An award-winning barista’s coffee mocktail recipe

Keith Koay, the reigning champion of the Malaysia Barista Championships (MBC), has created an amazing coffee mocktail inspired by the Jungle Bird.

First of all, have you even heard of the Jungle Bird? No, it is not a flying creature but rather a cocktail that is actually quite popular all over the world.

Most notable about this particular drink is that it originates from Malaysia. As a matter of fact, some pretty extensive research by Thirst Magazine places the birth of this cocktail in 1973 at the Hilton, Kuala Lumpur.

Originally the recipe consisted of dark rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime and simple syrup.

Evolution of the Jungle Bird

Inspired by the origins of the Jungle Bird, Keith created a non-alcoholic coffee mocktail version. Just imagine the bitterness of espresso, the sweetness of pineapple and the sharp notes of citrus lime blending smoothly together.

The flavour is sweet, bitter and citrusy all at the same time. Think dark fruity chocolate with a serious kick.


Sounds amazing right? We are so fortunate that Keith was generous enough to share his recipe with us.

Jungle Bird for the coffee mocktail addict

Before you jump right into making this coffee mocktail for yourself, be aware that there are two main ingredients you will have to make at home a couple of days in advance.

Perhaps you’ll be able to source ready-made versions but if not, you may have to get started ahead of time. So, the two ingredients that need advance preparation include fermented pineapple juice and citrus oil.

Ingredients: Serving size – 1

• 1 shot espresso

• 5g fermented pineapple juice (1-part pineapple juice to 1-part cane sugar)

• 1g citrus oil (1-part grapefruit rind to 1-part sugar)

• 1g key lime

• 1g simple syrup

• A slice of dehydrated pineapple (optional)


If you’re making your own fermented pineapple juice and citrus oil, follow the two steps below:

• To make homemade fermented pineapple juice, take 1-part pineapple juice to 1-part cane sugar and mix it together. Leave it sealed in a bottle for 48 hours.

• For the citrus oil, peel the rind of a grapefruit and add equal parts sugar. Meaning 1-part rind to 1-part sugar. Make sure you don’t get any of the white parts of the grapefruit in the mix. Press out any air, seal and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

Once you have fermented pineapple juice and citrus oil, you can put together Keith’s coffee version of the Jungle Bird.

• Add pineapple juice, citrus oil, key lime and simple syrup into the shot of espresso.

• Swirl to combine all the ingredients.

• Pour over a nice big chunk of clear ice.

• Top with a dried pineapple slice for full effect.

• Enjoy.

If making this coffee mocktail sounds like too much work, just head over to one of Keith’s outlets. You’ll find his One Half Coffee Bar inside Random Food Store in Damansara Utama and Ilaika in Petaling Jaya.

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