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Mai Tai Recipes


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#1 Scott S

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 06:11 AM

A recent thread gave me a hankering for a Mai Tai, a drink I used to love when I was younger. So I went out and researched, and found that Mai Tai Recipes are like opinions - everyone has one. I did, of course, try Trader Vic's and didn't like it - at least the way I made it. I tried Mai Tais at a few local Chinese Restaraunts to attempt to remember the flavor I was seeking. Two were OK, one wasn't good and the last one sucked. And this didn't help, as I am apparently inept at discerning the tastes.

The ingredients I've been using for Trader Vic's recipe are:
Appleton Estate V/X
Myer's Dark
Fee's Brothers Orgeat
Leroux Orange Curacao
Fresh Lime
Simple Syrup made from Sugar-in-the-Raw

Are these OK? Any better suggestions to improve the taste? I found the above too light, and too sweet.

But I don't even have any idea what a real Trader Vic's Mai Tai is supposed to taste like. The closest I came was using his pre-mix stuff, which was fairly horrible - too sweet, extremely artificial tasting, etc. I like the ones I got at a Chinese restaurant when I was younger. Dark, not very sweet, a little bitter.

Does anyone have a recipe for a "Chinese Restaurant Mai Tai?"

#2 DrinkBoy

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 07:38 AM

Scott,

The recipe for a "Chinese Restaurant Mai Tai" is going to vary just as much as any bodies personal opinion will. It was at a Chinese Restaurant near me (Chopsticks) that I first encountered a real Mai Tai and promptly fell in love with it. While at most places I try to vary what I have from one drink to the next, at this restaurant I always have a Mai Tai, in fact they usually bring me one with out my having to say anything.

Some time later, I was at another Chinese Restaurant and saw "Mai Tai" on the menu... so I ordered it... it was a totally different drink. For one thing it had Pineapple juice in it, which totally changes the flavor. It was at that point that my interest was sparked as to why two different drinks, going by the same name, could have such radically different recipes. Back then, I wasn't "DrinkBoy", and knew very little about cocktails, but this was one of the events that was to play a role in my "cocktail" development.

I started researching the various recipes for a Mai Tai. Every time I saw a cocktail/bartending book in a store or library, I would look up their recipe for a Mai Tai, and as you might expect, it got quite confusing. This was before the web, and so researching this sort of thing was quite a bit different then it is today. I was not only trying to find out the "truth" behind the Mai Tai, but also find a recipe that tasted like the way Chopsticks made theirs.

Eventually, I just asked the owner of Chopsticks what his recipe was :-> A version of which you will find on my website. A recipe which I was later to learn was essentially the original Trader Vic recipe, which is the original Mai Tai. When the owner of Chopsticks got married, I was invited to the wedding (hows -that- for proving that I am a regular at his restaurant! :-) There, he revealed to me one of his secrets... they don't actually make their Mai Tai's from scratch, but use the Trader Vic mix, which his local distributer was no longer carrying, and so they had to switch to a different (and far inferior) brand... I quickly put him in touch with the Trader Vic company directly, and he now orders directly from them.

Personally, the Trader Vic Mai Tai mix is the -only- "bottled mix" that I endorse. For a commercially made mix it is of very good quality. One of the ways they achive this is by not even trying to be a "just add rum" mixture. They still require you to add -fresh- lime juice. All of the other bottled mixes that I know of use various artificial ingredients in order to add the "lime" taste, and fail miserably.

If you found the Mai Tai's you made too sweet, then don't add the simple syrup, just use the orgeat for the sweetner. A Mai Tai should not be an overly sweet drink, there should be a very good balance between the sweet and the sour, and the almond flavoring should sit nicely in the background. I like to use a float of dark rum on mine, and then drink it through a straw... this way the dark rum gradually floats down into the drink and keeps the flavor going as the ice melts.

Give the recipe on my site a try (I usually just use Bacardi gold rum, and Myers Dark rum). It is one that meets with a lot of positive response from bartenders and customers alike.

-Robert
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#3 Scott S

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 08:02 AM

Yes, your page was one of the ones I came across in my hunt, though I kinda dismissed it since it is so very similar to Trader Vic's recipe. Given this, and your mention of the TV mix, makes me wonder if what I remember is anything like a real Mai Tai. This seems odd, since most the Mai Tais I've had at Chinese restaraunts I've tried are at least similar to what I remember. So I must be doing something wrong I guess, or East Coast Mai Tais are nothing like the real thing.

