Iron Ranger (Variation)

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Cocktail History

The Iron Ranger is a modern cocktail 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 pineapple, citrus, velvet falernum, and bitters. This variation also adds cinnamon flavor into the mix via a homemade syrup for additional spice.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Bourbon: This is a type of whiskey made in the United States with at least 51% corn, grains, malted barley, and water. We used Wild Turkey 101 Straight Bourbon Whiskey because it has a deep oaky whiskey flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the whiskey. 

Pineapple Juice: This is the liquid juice of a pineapple. We used fresh pineapple juice.

Lemon Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lemon. We used freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Velvet Falernum Liqueur: This is a liqueur made with ginger, lime, almond, cloves, sugar, and alcohol. For a mocktail version of this drink, try BG Reynolds Falernum Bar Syrup in place of the velvet falernum liqueur.

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.

Aromatic Bitters: This is a food product made with botanicals, herbs, and alcohol. We used Angostura Aromatic Bitters. For a mocktail version of this drink, try All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Aromatic Bitters in place of the aromatic bitters.

Mint Sprig: This is an herb. We used Mojito mint.

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

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 ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Chef’s Knife: This is used to cut larger fruits and vegetables into slices for the garnish. We used the OXO Good Grips 8-Inch Chef’s Knife.

Pineapple Corer: This is used to remove the core of the pineapple before it’s juiced. We used the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus, fruits, and vegetables. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer for the lemon and the Hamilton Beach Large Juicer for the pineapple.

Tasting Notes

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.

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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: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“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)
$11.39 Amazon Prime

AuthorEasy Tiki

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

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

Method
1

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

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a tiki glass over fresh cracked 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 Aromatic Bitters
 1 Mint Sprig
 1 Cinnamon Stick

Directions

Method
1

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

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a tiki glass over fresh cracked ice.

4

Garnish with cinnamon stick and mint sprig.

Iron Ranger (Variation)

Make It a Mocktail: Use Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the whiskey, BG Reynolds Falernum Bar Syrup in place of the velvet falernum liqueur, and All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Aromatic Bitters in place of the aromatic bitters to try a booze-free 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 Tiki Mai Tai Glass, 6.75 ounce, Set of 4
Libbey Tiki Mai Tai Glass, 6.75 ounce, Set of 4
Stylish shape makes a classy vehicle for your favorite wine, mixed drink or mocktail; Lead-free
$39.99 Amazon Prime
Libbey Tiki Coupe Cocktail Glasses, 8.5-ounce, Set of 4
Libbey Tiki Coupe Cocktail Glasses, 8.5-ounce, Set of 4
Includes four 8.5-ounce coupe cocktail glasses (4.2-inch diameter by 5.73-inch height); Lead-free
$39.99 Amazon Prime
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
$9.95 Amazon Prime
Sale
OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Chef's Knife
OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Chef’s Knife
Canister automatically springs open when Toilet Brush is lifted; Sleek Canister neatly and discreetly stores Brush within easy reach
$20.74
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer & Slicer,Silver/Black
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer & Slicer,Silver/Black
Cores and slices whole pineapples quickly and easily; Measurement markings help prevent piercing the bottom of the shell
$22.95 Amazon Prime
Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth Large 3” Feed Chute for Whole Fruits and Vegetables, Easy to Clean, Centrifugal Extractor, BPA Free, 800W Motor, Black
Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth Large 3” Feed Chute for Whole Fruits and Vegetables, Easy to Clean, Centrifugal Extractor, BPA Free, 800W Motor, Black
Source: Circana, Retail Tracking Service, US Unit Sales, 12 Months Ending July 2023; Cup not included
$69.85 Amazon Prime

More Tiki Cocktails

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

Fog Cutter Cocktail Recipe

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

Privateer Cocktail Recipe

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

Ginger Inferno Cocktail Recipe

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

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

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 2024-02-26.

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