Iron Ranger Cocktail Recipe

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Iron Ranger Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:~20

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Iron Ranger cocktail is a tribute to the rugged spirit of the iron miners from the Mesabi Range in Minnesota. It's a drink that embodies the boldness and resilience of those who worked in harsh conditions to extract the valuable ore.

  • Who Would Like It: This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate a strong, spirit-forward drink with a balance of citrus and sweet flavors.
  • Inspiration: The combination of bourbon and tropical flavors is inspired by the Tiki culture, while the name and strength pay homage to the iron miners.

How Iron Ranger Tastes?

The Iron Ranger cocktail offers a robust and warming taste from the high-proof bourbon, which is perfectly balanced with the tartness of the lemon juice and the tropical sweetness of the pineapple juice. The velvet falernum adds a touch of spice and sweetness, while the bitters provide a complex aromatic finish. The garnish of mint and cinnamon adds a refreshing and fragrant touch to this bold concoction.

Interesting facts about Iron Ranger

  • The Iron Ranger cocktail is a modern creation, blending traditional bourbon whiskey with tropical Tiki flavors.
  • The high alcohol content in the bourbon used for this cocktail is a nod to the 'iron' in its name, symbolizing strength and fortitude.
  • The use of mint and cinnamon as garnish not only adds to the visual appeal but also enhances the sensory experience with their aromatic properties.


  • Bourbon: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Lemon juice: 0.75 oz(23ml)
  • Pineapple juice: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Velvet falernum: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Rich simple syrup: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Tiki bitters: 2 dashes
  • Mint: 1 bouquet
  • Ground cinnamon: 1 pinch


Bourbon is the soul of this cocktail, bringing a rich, sweet, and slightly smoky flavor which serves as the base for all other ingredients to dance on. It's a bold spirit, so 2 oz. is just enough to assert itself without bullying the other flavors. Too much, and you'll drown the nuanced whispers of the other ingredients; too little, and, well, it wouldn't be a proper cocktail, now, would it?

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

Fresh is best, my friends! ¾ oz. gives that zesty zing and balances out the sweetness. In the absence of this citrus symphony, you'd have a cloying, one-note drink. And we're not about flat tunes in this bar!

Emma Rose

Pineapple Juice

The exotic travel agent of the mix, 1 oz. takes your taste buds to the tropics. Pineapple juice adds a vibrant, fruity punch that plays well with bourbon's depth. If you skip it, you'd miss out on the vacation vibes that this ingredient provides.

Mary Mitkina

Velvet Falernum

This dear liqueur is like the eccentric aunt who always brings the best gifts—spice, sweetness, and a touch of almond. At ½ oz., it's just enough to make its presence known. More might turn your drink into a sugar bomb, while less would be like Auntie forgot your birthday.

Alex Green

Rich Simple Syrup

Because sometimes we need a little extra sweetness in our lives (and drinks), ½ oz. of this liquid gold helps smooth over any tart edges, ensuring your taste buds don't get into a tiff with the lemon's acidity. Skip it, and you might pucker up more than you'd like.

Emma Rose

Tiki Bitters

Ah, the mysterious elixir! A couple of dashes lend an exotic, nuanced spice. It’s like the secret handshake of the cocktail world; without it, you're just not in the club. And who wants to be left out of the club?

Mary Mitkina


The peacemaker. Mint cools things down and adds a refreshing note, ensuring each sip starts with a crisp introduction. The bouquet isn't just for looks; it's an integral part of the sensory experience, impacting both smell and taste.

