Cobra’s Fang

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Cocktail History

The Cobra’s Fang is a classic tiki cocktail that was originally created by Don the Beachcomber in the 1930s at his bar in Hollywood, California. This version by Patrick Gartner of Donna in New York City, New York streamlines the recipe by utilizing Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaican Rum in place of a blend of Demerara and Jamaican rums and opting for Swedish punsch, a Nordic rum liqueur, instead of Angostura aromatic bitters and velvet falernum liqueur. It then pairs these flavors with the classic template’s citrus juices, passion fruit flavor, grenadine, and its famous snake head garnish.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Jamaican Rum: This is the base spirit. This recipe specifically calls for Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaican Rum for its notes of caramelized banana, exotic fruits, and baking spices and its earthy finish.

Orange Juice: This adds sweet citrus flavors for balance. We prefer fresh orange juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Lime Juice: This adds sour citrus flavors. Again, we prefer fresh lime juice.

Passion Fruit Syrup: This is a sweetener made with passion fruit juice, cane sugar, gum Arabic powder, and benzoic acid. We used Liber & Co. Tropical Passion Fruit Syrup for its tangy and lush taste.

Swedish Punsch: This is a Nordic rum liqueur. We used KRONAN Swedish Punsch for its intense flavors of allspice, cloves, licorice, caramel, and dried oranges.

Grenadine: This is a sweetener made with pomegranate juice, sugar, and orange blossom water. We made ours using Alex’s homemade recipe.

Absinthe: This is another spirit. It adds distinct licorice aroma. We used Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte made by Great Lakes Distillery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin because it’s made locally to us.

Pineapple Fronds: This is one of the garnishes. They’re added for fun, not so much for flavor.

Snake Orange Peel: This is the other garnish. Alex cut out ours with a peeler and paring knife and used cloves for the eyes.

Tasting Notes

The Cobra’s Fang features scents of orange and rum, has a deliciously fruity taste that begins with the sweet citrus juice and passionfruit combo and evolves into a boatload of spice and funk from the Swedish Punsch and high-proof rum, and leaves some additional spiciness from the absinthe and rum lingering on the tongue after the swallow.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both enjoyed this recipe quite a bit and agreed it had earned its prominence in tiki culture. We also had just as much fun making it as we did drinking it. It is a boozy one though, so make sure your snake heads are made before you take the first sip!

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This is one of those iconic tiki drinks, in my opinion, because everything about it screams ‘classic 1930’s tiki bar.’ It’s full of fruit juice, has a ton of exotic spices, and is chock full of alcohol with the two ounces of rum. Next to the Zombie, I would call this the second most dangerously tasty tiki recipe out there; however, while the Zombie’s taste is soft enough to appeal to anybody, the spiciness and funk of this one might be enough to ward off any tiki rookies.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“Yowza, this is one serious tiki drink! You likely wouldn’t expect it to be from its cheeky snake-shaped garnish, but this is a cocktail not to be trifled with thanks to its high alcohol content and explosion of flavors. This was my first time trying Smith & Cross Rum in a recipe, and it has an incredibly unique rum funk and a twinge of sourness. I wouldn’t rank this in my top three favorite tiki drinks, but it’s definitely in the top ten. Worth trying, for sure!”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes by Chloe Frechette.

AuthorEasy TikiPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 oz Jamaican Rum
 ½ oz Orange Juice
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Passion Fruit Syrup
 ¼ oz Swedish Punsch
 ¼ oz Homemade Grenadine
 2 dashes Absinthe
 2 Pineapple Fronds
 1 Snake Orange Peel

Method
1

Add rum, orange juice, lime juice, passion fruit syrup, Swedish punsch, grenadine, absinthe, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a hurricane or tiki glass over fresh crushed ice.

4

Garnish with pineapple fronds and snake orange peel.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Jamaican Rum
 ½ oz Orange Juice
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Passion Fruit Syrup
 ¼ oz Swedish Punsch
 ¼ oz Homemade Grenadine
 2 dashes Absinthe
 2 Pineapple Fronds
 1 Snake Orange Peel

Directions

Method
1

Add rum, orange juice, lime juice, passion fruit syrup, Swedish punsch, grenadine, absinthe, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a hurricane or tiki glass over fresh crushed ice.

4

Garnish with pineapple fronds and snake orange peel.

Cobra’s Fang

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Tiki Cocktails

If you like this tiki cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

 Nui Nui: A rum cocktail made with orange juice, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, vanilla syrup, St. Elizabeth’s allspice dram, Angostura aromatic bitters, an orange twist, and a cinnamon stick

 Greena Colada: A rum cocktail made with triple sec, lime juice, lemon juice, Green Chartreuse, velvet falernum liqueur, crème of coconut, mint, and a lime wheel

 Staycation: A rum and whiskey cocktail made with lemon juice, coconut cream, apricot liqueur, passion fruit syrup, a lemon slice, and mint

Jamaican Mule: A rum cocktail made with ginger syrup, lime juice, pineapple juice, Angostura aromatic bitters, candied ginger, a lime slice, and an orchid blossom

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