Iron Ranger (Variation)

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Cocktail History

The Iron Ranger is a modern tiki cocktail recipe that was created by Erick Castro at Raised by Wolves in San Diego, California. It uses a fairly classic tiki formula but substitutes a punchy bourbon in place of the typical rum and pairs it with fruit and citrus. Our variation also adds cinnamon flavor into the mix for additional spice.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Bourbon: This is the base spirit. Sources differed on what bourbon to use in this recipe, but we went with Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon because it lends a deeper oakiness to the drink. Plus, its high-rye mashbill also adds more spiciness. 

Pineapple Juice: This adds sweet and fruity pineapple flavor. We prefer fresh pineapple juice, but you can substitute canned juice if that’s easier than juicing an entire pineapple.

Lemon Juice: This adds sour citrus flavors for balance. We prefer to use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Velvet Falernum Liqueur: This is a low-proof liqueur. It adds Caribbean flair with an infusion of botanicals along with lime, almond, and cloves.

Cinnamon Syrup: This is a sweetener made with cinnamon sticks, white sugar, gum Arabic powder, saline solution, and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s sous vide recipe.

Angostura Aromatic Bitters: This is a type of spirit infused with botanicals. They add more spice and complexity to the drink and tie the other flavors together.

Mint: This is one of the garnishes. It adds fragrant mint aroma.

Cinnamon Stick: This is the other garnish. We used cinnamon sticks from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

Tasting Notes

This variation of the Iron Ranger features strong aromas of cinnamon and mint and a fairly pineapple-forward flavor with a lingering spicy finish, as the slight bourbon burn combines with the spices.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: While fairly strong, the Iron Ranger is very crushable and perfect for a hot day when you’re feeling tropical but want something a bit different from the classic rum-and-citrus combination in most tiki drinks. It’s also a great alternative for those like Kendall who may not normally prefer bourbon.

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Since the repertoire of bourbon-based tiki cocktails isn’t massive, this one has an easy time standing out, though I would argue that even with a ton of competition it would rise above the rest. The combination of a strong, high-rye bourbon and pineapple juice is unexpectedly good; meanwhile, the lemon stands by to balance and the exotic spices from the syrup and falernum give it an extra kick of flavor. We found that giving our cinnamon stick a brief torch helped to release some of the aromas and allowed the eventual spiciness of cinnamon to come forward just a bit. I thoroughly love this as a tiki drink, and I will never hesitate to whip this one out in the absence of rum.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Bourbon and cinnamon are already a match made in cocktail heaven, but when you turn them tiki, you get this untraditional yet surprisingly delicious drink. I didn’t expect to love a bourbon base in a tropical recipe quite as much as I did, but the Iron Ranger is next-level. Add it to your rotation pronto!”

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 Bourbon
 1 oz Pineapple Juice
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Velvet Falernum Liqueur
 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
 1 Mint Sprig
 1 Cinnamon Stick

Method
1

Add bourbon, pineapple juice, lemon juice, velvet falernum liqueur, cinnamon syrup, bitters, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a tiki glass over crushed ice.

4

Garnish with cinnamon stick and mint sprig.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Bourbon
 1 oz Pineapple Juice
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Velvet Falernum Liqueur
 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
 1 Mint Sprig
 1 Cinnamon Stick

Directions

Method
1

Add bourbon, pineapple juice, lemon juice, velvet falernum liqueur, cinnamon syrup, bitters, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a tiki glass over crushed ice.

4

Garnish with cinnamon stick and mint sprig.

Iron Ranger (Variation)

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:

Privateer: A tequila cocktail made with passion fruit syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice, smoke and salt bitters, rosemary, and Tajín

Ginger Inferno: A rum cocktail made with ginger liqueur, velvet falernum liqueur, lime juice, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, a lime slice, and candied ginger

Brancolada: A rum cocktail made with Fernet-Branca Menta, pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut cream, mint, and an orange wedge

Fog Cutter: A rum, brandy, gin, and sherry cocktail made with triple sec, lemon juice, orgeat syrup, an orange peel, mint, and an orchid blossom

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