Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

The Tiki Drink Discussion Topic


  • Please log in to reply
374 replies to this topic

#31 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 30 September 2009 - 03:02 AM

I'd also be very hesitant to serve as a "Mai Tai" any recipe containing pineapple or orange juice. Just doesn't seem right, especially as exposure to the uninitiated.


Because it doesn't adhere to the authentic original but uses its name?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#32 John Rosevear

John Rosevear
  • participating member
  • 281 posts
  • Location:Massachusetts

Posted 30 September 2009 - 03:57 AM

A number of good bars serve the Surf Room variant with an explanation, or call it the "Hawaiian" Mai Tai. It certainly has a history of its own. It's also a great drink.
John Rosevear
"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

#33 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 30 September 2009 - 04:03 AM

It is a great drink. If it pleases the court, I'll simply call it "The Surf Room Not Really a Mai Tai."
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#34 bmdaniel

bmdaniel
  • participating member
  • 482 posts

Posted 30 September 2009 - 06:53 AM

Also, not only is the flavor of homemade orgeat better, but I really like the louche-esque effect it gives the drink (see my mai-tai photo above).

Hardly takes more work than an infused syrup.

#35 thirtyoneknots

thirtyoneknots
  • participating member
  • 1,968 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted 30 September 2009 - 07:18 AM

I'd also be very hesitant to serve as a "Mai Tai" any recipe containing pineapple or orange juice. Just doesn't seem right, especially as exposure to the uninitiated.


Because it doesn't adhere to the authentic original but uses its name?


Exactly. I just don't think its very good form to stress all these points about 'authentic' and old-school drinks then serve a Mai Tai variation as a Mai Tai. I won't dispute that the Surf Room is a fine drink, but it's akin to serving people a Tantris Sidecar in lieu of a Sidecar.
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#36 John Rosevear

John Rosevear
  • participating member
  • 281 posts
  • Location:Massachusetts

Posted 30 September 2009 - 07:27 AM

Exactly. I just don't think its very good form to stress all these points about 'authentic' and old-school drinks then serve a Mai Tai variation as a Mai Tai. I won't dispute that the Surf Room is a fine drink, but it's akin to serving people a Tantris Sidecar in lieu of a Sidecar.


I wouldn't advocate serving it in lieu of Victor's Mai Tai. But I emphatically advocate serving it as a variation, as Forbidden Island does (note the "Island Mai Tai").
John Rosevear
"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

#37 mkayahara

mkayahara
  • participating member
  • 1,837 posts
  • Location:Guelph, Ontario

Posted 30 September 2009 - 07:35 AM


I'd also be very hesitant to serve as a "Mai Tai" any recipe containing pineapple or orange juice. Just doesn't seem right, especially as exposure to the uninitiated.


Because it doesn't adhere to the authentic original but uses its name?


Exactly. I just don't think its very good form to stress all these points about 'authentic' and old-school drinks then serve a Mai Tai variation as a Mai Tai. I won't dispute that the Surf Room is a fine drink, but it's akin to serving people a Tantris Sidecar in lieu of a Sidecar.

I think Chris's original question was more broadly what Tiki drink you would serve for his workshop, so in that sense, it's not necessarily off-base to serve a Mai Tai variation. That said, if he had asked "What brandy drink would you serve to the uninitiated?" no one would have suggested serving a Tantris Sidecar on the basis that it shows how you can effectively blend grape brandy with brandies from other fruits to produce a delicious, complex, balanced drink.

In other words, I think I come down on Andy's side here. An original* Trader Vic Mai Tai has all the elements needed to showcase what Tiki drinks are about (fresh juice, layered rums, more-or-less obscure syrups), while also being a classic drink in its own right - and one that does suffer a lot of bastardization, just as many other classic drinks do.

*OK, not original original, but original as reformulated after the J. Wray 17-year-old rum ran out.
Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#38 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 30 September 2009 - 08:27 AM

Right. Just to clarify, this will be drink #3 at a rum cocktail class which will absolutely, positively include a Daiquiri starter for all the reasons specified above. By the time we get to drink #3, they will have had another complete drink (not sure yet), tastes of several ingredients (orgeat, passion fruit, a bunch of rums, etc.), and will be ready for the finale. It doesn't have to be the most "authentic" tiki drink, whatever that would be. It has to be a showstopper example of the genre.

And, of course, if there were one right answer here, we wouldn't have things like this forum. :wink:
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#39 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 11 October 2009 - 06:14 PM

I made a Mai Tai tonight using the BarSmarts recipe:

2 oz aged rum (I used Inner Circle green and a teeny bit of Brugal anejo to get to 2 oz)
3/4 oz lime
3/4 curacao
1 t orgeat

Was a bit too tart, so I added about a t of demerara, which rounded it out. Then I compared it to the Trader Vic version (from his Revised Bartenders Guide), and was confused once again to see VB's "1 lime" direction. Tonight, for example, I got over an ounce from one half of a small lime. Also confused to see Jeff Berry's translation of "1 lime" as "1 1/2 ounces", which would really make for a tart drink (though he includes the 1/4 oz rock candy syrup).