A Mai Tai should not be an overly sweet drink, there should be a very good balance between the sweet and the sour, and the almond flavoring should sit nicely in the background.

This is a pretty good description of what I remember though. We both use Myer's Dark, but I've used Appleton and Mount Gay for the gold. I don't think that either are too far off from Bacardi Gold to make the difference. And I did drop the simple syrup when I found it too sweet. One thing I could mention is that I think mine wasn't sour enough, yet I wouldn't go any heavier of the lime (which seemed right). Maybe a dash of sour mix or a touch of lemon?

I have one last bottle of TV mix, but I'll be hitting the store for more rum. Another night of mixing and tasting lies ahead. I can't wait until I get this right. Of course, I'm not looking forward to the next morning. :-)

#4 DrinkBoy

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 12:11 PM

What you get "used to" will very much determine what you think is "the right way". I am thankful that the version of the Mai Tai that I got used to originally was the Trader Vic version, and not the pineapple version.

To help figure out if the base ingredients you are using are the right ones, mix up a Mai Tai according to what you find on my site (or similar).

If it is too sweet, then add a dash of lime juice, stir, then try again. (don't use "sour mix", or any commercial lime juice stuff)

If it isn't sweet enough, then try to notice how much you can distinquish the almond flavoring, if very slight, then add extra orgeat to sweeten, otherwise use the orange curacao to sweeten. If the sweet and sour is over-powering the rum, then add more rum :-> With a little gentle tweeking like this you should be able to determine if this recipe is along the lines of what you are wanting... This is essentially the way that I arrived at the recipe that I list on my site, which ended up very similar to the TV recipe... although mine doesn't use simple syrup.

A lot of bartenders that I ask about how they do their Mai Tai's just say "rum and a bunch of juices". And chinese restaurant bartenders aren't any different. If the "Mai Tai" becomes one of their mainstays, then they will over time "perfect" their recipe in one direction or another, but who's to say if they end up using the TV recipe, or something else.

Back in the original days of the Mai Tai, this was one of TV's prized recipes. You'll note that in none of the TV books of the day will you find it listed. This meant that when a TV customer went to another bar, and asked for a Mai Tai, it was necessary to "re-invent" it based on whatever the customer could tell them that they thought they tasted. This is why there are several variations that all go by the same name.

-Robert
www.DrinkBoy.com

#5 eje

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 08:04 AM

I've been digging this Mai Tai recipe lately:

1 1/2 oz Appleton V/X
3/4 oz St. James Ambre Rhum Agricole
2 tsp. Luxardo Triplum
3 tsp. Homeade Orgeat
Juice 1/2 lime

Stir with ice, garnish with mint sprig.

I like it, as it is a bit dryer than the traditional Trader Vic recipe.
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#6 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 09:20 AM

I've been digging this Mai Tai recipe lately:

1 1/2 oz Appleton V/X
3/4 oz St. James Ambre Rhum Agricole
2 tsp. Luxardo Triplum
3 tsp. Homeade Orgeat
Juice 1/2 lime

Stir with ice, garnish with mint sprig.

I like it, as it is a bit dryer than the traditional Trader Vic recipe.

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How is it dryer? The rum quantity is essentially the same but you've backed off on 1/6th of the sweetener while coming off 1/2 on the acid. Or maybe we're used to different versions; I make them more or less like the $100 Mai Tai on the Beachbum Berry website, except I normally do all Orgeat vs half and half with simple, and at all costs I avoid the Trader Vic's syrup line.
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#7 eje

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 10:21 AM

How is it dryer? The rum quantity is essentially the same but you've backed off on 1/6th of the sweetener while coming off 1/2 on the acid. Or maybe we're used to different versions; I make them more or less like the $100 Mai Tai on the Beachbum Berry website, except I normally do all Orgeat vs half and half with simple, and at all costs I avoid the Trader Vic's syrup line.

View Post

I guess dryer is the wrong word.

Trader Vic calls for the juice of a whole lime and more sweetener, making it more of a fruit drink. This is more spirit forward than than his. I hadn't looked at Mr. Berry's site for a while, I guess that had drifted into my drink making. My version ends up being the cheapskate version of his $100 Mai Tai!

Edited by eje, 18 August 2008 - 11:16 AM.

