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. For a low-proof version of this drink, try Caleño Dark & Spicy Tropical Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the rum.

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 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 a neutral alcohol. We used Great Lakes Distillery Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Absinthe in place of the absinthe.

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 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)
$11.99

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
 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
 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

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

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

Libbey 3717 Embassy Stemware - 13-1/4 oz. Poco Grande Glass
Libbey 3717 Embassy Stemware – 13-1/4 oz. Poco Grande Glass
Model : 3717; Chip-resistant rim and foot; Excellent clarity; Dishwasher safe; Use Traex rack TR-6BBB with this Embassy Royale Poco Grande Glass
$73.99
Epure Milano Collection Glass Drinkware Set (Bloom Hurricane Glass (11 oz) - 4 Piece)
Epure Milano Collection Glass Drinkware Set (Bloom Hurricane Glass (11 oz) – 4 Piece)
Set includes 4, 11 oz clear hurricane glasses that will enhance your drinking experience.; care instructions: Machine Wash
$27.99
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
$16.99

More Tiki Cocktails

If you like this tiki 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

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