Yellow Bird Cocktail Drink

Yellow Bird

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

When summer calls for a standout drink, turn to the Yellow Bird recipe. You can make this exquisite cocktail with just a few ingredients and satisfy your cravings.

Yellow Bird Recipe

Make your summer gatherings memorable with our Yellow Bird recipe! Showcasing white rum, Galliano, triple sec, and a burst of lime, it's the drink everyone will be asking for.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

160 kl

Ingredients

  • 1 oz White Rum
  • ½ oz Galliano
  • ½ oz Triple Sec
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wheel or twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer
  • Martini Glass

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Place your martini glass in the freezer or fill it with ice cubes to chill.
  • Add Lime Juice: Squeeze some limes to pour ½ oz fresh lime juice into the shaker.
  • Add Triple Sec: Incorporate ½ oz Triple Sec to the mix.
  • Add Galliano: Measure and pour ½ oz Galliano into the shaker.
  • Add White Rum: Pour 1 oz White Rum into the shaker.
  • Shake Well: Add ice into the shaker and shake the mixture vigorously until well chilled.
  • Strain and Pour: Fine strain the mixture into your chilled Martini glass, without ice cubes.
  • Garnish: Decorate with a lime wheel or twist.

Notes

 Substitutes:

  • White Rum: I've occasionally swapped out white rum for aged rum when I'm after a more robust flavor. If you're out of rum, tequila can be an interesting twist, although the drink's character changes significantly.
  • Galliano: Anise liqueurs like Sambuca can replace Galliano, though the vanilla note might be missing. You might want to add a hint of vanilla extract to compensate.
  • Triple Sec: Grand Marnier offers a richer, brandy-like depth instead of triple sec. Curaçao can be another alternative, especially if you want a vibrant color.

Making a Pitcher of Yellow Bird:

  • Scale: To craft a pitcher serving 8, multiply all ingredients by 8, resulting in 8 oz of white rum, and 4 oz of Galliano, triple sec, and lime juice.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, blend the white rum, Galliano, triple sec, and lime juice. Give it a good stir.
  • Serve: Pour into individual ice-filled glasses, adorn with a lime wheel or twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • White Rum Substitute: There are non-alcoholic rum alternatives available in the market that can emulate the light, sweet characteristics of rum.
  • Galliano and Triple Sec Substitute: Mimic the flavors using non-alcoholic vanilla extract (just a few drops) and a splash of orange juice or non-alcoholic orange syrup.
  • Proceed As Usual: With these non-alcoholic alternatives in place, follow the main instructions and relish a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

Good news! The traditional cocktail is naturally vegan. However, always double-check your liqueurs and mixers, as some might contain animal-derived ingredients or use non-vegan processes. When in doubt, consult with the manufacturer or choose certified vegan products.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
160
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.1
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sodium
 
2
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
10
g
3
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
9
g
10
%
Potassium
 
21
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin A
 
7
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
4
mg
5
%
Calcium
 
2
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.03
mg
0
%

 

Yellow Bird Cocktail Drink

Yellow Bird Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Make your summer gatherings memorable with our Yellow Bird recipe! Showcasing white rum, Galliano, triple sec, and a burst of lime, it's the drink everyone will be asking for.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 160

Ingredients
 

  • 1 oz White Rum
  • ½ oz Galliano
  • ½ oz Triple Sec
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wheel or twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer
  • Martini Glass

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Place your martini glass in the freezer or fill it with ice cubes to chill.
  • Add Lime Juice: Squeeze some limes to pour ½ oz fresh lime juice into the shaker.
  • Add Triple Sec: Incorporate ½ oz Triple Sec to the mix.
  • Add Galliano: Measure and pour ½ oz Galliano into the shaker.
  • Add White Rum: Pour 1 oz White Rum into the shaker.
  • Shake Well: Add ice into the shaker and shake the mixture vigorously until well chilled.
  • Strain and Pour: Fine strain the mixture into your chilled Martini glass, without ice cubes.
  • Garnish: Decorate with a lime wheel or twist.