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#8 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 11:06 PM

The question of grenadine in Mai Tais came up recently in the Orgeat thread, and I could not help but comment. I must confess that, not so long ago, I used to add grenadine in my Mai Tais. But at the time I did not know much about cocktails so my concoctions were highly questionable. I even once served an emerald green Mai Tai to guests at a party years ago!!! :blink: (yes, I used blue curacao).

Anyway, since then I've learned a thing or two about cocktails, mostly thanks to eGullet and extensive hands-on "research".
I learned about the history of the Mai Tai thanks to Beachbum Berry's books. Here is what he writes about the Mai Tai on his website.

The Bum has a confession to make. Actually, he has quite a few, but since we are on his website and not the local constabulary’s, he will limit himself to this one: on those happy occasions when he has begged, borrowed, or (heaven forbid) earned enough change to buy a drink, he never orders a Mai Tai.

Why? A Mai Tai should not be red. A Mai Tai should not be blue. The Bum has been served Mai Tais in every color of the rainbow, and the time has come to put his foot down (a gesture that would have more impact were he not now lying on a bar-room floor, but never mind that).

Don The Beachcomber invented a drink he called the Mai Tai Swizzle in 1933, but it seems to have disappeared from his menu sometime before 1937. Strong evidence suggests that Trader Vic developed his own Mai Tai, without any knowledge of Donn’s, in 1944. Equally strong evidence suggests that Vic was aware of Donn’s; for the whole tangled history, check out pages 64 through 72 of our latest book, Beachbum Berry Remixed.

In any event, Trader Vic’s Mai Tai is the one that became the iconic Tiki Drink — and rightly so, as it’s the better recipe.

Vic created his Mai Tai to showcase a 17-year-old rum imported by J. Wray & Nephew. “The flavor of this great rum wasn’t meant to be overpowered with heavy additions of fruit juices and flavorings,” warned the Trader, a warning that has since fallen on deaf ears – specifically, the ears of bar owners and tenders who have transformed Vic’s signature drink into crayon-colored liquid candy.

A proper Mai Tai has a deep amber hue, because it’s the liquor that should dominate the drink, not the sweeteners. Unfortunately, 17-year-old J. Wray & Nephew rum is a thing of the past. But by replacing it with an aged Martinique rum mixed with a premium Jamaican rum, we can approximate Vic’s original goal of “creating a drink that would be the finest drink we could make, using the finest ingredients we could find.”


Martin Cate also talks about the Mai Tai and how it has been bastardized by the addition of various things which include pineapple juice, or ... grenadine. He illustrates his point quite clearly in his How to Make a Mai Tai video.



How to Make a Mai Tai with Martin Cate
BY LESLIE JONATH, ERIC SLATKIN, BLAKE SMITH, AND ROXANNE WEBBER
Martin Cate, owner of the tiki bar Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, believes that the mai tai has been disgraced in bars and tropical destinations for far too long, and that the cocktail needs to return to its roots: the original formula invented by the Godfather of the Tiki Bar, Trader Vic. A true mai tai contains premium aged rum, orange curaçao, rock candy syrup, fresh lime juice, an almond syrup called orgeat, and a sprig of mint. You won’t find any grenadine or pineapple juice in this drink, lest you want Vic to turn over in his grave.


I am sure I must sound completely pedantic by now so I will stop. The conclusion is that you would probably offend the tiki gods if you add grenadine in a Mai Tai, so do at your own risk only. :smile: More seriously, adding a little grenadine isn't probably going to ruin your Mai Tai, but I am not convinced it's really needed either.

#9 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 11:47 PM

Here is Trader Vic's Mai Tai recipe, for references purposes, also from Beachbum Berry's website. Note the combination of rums: a Jamaican dark rum with an aged rhum agricole.

Recipe: In your shaker pour 1 ounce each fresh lime juice, Rhum Clément VSOP Martinique rum, and Appleton Estate Extra dark Jamaican rum; 1/2 ounce orange Curacao; and 1/4 ounce each orgeat syrup and sugar syrup. Add at least 2 cups of crushed ice, then shake well for around 10 seconds. Pour unstrained into a double old-fashioned glass. Sink your spent lime shell in the drink, and garnish with a mint sprig.


This drink is all about the rum, so using high quality is really important. I've experimented with various rums and so far my favorite combo is Appleton (I use the "extra"/12 yr) + La Favorite "coeur de rhum".

#10 threestars

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 01:27 AM

That's a very nice vid FrogPrincesse! :) I think some really make Mai Thai by mixing by blender. I'll try this mix soon. :)

#11 tanstaafl2

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:37 PM

Was planning a spring "tiki" party next weekend (which will really be mostly different variations on a Mai Tai) and have been going through this site and others for some recipes.

