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The Nene Bird – A Rum and Campari Tiki Cocktail

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Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Leah Hall

A great tropical tiki rum pineapple Campari cocktail!


We love a good classic cocktail, and spend a lot of time perusing old cocktail recipe books and menus and making our versions of them. One area we haven’t really hit is the world of Tiki, that mythical world of tropical drinks, flaming mugs and enough rum to make Captain Jack Sparrow feel at home.


Until now we have been pretty content to sail on over to our local Tiki Bar and let them handle making the drinks, but when the folks at Liber & Co. sent us some of their syrups to try out, we decided to embrace our inner beach bums and make The Nene Bird.


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The Nene Bird - A Rum and Campari Cocktail in glass. Yellow straw, pineapple slice and strawberries. In background there is Liber and Co bottles, straws and muddler.

Campari Cocktail

Tiki drinks got their start ironically not in the Polynesian islands, but in Hollywood at a little place called Don The Beachcomber, where a man named Donn Beach started a Tiki movement in the 1930s. Originally named Ernest Gantt, Donn Beach lead a colorful life, running moonshine during Prohibition, and then traveling the South Pacific and the islands of the Caribbean where he fell in love with the charms of island life.

The Nene Bird - A Rum and Campari Cocktail in glass with strawberry, pineapple slice and yellow straw. LIber and Company bottles, flowers, muddler and jigger in background

Jigger / Muddler / Shaker

After moving to Hollywood in the 1930s, Donn Beach started up a bar decorated with his souvenirs from his tropical travels. Donn started serving drinks made with lots of rum, fruit juices and flavored syrups and packaging the concoction in Polynesian themed glassware.


His over the top presentation proved to be popular, and after World War II concluded and the servicemen of the Pacific Theater returned with tales from the islands of the South Pacific, a Tiki craze swept the nation.


What do you think of When You Hear Tiki?

Popular during the 1950s and 60s, Tiki bars were a way to travel to the tropics with out even leaving your neighborhood. Full of beachy themed decor, tropical flavors and lots of fun mythology, the Tiki bar was perfectly campy for the era. In the 1970s, Tiki fell by the wayside and like many of the cocktails of earlier eras the drinks were doomed to fade away.


Thankfully some of the original bartenders from famous Tiki bars like Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s kept the spirit alive until the 2000’s when a Tiki revival took place.

The Nene Bird - A Rum and Campari Cocktail in glass with muddler and flowers, jigger and straws in background

Shrunken head mugs, flaming cocktail bowls and lots of beach themed music, Tiki drinks are big fruity boozy cocktails with lots of fun names. This is where the folks from Liber & Co came in with their cocktail syrups. The Liber & Co. Tiki collection comes with some classic tiki flavors, Pineapple Gum Syrup, Orgeat and Passion Fruit.


Liber & Co

The syrups are made using Liber & Co’s specialty process and premium fresh fruits and natural flavors which results in a high quality fresh tasting cocktail syrup perfect for mixing cocktails!

The Nene Bird - A Rum and Campari Cocktail in glass with yellow straw, pineapple slice and strawberry

How About a Tropical Cocktail?

Today’s cocktail, the Nene Bird, is named for a beautiful bird found in the Hawaiian islands which also happens to be known as the Hawaiian goose! Drawing lots of inspiration from tropical flavors like aged rum, fresh pineapple, orgeat and passion fruit. the Nene Bird Cocktail is our take on a Tiki Cocktail.

Starting out with a nice demerara sugar based rum as our base to bring a rich note of vanilla and cane sugar, the rum sets the stage for the tropical flavors to shine.


What Other Flavors did We Add?

We next added in a fresh pineapple puree and some fresh muddled strawberries. The fresh pineapple brings a sweet tropical tartness, while the fresh strawberries adds berry freshness, while adding in the nice red flavor of the cocktail’s name sake. Needing sweetness to bring the drink into balance, we add in some of the passion fruit syrup and the orgeat.


