Jet Pilot Cocktail Recipe (Tiki Drink)

A jet pilot cocktail is a tropical drink that combines three types of rum: citrus juices, cinnamon syrup, falernum, and a dash of absinthe or Pernod. It is a spicy and refreshing drink perfect for a summer party or a cookout. It is a variation of the test pilot cocktail created by Donn Beach, the godfather of tiki drinks, in the 1940s. The jet pilot was invented in 1958 at the Luau Restaurant in Beverly Hills, owned by actor Steve Crane.

More than just a drink, the Jet Pilot offers a journey to the tropics with every sip. So, why wait? Mix, blend, and enjoy the latest Pilot Cocktail Recipe today.

Are you looking for more flavor? Check out our Irish Cream Syrup and Gingerbread Syrup recipes to add a festive twist to your cocktails!

What is a Jet Pilot Cocktail? 🍸

A Jet Pilot Cocktail is a type of tiki drink created in the 1950s by Don the Beachcomber, a famous restaurateur and cocktail pioneer. The drink’s original name was A Test Pilot, but it was later renamed to Jet Pilot to reflect the popularity of jet travel at the time. The drink is similar to another tiki classic, the Zombie, but it has less rum and more spices, making it more balanced and nuanced.

It is made with three kinds of rum: light, dark, and overproof. It also features lime, grapefruit, cinnamon syrup, falernum, angostura bitters, and a dash of absinthe. The result is a potent and flavorful drink that will make you feel like you are flying high.

The Jet Pilot Cocktail How to Make it? 🍹

Follow these easy steps and start to make your delicious cocktail jet pilot recipe.

  • 1 ounce over proof Jamaican rum 🧴
  • 3/4 ounce over proof demerara rum πŸ₯ƒ
  • 3/4 ounce gold rum 🍾
  • 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed 🍊
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed πŸ‹
  • 1/2 ounce falernum 🌿
  • 1 dash absinthe πŸ§šβ€β™‚οΈ
  • Garnish: maraschino cherry (and more, if desired) πŸ’
  • Add all ingredients into a blender with a cup of crushed ice.
  • Blend on high until combined but not completely smooth, about 5 seconds.
  • Pour into a double old-fashioned glass.
  • Garnish as desired.

Enjoy your tiki drink and also entertain yourself! 🍹

The Jet Pilot Cocktail Variations πŸ”„

Here are some variations and colorful flavors of the Jet Pilot:

  • Astronaut and Space Pilot: These are quirky Jet Age variations of it. The exact recipes might differ, but they maintain the tropical and exotic essence of the original cocktail.
  • Test Pilot: This is the predecessor of the Jet Pilot Recipe. It combines a blend of rums, Cointreau, falernum, lime juice, Angostura bitters, and Pernod with crushed ice in a blender.
  • Variation with Different Rums: You can experiment with different types of rum. For instance, you could use Jamaican, Puerto Rican, and Demerara rum. Or you could try a blend of Black Blended, Blended Aged, and Black Blended OP.
  • Anise Flavor Variations: You can play around with the anise flavor in the cocktail. While many people choose to go with Pernod or Herbsaint, an array of absinthes is available.

Remember, the beauty of cocktails is in their versatility. Feel free to experiment and find the best variation that suits your taste. Cheers! 🍹

Why You’ll Love this Cocktail 😍

You’ll love the Jet Pilot Cocktail because it’s more than just a drink – it’s an experience! 😍 Here’s why:

  • Exotic Flavors: The blend of rums, citrus juices, and exotic spices offers a unique, refreshing, and intriguing taste.
  • Tropical Escape: Every sip transports you to the tropics, making it a perfect escape from the daily grind.
  • Versatility: The Jet Pilot is versatile. You can enjoy it as is or experiment with variations to suit your taste.
  • Easy to Make: With our step-by-step guide, making the Jet Pilot at home is a breeze.
  • Perfect for Celebrations: Whether it’s New Year’s Eve, a birthday, or just a weekend, the Jet Pilot is the ideal cocktail to celebrate any occasion.

So, why wait? Try it, and let the good times roll! 🍹

What does a Jet Pilot Cocktail taste like?

A Jet Pilot tastes like a tropical paradise, balancing sweet, sour, spicy, and boozy flavors. The rum gives it a rich and smooth base, while the citrus juices add a refreshing and tangy touch. The cinnamon syrup and falernum add a warm and exotic spice, while the angostura bitters and absinthe add a bitter and herbal complexity. The drink is firm but smooth, making you feel relaxed and happy.

How to serve a Jet Pilot Cocktail?

It is best served in a tiki mug or a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. You can also garnish it with a lime wedge and a mint sprig for a pop of color and aroma. You can serve it as a solo drink or pair it with tropical snacks like coconut shrimp, pineapple salsa, or jerk chicken.

What is the difference between a Test Pilot and a jet pilot drink?

A Test Pilot and a Jet Pilot are both types of tiki drinks that Donn Beach invented in the 1950s. They are both made with rum, lime juice, falernum, and bitters, but they differ. A Test Pilot includes Cointreau and Pernod, while a Jet Pilot includes grapefruit juice and cinnamon syrup. A Test Pilot is less intense and more citrusy, while a Jet Pilot is more potent and spicier. Both drinks are blended with ice and served in tiki mugs or rock glasses.


A Jet Pilot Cocktail is perfect for anyone who loves tiki culture and rum. It is a classic cocktail that has a history and a personality, and it will make you feel like you are on vacation. It is easy to make at home with the right ingredients and tools. You can also customize it to your liking and try other variations and similar drinks. If you are looking for a way to spice up your cocktail game, give it a try. You won’t regret it!

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