Plan to stick mostly to the basic Trader Vic formula although I am interested in working some Clement Creole Shrubb in where I can.

Thought I would use S&C with ED15 for one recipe. I also picked up a bottle on a whim of some Plantation overproof (73% ABV) dark rum from Ferrand, made in T&T it appears, and was thinking of mixing that with a rum agricole. I currently only have Depaz on hand.

I also thought I would try this one from Sunny&Rummy in the Orgeat thread:

The winning mai tai recipe and rum combination thus far has been:

0.75 oz Smith & Cross
0.75 oz Rhum St. James Hors D'Age aged agricole
0.75 oz Appleton 12
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz Clement Creole Shrub
0.5 oz homemade orgeat
0.25 simple
spent lime shell and fresh spring mint garnish

This is a bulletproof mai tai.


But after seeing St James Hors D'Age (and XO for that matter) on the shelf for months now that I go looking for it it seems to be gone. I have everything else (too lazy to make my own orgeat so I will be using BG Reynolds). Would the Depaz work here?

I find the Depaz to be pretty earthy/grassy so would it be too funky with the S&C?

Any other thoughts on a good combo to try? I have a fair number of rums (ED, S&C, Scarlet Ibis, Appleton 12 and lots of good ol' downtrodden Myers of course), not to mention several curacaos (Senior, Brizzard, the new Ferrand Dry Curacao), not to mention the Creole Shrubb, so I probably have some flexibility.

Any room to work some Batavia Arrack and/or Swedish punsch in the picture? And always willing to pick up another bottle of something if it sounds interesting enough!
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

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#12 tanstaafl2

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:40 PM

And if anybody has a favorite tiki drink or two that uses passion fruit syrup I picked up a bottle of the BG Reynolds version of that is well. Have been flipping thru the Beach Bum Berry Remixed book looking for a good one that isn't too complicated but nothing has caught my eye yet!
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#13 KatieLoeb

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 03:38 PM

My favorite drink with Passionfruit syrup is the Port Light, a rare whiskey based tiki drink, from the Kahiki Supper Club in Columbus Ohio. Sort of a tropical whiskey sour variant. Delicious drink!

1 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
.5 oz. passionfruit syrup
.5 oz. grenadine

Mix with crushed ice and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with lemon wedge and a cherry. Can also be blended for a "slushy" style drink.

Images of the former Kahiki Supper Club can be viewed HERE. It was a stunning bit of architecture, and I remain puzzled how such a unique structure could be bulldozed to put up a Walgreen's. :huh:

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#14 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 04:08 PM

Any other thoughts on a good combo to try? I have a fair number of rums (ED, S&C, Scarlet Ibis, Appleton 12 and lots of good ol' downtrodden Myers of course), not to mention several curacaos (Senior, Brizzard, the new Ferrand Dry Curacao), not to mention the Creole Shrubb, so I probably have some flexibility.


My personal favorite combo for the Mai Tai is La Favorite coeur de rhum vieux (aged) + Appleton 12 years, staying with the Trader Vic formula (aged rhum agricole + Jamaican rum). But there is only one way to find out - try different combos until you find one you like! I've never had Depaz so I don't know how it compares to other rhum agricoles. I would think that you need something with enough funk to really stand out in this drink. Some of the aged rhums can be too smooth.

I've been using the Trader Vic recipe upthread (post #9) and have started using Clement Creole shrubb recently as the orange curacao, which works better than Cointreau, after a side-by-side test.

And if anybody has a favorite tiki drink or two that uses passion fruit syrup I picked up a bottle of the BG Reynolds version of that is well. Have been flipping thru the Beach Bum Berry Remixed book looking for a good one that isn't too complicated but nothing has caught my eye yet!

As for the passion fruit, I have a bottle of passion fruit syrup but have found it surprisingly not very versatile. I love passion fruit but it is such an intense flavor that it is hard to use well in mixed drinks.

Recently though I made the Hart of Darkness from Beachbum Berry Remixed for Mixology Monday, and it was quite nice. It only uses 0.5 oz (I don't think more would be very good).

Our friends, whose parents have passion fruit vines in their yard, kindly donated some fresh passion fruit pulp last weekend. This became my inspiration for the challenge.