In short, given that I'm not going to be using Inner Circle rum for the class and haven't figured out how to balance it, I'm a bit nervous about using it as the drink. More practice, clearly, is needed.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#40 FireAarro

FireAarro
  • participating member
  • 52 posts

Posted 12 October 2009 - 01:21 AM

I think if you're using homemade orgeat you'd want to go a little heavier than a teaspoon, maybe cutting back on the curacao. How much is an American teaspoon in mL, anyway?

#41 bmdaniel

bmdaniel
  • participating member
  • 482 posts

Posted 12 October 2009 - 06:55 AM

Try the recipe I posted upthread - I thought it made a balanced drink at different ratios than you are using. I also think the two rum approach makes a nice drink, but it might be too much hassle for your class.

#42 thirtyoneknots

thirtyoneknots
  • participating member
  • 1,968 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted 12 October 2009 - 07:11 AM

I think if you're using homemade orgeat you'd want to go a little heavier than a teaspoon, maybe cutting back on the curacao. How much is an American teaspoon in mL, anyway?


1 tsp = 5 ml
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#43 mkayahara

mkayahara
  • participating member
  • 1,837 posts
  • Location:Guelph, Ontario

Posted 12 October 2009 - 07:22 AM

How much is an American teaspoon in mL, anyway?

It's about 5 ml. Edit: I see someone beat me to it.

Chris, I thought the Barsmarts recipe for the Mai Tai was pretty idiosyncratic. What's your usual go-to recipe?

Edited by mkayahara, 12 October 2009 - 07:23 AM.

Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#44 Wild Bill Turkey

Wild Bill Turkey
  • participating member
  • 97 posts
  • Location:San Francisco

Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:25 PM

Two thoughts:
On the amount of lime juice, Jeff Berry changed ONLY the quantity of lime juice in the"Trader Vic's" Mai Tai recipe between the publication of "Grog Log" (which calls for 1 1/2 ozs lime juice) and "Sippin' Safari" (which calls for only 1 ounce). Having always used the older recipe, which uses more lime juice, I've always been very happy with my results. But the Beachbum's changes to this recipe seem to indicate he agrees with you.

The two-rum recipe seen in Jeff Berry's books, as well as others seems like the way to go for teaching a class about this tropical standard. After all, the practice of mixing rums for unique blends is central to the style of this category. I can't imagine teaching even a brief segment on the subject of tiki drinks without demonstrating the blending of rums, and it strikes me as odd that the Barsmarts course ignores this tradition (though, of course, who am I?)

#45 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 20 October 2009 - 11:51 AM

Matthew, I don't have a go-to Mai Tai recipe, in part bc I usually fiddle around with whatever rum I have handy until I get what I want from it. I'm also dealing with some contributed products here and can't test things out until I have the samples (heart beats faster as he looks at the date).

Having said that, I'm thinking that a Mai Tai is going to be the way to go, using Sippin' Safari ratios (i.e., cutting the lime down to 1 ounce). I'm greeting them with Wondrich's Mississippi Punch variation (to get some arrack in their bellies) and then having them make and test Daiquiris, so a Mai Tai is the next logical step, I think. I also want to showcase a particularly good batch of orgeat, and my mint has died yet, so....
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#46 Dave the Cook

Dave the Cook

    Executive Director

  • manager
  • 7,367 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 20 October 2009 - 12:21 PM

. . . .

In short, given that I'm not going to be using Inner Circle rum for the class and haven't figured out how to balance it, I'm a bit nervous about using it as the drink. More practice, clearly, is needed.

I've run through my supply of Inner Circle green, an ingredient that Dave Wondrich's says is essential to his Both Indies cocktail. The other night, it occurred to me to try mixing equal parts Gosling's Black Seal and Cruzan 151. Not only did it work reasonably well, it made me realize that the Both Indies is a tiki drink of a sort -- even moreso when made with two rums rather than one.

Anyway, you might give it a try, Chris.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.


#47 thirtyoneknots

thirtyoneknots
  • participating member
  • 1,968 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted 20 October 2009 - 02:49 PM

Even better, use the Goslings 151 to blend instead of the Cruzan. Goslings "115" one of my favorites!

edit: clarification

Edited by thirtyoneknots, 20 October 2009 - 02:50 PM.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#48 Dave the Cook

Dave the Cook

    Executive Director

  • manager
  • 7,367 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 20 October 2009 - 03:03 PM

I considered that, but I already had the Cruzan -- gathering dust because I wasn't quite sure what to do with it.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.


