Rum to the Jungle

Fanny Chu, Donna | Brooklyn, NY

The Rum to the Jungle is Fanny Chu’s nut-free take on the Mai Tai. “I feel really bad that people can’t taste a proper Mai Tai,” says Chu, noting that allergies to the almond-based orgeat preclude many people from trying one of her favorite drinks. Her Rum to the Jungle calls on a house-made cinnamon oat syrup in place of orgeat as well as Clairin and banana liqueur, an oddball addition that manages to make this spin even more tropical than the original.


Serving: 1

  • 2 1/4 ounces Jungle Batch (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1 ounce cinnamon oat syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce port, preferably Graham's Six Grapes Reserve Port, to top

Garnish: mint sprig, orchid, torched cinnamon stick

  1. Combine all ingredients, except port, in a mixing tin, and whip shake with a few pieces of pebble ice.
  2. Strain into a snifter glass over pebble ice.
  3. Top with port, then add more pebble ice.
  4. Garnish with mint sprigs, orchid and torched cinnamon stick.
Editor's Note

Jungle Batch:
1 1/4 ounces El Dorado 8 Year rum
3/4 ounce Clairin Casimir rum 
1/4 ounce Giffard Banane du Brésil

Combine all ingredients in a container and stir.

Oat Syrup:
1 cup gluten-free oats
4 cups water
cane sugar

Rinse and soak oats overnight. Discard water, and add 4 cups of fresh water to rinsed oats in a Vitamix. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes. Strain mixture, discard oats. Measure 3 parts oat milk, 4 parts cane sugar (about 24 ounces oat milk to 32 ounces cane sugar). Blend very well until syrup is not grainy.

Cinnamon Bark Syrup:
25 grams cinnamon bark
2 cups sugar
2 cups water

Add cinnamon bark to a pot with muddle until broken up into small pieces. Toast cinnamon over burner until fragrant. Add sugar and water, then bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Allow to cool, then pour into a nonreactive container and store overnight. Strain through a chinois, then store in a container. Keeps up to 1 month.

To make the cinnamon oat syrup, combine 3 parts oat syrup and 1 part cinnamon bark syrup.