel-like flavors provide a flavorful base for the other ingredients to play on.

Campari, another Italian liqueur, is used sparingly at just a quarter ounce, but it still shines through with its trademark notes of bitter orange. From there, the Roman Holiday features fresh pineapple and lime juices, demerara syrup and cold-brew coffee, so there’s a lot going on within. The drink is a deft balancing act between bitter and sweet, and the coffee imbues the whole thing with a vein of rich coffee flavor. A pinch of salt allows all of the ingredients to pop out of the glass, while a cinnamon stick garnish provides a pleasant aroma with each sip. Think of this like Tiki’s Italian cousin with a caffeine buzz.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Amaro Meletti
  • 1/4 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce cold-brew coffee
  • 3/4 ounce pineapple juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 ounce demerara syrup
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • Garnish: cinnamon stick

Steps

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a shaker with ice, and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a double rocks glass over crushed ice.

  3. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.