Notes

 Substitutes:

  • White Rum: I've occasionally swapped out white rum for aged rum when I'm after a more robust flavor. If you're out of rum, tequila can be an interesting twist, although the drink's character changes significantly.
  • Galliano: Anise liqueurs like Sambuca can replace Galliano, though the vanilla note might be missing. You might want to add a hint of vanilla extract to compensate.
  • Triple Sec: Grand Marnier offers a richer, brandy-like depth instead of triple sec. Curaçao can be another alternative, especially if you want a vibrant color.

Making a Pitcher of Yellow Bird:

  • Scale: To craft a pitcher serving 8, multiply all ingredients by 8, resulting in 8 oz of white rum, and 4 oz of Galliano, triple sec, and lime juice.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, blend the white rum, Galliano, triple sec, and lime juice. Give it a good stir.
  • Serve: Pour into individual ice-filled glasses, adorn with a lime wheel or twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • White Rum Substitute: There are non-alcoholic rum alternatives available in the market that can emulate the light, sweet characteristics of rum.
  • Galliano and Triple Sec Substitute: Mimic the flavors using non-alcoholic vanilla extract (just a few drops) and a splash of orange juice or non-alcoholic orange syrup.
  • Proceed As Usual: With these non-alcoholic alternatives in place, follow the main instructions and relish a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

Good news! The traditional cocktail is naturally vegan. However, always double-check your liqueurs and mixers, as some might contain animal-derived ingredients or use non-vegan processes. When in doubt, consult with the manufacturer or choose certified vegan products.

What is a Yellow Bird Cocktail?

Yellow Bird is a cocktail that blends white rum, Galliano, triple sec, and lime juice. Many consider it a staple in tropical drinks, capturing the essence of sunny locales in its taste. The name “Yellow Bird” might evoke thoughts of sunlit shores and beachfront bars.

A side shot of a Yellow Bird cocktail in a coupe glass on a wooden coaster placed on a white marmol table with lime pieces, a bar spoon, and a white striped cloth around.

What is a Yellow Bird Cocktail made of – The ingredients

Before you start making your own Yellow Bird, collect these ingredients:

  • White Rum: The primary spirit that provides the base strength and lightly sweet character.
  • Galliano: An herbal liqueur that introduces hints of anise and vanilla, enhancing the cocktail’s complexity.
  • Triple Sec: An orange-flavored liqueur brings a citrusy sweetness to balance the drink.
  • Lime Juice: Offers a tart kick, ensuring the cocktail remains refreshing and not overly sweet.

White rum, Cointreau, Galliano and two limes laid otu on a white bar table.

How do you make a Yellow Bird Cocktail?

Join us in making a perfect Yellow Bird by following our guide:

1
<p>Place a Martini glass in the freezer or fill it with ice cubes, to chill the glass.</p>

Place a Martini glass in the freezer or fill it with ice cubes, to chill the glass.

2
<p>Squeeze fresh lime juice into the shaker, giving the mixture its essential tartness.</p>

Squeeze fresh lime juice into the shaker, giving the mixture its essential tartness.

3
<p>Incorporate triple sec to lend the cocktail its citrusy sweetness.</p>

Incorporate triple sec to lend the cocktail its citrusy sweetness.

4
<p>Add Galliano to infuse the drink with its distinct anise and vanilla notes.</p>

Add Galliano to infuse the drink with its distinct anise and vanilla notes.

5
<p>Pour white rum into the shaker, introducing the cocktail’s primary spirit.</p>

Pour white rum into the shaker, introducing the cocktail’s primary spirit.

6
<p>Fill the shaker three-quarters full of ice.</p>

Fill the shaker three-quarters full of ice.

7
<p>Shake the ingredients vigorously until the shaker feels cold to ensure everything blends seamlessly.</p>

Shake the ingredients vigorously until the shaker feels cold to ensure everything blends seamlessly.

8
<p>Remove the ice cubes from your chilled Martini glass.</p>

Remove the ice cubes from your chilled Martini glass.