The passion fruit syrup adds a tropical sweetness that also has a great aroma of the passion fruit. Orgeat adds a hint of orange and a sweet nuttiness while also adding a smooth creaminess that makes the Nene a smooth sipper.

The Nene Bird - A Rum and Campari Cocktail in glass with yellow straw, strawberry and pineapple slice

What Ingredients are Needed for the Nene Bird Cocktail?

  • Strawberries
  • Orgeat
  • Passion Fruit Syrup
  • Pineapple Puree
  • Campari
  • Aged Rum


All those tropical flavors can tend to bring a lot of sweetness which can make the drink overly sweet. We turned to a classic way to temper the sweetness and added a little Campari. The Campari brings the bitterness of a grapefruit, which works really well with the sweetness of the rum and tropical fruits.


Campari also has a rich red color, which is perfect for this drink! Although the Nene is black and white and quite boring, we felt a bright color honored it better!

The Nene Bird - A Rum and Campari Cocktail in glass with yellow straw, pineapple and strawberry. Straws in background

Paper Straws

The Nene is a great Tiki inspired Campari cocktail, full of tropical flavors, classically bold and fruity. Give the Nene a try and you might find yourself transported away to a tropical location! Make sure to check out our Coconut Rum Painkiller, too!




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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

A pair of tiki glasses full of The Rambler's Ruby, a tiki cocktail made with Gin and Mezcal.The Rambler’s Ruby Tiki Cocktail


Fall in Paradise Tiki Cocktail

Other Rum Tiki Cocktails

The Nene Bird, pink cocktail in glass with yellow straw and strawberry. Greenery and jigger behind
Yield: 1

The Nene Bird - A Rum and Campari Tiki Cocktail

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

A rum tiki cocktail with tropical flavors, pineapple, passion fruit and orgeat.


Nene Bird Cocktail

  • 2 strawberries, chopped
  • 1.75 ounces aged rum
  • .75 ounce Campari
  • .75 ounce passion fruit syrup
  • .50 ounce pineapple puree
  • .50 ounce orgeat
  • strawberry and pineapple wedge for garnish


Fill a rocks glass halfway with crushed ice.

Muddle chopped strawberries until fully broken down.

Add remaining ingredients to a shaker with ice.

Shake until chilled.

Strain into a chilled rocks glass.

Garnish with a strawberry and a pineapple wedge.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 324Total Fat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 44.4gFiber: 0.7gSugar: 33.7gProtein: 0.6g

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Tuesday 11th of May 2021

Nenes are not red, they are black and grey and brown. This looks like a great tiki drink, though.

The 'Noms.

Tuesday 11th of May 2021

You are correct. Which is something we learned when we went to Hawaii the other year. Thanks for telling us, and I updated this old post to reflect that. Cheers!


Wednesday 8th of March 2017

This drink makes me think of summer so much. Can't wait for the weather to get warmer

The 'Noms.

Monday 13th of March 2017

It is perfect for spring and summer! Cheers!

J at

Monday 6th of March 2017

Strawberries, pineapple, and passionfruit flavors!!!! Count me in every time! This looks and sounds amazing. Now I want to be on a tropical island with one of these in my hand!

The 'Noms.

Monday 13th of March 2017

It's a great combo! Cheers to warmer weather and tropical places!


Monday 6th of March 2017

This sounds like such a fun drink for summer - I love the flavors!! It seems like a lot of foods and drinks actually got their name from somewhere other than where we think - I had no idea about the story behind this one :)

The 'Noms.

Monday 13th of March 2017

It is perfect for summer, and we love the history of drinks, makes them so fun!

Amanda {Striped Spatula}

Monday 6th of March 2017

These syrups from Liber & Co. sound fantastic. I'm definitely going to have to try the passion fruit one. And this cocktail? Love! It's putting me right in the mood for summer, where my heart desperately wants to be. What a gorgeous color!

The 'Noms.

Monday 13th of March 2017

They are pretty great, and we can't wait to use them in some other cocktails! I sooooo want it to be summer already!

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