#49 thirtyoneknots

thirtyoneknots
  • participating member
  • 1,968 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted 20 October 2009 - 03:48 PM

I considered that, but I already had the Cruzan -- gathering dust because I wasn't quite sure what to do with it.


I guess I'll let it slide this time :wink:
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#50 David Santucci

David Santucci
  • participating member
  • 178 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 20 October 2009 - 04:25 PM

I think Appleton V/X works really well in a Mai Tai. I usually do 2:1:1/2:1/2:1/4 rum:lime:curacao:orgeat:simple, which I could swear I got from DrinkBoy, but that's not the recipe he has there now.

#51 thirtyoneknots

thirtyoneknots
  • participating member
  • 1,968 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:30 PM

I think Appleton V/X works really well in a Mai Tai. I usually do 2:1:1/2:1/2:1/4 rum:lime:curacao:orgeat:simple, which I could swear I got from DrinkBoy, but that's not the recipe he has there now.


That is pretty much the original preportion, and Appleton V/X works marvellously I would have to agree (and can be had for such a bargain on sale). The only change in the Drinkboy recipe now vs the older one is it used to include a float of dark rum.
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#52 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 21 October 2009 - 04:09 AM

Dave, what's the recipe for the Both Indies Cocktail?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#53 vice

vice
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 901 posts
  • Location:rhode island

Posted 21 October 2009 - 07:21 AM

Not the Dave you were asking, but the Both Indies is given here as

2 oz. Inner Circle rum (115 proof)
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. Velvet Falernum
1/4 oz. Grand Marnier

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled glass. Float a couple of drops of Angostura bitters over the drink.


Edited by vice, 21 October 2009 - 07:42 AM.

Dave Viola, aka vice
Host, eG Forums
dviola@eGstaff.org

#54 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 24 October 2009 - 08:51 AM

Let's just say you were teaching a course to cocktail neophytes and wanted to explain what a tiki drink is. What would you say?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#55 mkayahara

mkayahara
  • participating member
  • 1,837 posts
  • Location:Guelph, Ontario

Posted 24 October 2009 - 12:49 PM

In 25 words or less? A drink rooted in the tropical-themed restaurants of the mid-20th century, usually based on (multiple) rums, with an emphasis on fresh juices and flavoured syrups.

How's that?
Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#56 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 24 October 2009 - 01:02 PM

I like it.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#57 kathryn

kathryn
  • participating member
  • 716 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 31 December 2009 - 11:48 AM

For tiki drink and iPhone fans, Jeff "Beachbum" Berry and the makers of the Cocktails+ app have released the Tiki+ application. I highly recommend the application, particularly because I find flipping through Sippin' Safari for specific recipes to be sometimes difficult.
"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

#58 tammylc

tammylc
  • participating member
  • 2,155 posts
  • Location:Ann Arbor, MI

Posted 06 January 2010 - 03:31 PM

I'm hosting a little cocktail party this weekend, and am planning a tropical and Tiki theme (because my friend Mary just got back from Hawaii and is pining for the tropics). Can you recommend a few Tiki or Tiki style drinks that don't require me to buy 6 different rums? I don't mind buying a couple more (or other mixing liqueurs) to round out my collection, but...

Right now I have Appleton Estates Reserve and Cruzan white rum in my liqueur cabinet. What else is essential, and what can I mix with them?

Thanks in advance!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40


#59 bmdaniel

bmdaniel
  • participating member
  • 482 posts

Posted 06 January 2010 - 04:50 PM

In terms of Rum, the first two I'd add would be a Demarara (Ideally Lemon Hart Overproof) and a Martinique (St. James); having those two plus what you have would let you make pretty solid versions of the Mai-Tai and the Zombie, which are the two quintessential tiki drinks in my opinion.

Mixer's/liquers/etc are trickier - if you're going to make both you'll need at least Orange Curacao, Orgeat, and Falernum, and really should have some anise and grendadine also. There are great guides available here for making your own orgeat and grenadine, which are both pretty easy. If you've got all this gathered together you'd be in great shape for other tasty tiki drinks too (e.g. a Surf Room Mai Tai).

#60 tammylc

tammylc
  • participating member
  • 2,155 posts
  • Location:Ann Arbor, MI

Posted 06 January 2010 - 06:48 PM

Thanks for the tips. It appears I can get the Lemon Hart here in MI, but not the St. James - do you have another recommendation on a Martinique?

I'm almost out of grenadine and have to make up another batch, and just read the thread of Orgeat and think I can pull that off too. But I have a strong suspicion I won't be able to find any Falernum...

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40