9
<p>Strain the well-chilled mixture into your chilled Martini glass.</p>

Strain the well-chilled mixture into your chilled Martini glass.

10
<p>Garnish with a lime wheel or twist.</p>

Garnish with a lime wheel or twist.

11
<p>Enjoy your Yellow Bird cocktail!</p>

Enjoy your Yellow Bird cocktail!

Yellow Bird Cocktail with Vodka

Swapping out rum for vodka in the Yellow Bird is an exciting twist for those looking to change things up. Vodka brings a clean, neutral foundation, allowing the other ingredients like Galliano and Triple Sec to shine. For vodka options, brands such as Tito’s, Grey Goose, and Absolut stand out due to their purity and smoothness. I’d suggest going with Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Its slightly creamy texture and absence of harshness mesh perfectly with the citrusy and herbal notes of the drink.

Best Rum for a Yellow Bird Cocktail

Choosing the right rum for your Yellow Bird can make a difference in taste and experience. While many rums fit the bill, a few stand out. Bacardi’s light white rum brings a crisp, clean base, while Havana Club imparts a slightly richer, more nuanced flavor profile. Mount Gay, with its hints of vanilla and tropical fruits, can add an extra layer of depth. However, I’d lean toward Appleton Estate’s Signature Blend for a truly exceptional drink. Hailing from Jamaica, this rum offers a balanced harmony of warmth and sweetness that pairs seamlessly with the cocktail’s citrus and herbal elements.

A Yellow Bird cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a wooden coaster placed on a white marmol table with lime pieces, a bar spoon, and a white striped cloth around.

What is a Bahama Yellow Bird Cocktail?

Bahama Yellow Bird is a tropical cocktail originating from the Bahamas. This drink stands out with its delightful combination of white rum, banana liqueur, apricot brandy, and fresh citrus juices. Often sipped beachside, it captures the essence of island life, offering a refreshing taste that resonates with locals and tourists. The vibrant yellow hue, primarily from the banana liqueur, gives the drink its catchy name.

A side shot of a Yellow Bird cocktail in a coupe glass on a wooden coaster placed on a white marmol table with lime pieces, a bar spoon, and a white striped cloth around.

History and Origin of the Yellow Bird Cocktail

The exact origins of the Yellow Bird cocktail remain elusive, with multiple theories and stories circulating about its birth. One widely accepted narrative is that the Yellow Bird owes its creation to the Caribbean, specifically in the 1960s when tropical drinks gained immense popularity among tourists. The cocktail’s name likely draws inspiration from the song “Yellow Bird,” which became a hit in the late 1950s and early 1960s by the Arthur Lyman Group. With its Hawaiian-Calypso melody, this song encapsulated the tropical, laid-back mood of the era.

Many believe that bartenders in the Caribbean, recognizing the song’s popularity, crafted a drink that would embody its cheerful and vibrant spirit.

A Yellow Bird cocktail on a white marmol table with three limes, a white rum bottle, a Galliano bottle and Cointreau bottle

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Yellow Bird?
A typical serving has approximately 150-200 calories, depending on the specific ingredients and serving size.
How strong is a Yellow Bird cocktail in terms of ABV and proof?
The Yellow Bird generally has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of around 20-25%, translating to 40-50 proof, based on the specific alcohols used.
What type of alcohol is used in a Yellow Bird?
White rum serves as the primary alcoholic component in a Yellow Bird.
In which kind of glass is the Yellow Bird typically served?
It's traditionally served in a cocktail glass.
What does a Yellow Bird taste like?
The Yellow Bird offers a balanced combination of citrusy sweetness, with herbal undertones from the Galliano and a refreshing kick from the lime juice.
What's the general ratio of ingredients in a Yellow Bird?
A classic version maintains a 1:½:½  ratio of white rum, Galliano, and triple sec, with lime juice adjusted to taste.
How is the Yellow Bird served in terms of ice?
The cocktail is usually shaken with ice and then strained into a glass, serving it "up" without ice in the final presentation.

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