Cobra’s Fang

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Cocktail History

The Cobra’s Fang is a classic tiki cocktail that was originally created in the 1930s by Don the Beachcomber at his bar in Hollywood, California. This version by Patrick Gartner at 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 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:

Dark Rum: This is a type of rum made with molasses or sugarcane juice, spices, and alcohol that has been barrel aged for a long period of time. This recipe specifically calls for Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaican Rum because it has an extremely unique flavor with notes of caramelized banana, exotic fruits, and baking spices and an earthy finish. For a low-proof version of this drink, try Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the dark rum.

Orange Juice: This is the liquid juice of an orange. We used freshly squeezed orange juice.

Lime Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lime. We used freshly squeezed lime juice.

Passion Fruit Syrup: This is a sweetener made with passion fruit juice, cane sugar, and gum Arabic powder. We used Liber & Co. Tropical Passion Fruit Syrup because it has a tangy, fresh flavor.

Swedish Punsch: This is a liqueur made in Sweden or Norway with spices, citrus, sugar, and rum. We used KRONAN Premium Swedish Punsch because it has intense flavors of allspice, cloves, licorice, caramel, and dried oranges.

Grenadine: This is a sweetener made with pomegranate juice and white sugar. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Absinthe: This is a spirit made with anise, wormwood, fennel, botanicals, and alcohol. We used Great Lakes Distillery Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte because it’s flavorful and made locally to us. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Absinthe in place of the absinthe.

Pineapple Fronds: This the leaf of a pineapple.

Snake Orange Peel: This is the peel of an orange that has been cut into a snake shape and had cloves added to resemble the snake’s eyes.

Bartending Tools

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

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut citrus into slices or wheels. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Peeler: This is used to remove the garnish peel from the citrus. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

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 the Cobra’s Fang 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!

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

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.

Sale
Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes
Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Frechette, Chloe (Author); English (Publication Language); 176 Pages – 05/12/2020 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$11.39 Amazon Prime

AuthorEasy Tiki

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Dark Rum
 ½ oz Orange Juice
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Passion Fruit Syrup
 ¼ oz Swedish Punsch
 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 cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

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

4

Garnish with pineapple fronds and snake orange peel.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Dark Rum
 ½ oz Orange Juice
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Passion Fruit Syrup
 ¼ oz Swedish Punsch
 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 cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

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

4

Garnish with pineapple fronds and snake orange peel.

Cobra’s Fang

Make It a Mocktail: Use Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the dark rum and Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Absinthe in place of the absinthe to try a low-proof version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Libbey 3717 Embassy 13.25 Ounce Poco Grande Glass - 12 / CS
Libbey 3717 Embassy 13.25 Ounce Poco Grande Glass – 12 / CS
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SELPONT tion 4 Piece Glass Set – For Drinking Brandy, Bourbon, and Wine (Bran Garden sculpture outdoor decoration
Set includes 4, 11 oz clear hurricane glasses that will enhance your drinking experience.; care instructions: Machine Wash
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
Sturdy, stainless steel blade; Soft, comfortable, non-slip handle ensures a safe grip; Hand wash with warm, soapy water and promptly dry
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OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set - Swivel and Julienne
OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set – Swivel and Julienne
Sharp, durable, Japanese stainless steel blades won’t rust; Straight Peeler all-purpose design for effortless prep
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More Tiki Cocktails

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

Nui Nui Cocktail Recipe

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 Cocktail Recipe

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 Cocktail Recipe

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

Jamaican Mule Cocktail Recipe

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

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-06-23.

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