Alex Green

Ground Cinnamon

The final flourish! Cinnamon is the sparkle on top that makes this cocktail Instagram-ready. But beware, a pinch is a delicate thing—if you're heavy-handed, you’ll overpower the rest of the flavors, turning this symphony into a solo.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Iron Ranger Drink

  1. Combine 2 oz. of bourbon, ¾ oz. of lemon juice, 1 oz. of pineapple juice, ½ oz. of velvet falernum, ½ oz. of rich simple syrup, and 2 dashes of Tiki bitters in a Hybrid Cocktail Shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously to chill.
  3. Strain the mixture into a Hybrid Cocktail Glass filled with crushed ice.
  4. Garnish with a mint bouquet and a generous grating of cinnamon over the top.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the Glass: Before serving, chill the cocktail glass to keep the drink colder for longer.
  • Fresh Juices: Always use fresh lemon and pineapple juices for the best flavor.
  • Mint Bouquet: Slap the mint gently before garnishing to release its aromatic oils.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Meats: The smokey nature of bourbon and the sweetness of the pineapple juice make an Iron Ranger cocktail an excellent companion to grilled steak or pork. The spices and flavors will complement the char of the meat.

  • Hawaiian-inspired Dishes: Think luau! The tropical hints from the pineapple juice and the Tiki bitters mean this cocktail will sing next to a plate of Hawaiian pulled pork or a poke bowl.

  • Spicy Foods: The sweet and sour profile of this cocktail will help soothe the burn of spicier dishes, making it a perfect match for spicy Asian or Caribbean cuisine.

  • Desserts: Desserts with vanilla, coconut, or tropical fruit flavors will pair harmoniously with the sweet and spicy elements of the Iron Ranger.

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What you could change in Iron Ranger

  • Bourbon: If you don't have a high-proof bourbon, use a standard bourbon and add a splash of overproof rum for an extra kick.
  • Velvet Falernum: In a pinch, you can make a homemade version with a simple syrup infused with lime zest, cloves, ginger, and almond extract.
  • Tiki Bitters: If you don't have Tiki bitters, Angostura bitters are a suitable substitute that will still provide a complex flavor profile.

Explore all drinks starting with I here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Ranger

  • Swap Bourbon for Mezcal
  • Add smoked salt rim

Recipe: Follow the original recipe but use Mezcal instead of Bourbon for a smoky twist, and rim your glass with smoked salt for an extra layer of smokiness. This version will remind you of a sunset by a bonfire with its earthy smoke and slight salinity complementing the tropical notes.

Spiced Apple Ranger

  • Replace Pineapple juice with Apple Cider
  • Include a dash of Allspice Bitters

Recipe: By substituting apple cider for pineapple juice and adding a dash of allspice bitters, this cocktail transforms into a fall favorite. It's like an apple pie in a glass with a bourbon kick.—perfect for sweater weather.

Berry Ranger

  • Muddle fresh berries with rich simple syrup
  • Use Raspberry Liqueur instead of Velvet Falernum

Recipe: Add a handful of fresh berries to the shaker before adding the ingredients. Shake it up with a splash of raspberry liqueur instead of velvet falernum for a fruity and visually stunning twist. This berry version is a refreshing take on the original, fit for summer sipping on a deck or garden.

In case you forgot basics how to make Iron Ranger

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Iron Ranger

What's the best type of ice to use for the Iron Ranger cocktail?

The ideal choice is to use crushed ice for the Iron Ranger cocktail as it chills the drink quickly, diluting it slightly which is perfect for balancing the strong flavors.

Can I make the Iron Ranger cocktail in large batches for parties?

Yes, the Iron Ranger can be made in batches. However, add the garnishes and ice just before serving to maintain the intended flavor and presentation.

How does the proof of the bourbon affect the Iron Ranger cocktail?

A higher-proof bourbon will provide a more intense flavor and stronger kick, while a lower-proof will make the cocktail milder and smoother.

Is the Iron Ranger considered a Tiki cocktail?

While the Iron Ranger incorporates Tiki elements like tropical flavors and Tiki bitters, it doesn't strictly fall under traditional Tiki cocktails, which are typically rum-based.

What kind of bitters are Tiki bitters and how do they differ from Angostura bitters?

Tiki bitters are a blend of spices and flavors that complement tropical drinks, typically with ingredients like allspice and ginger, while Angostura bitters have a more clove and cinnamon profile.

What are the origins of velvet falernum and what does it taste like?

Velvet falernum is a liqueur from Barbados with flavors of lime, almond, clove and ginger, often used in Caribbean and tropical drinks.

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