I started by making a passion fruit syrup. I mixed the pulp with simple syrup (1 part each), heated the mixture gently, and strained through a fine sieve.

For the cocktail, I went with the Hart of Darkness from Beachbum Berry Remixed. I found that it highlighted the fresh passion fruit flavor quite well, and the spice from the Lemon Hart 151 gave it a nice kick.

0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz homemade passion fruit syrup
0.25 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz honey mix (1:1 honey/water)
0.75 oz soda water
1.5 oz Lemon Hart 151-proof Demerara rum
1 cup crushed ice
Blended


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#15 Vieux Carré

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 04:36 PM

Images of the former Kahiki Supper Club can be viewed HERE. It was a stunning bit of architecture, and I remain puzzled how such a unique structure could be bulldozed to put up a Walgreen's. :huh:


Thanks for the link. Loved those pictures. Sure wish it were still around. I could enjoy an evening or two in a place like that. Columbus is not too far away from me. Some of my favorite memories as a kid were when my parents would take us to a Tiki place in Philly. Unfortunately i can't remember its name, but I have a very clear image of what it looked like inside with all the tropical plants. Unfortunately, at that age, I was only permitted to drink a Roy Rogers.

#16 tanstaafl2

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 04:49 PM

The Port Light and Hart of Darkness both sound like excellent suggestions to try for the passionfruit. I will give 'em a whirl this weekend and see how it goes.

Thanks!
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#17 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:05 PM

Let me know what you think about the Hart of Darkness.

Regarding the rum combos, since you are having a party maybe you can just prepare a bunch of different ones and have everyone sample them and decide what they like best. I tried this approach a few times at cocktail parties and it's been lots of fun. We made flights of White Negroni variations for example; we passed them around and had everyone share their thoughts (we call this our cocktail "lab"). It was also interesting to see how they evolved over time as the ice melted. The key is to make sure to mark each glass (permanent markers work fine), otherwise it's very easy to lose track!

#18 tanstaafl2

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:17 PM

Let me know what you think about the Hart of Darkness.

Regarding the rum combos, since you are having a party maybe you can just prepare a bunch of different ones and have everyone sample them and decide what they like best. I tried this approach a few times at cocktail parties and it's been lots of fun. We made flights of White Negroni variations for example; we passed them around and had everyone share their thoughts (we call this our cocktail "lab"). It was also interesting to see how they evolved over time as the ice melted. The key is to make sure to mark each glass (permanent markers work fine), otherwise it's very easy to lose track!


We often do something like that with a smaller group. This one may be a bit too chaotic as the guest list is pushing past 20 and climbing and we will be grilling as well as running the bar. To be honest it is rarely as much fun to be the host when we are grilling as well. If I can just man the bar it tends to be more relaxed.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#19 mkayahara

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:23 AM

And if anybody has a favorite tiki drink or two that uses passion fruit syrup I picked up a bottle of the BG Reynolds version of that is well. Have been flipping thru the Beach Bum Berry Remixed book looking for a good one that isn't too complicated but nothing has caught my eye yet!

I'm a big fan of the Spindrift Jr. from Beachbum Berry Remixed: orange juice, lemon juice, passion fruit syrup, vanilla syrup (simple + a small dash of vanilla extract works fine), and Demerara rum.

Also, don't miss the opportunity to try a Hurricane!
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#20 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:30 AM

I find that blanc agricole rhum is too assertive to be an asset in a Mai Tai. Better to use an aged r(h)um. Also, speaking only for myself here, as much as I am otherwise enthusiastic about Creole Shrubb, I've never thought it was the best liqueur to use in a Mai Tai. I don't know if it's too comparative, not a bright enough orange character, or what. Many people of taste will disagree with me on that though.
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#21 tanstaafl2

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:34 PM


And if anybody has a favorite tiki drink or two that uses passion fruit syrup I picked up a bottle of the BG Reynolds version of that is well. Have been flipping thru the Beach Bum Berry Remixed book looking for a good one that isn't too complicated but nothing has caught my eye yet!

I'm a big fan of the Spindrift Jr. from Beachbum Berry Remixed: orange juice, lemon juice, passion fruit syrup, vanilla syrup (simple + a small dash of vanilla extract works fine), and Demerara rum.

Also, don't miss the opportunity to try a Hurricane!


Yes, the original Hurricane is on my short list but probably won't make an appearance a the event next weekend. But the Spendrift Jr was one I am considering as it is pretty simple and I have all the necessary ingredients.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#22 tanstaafl2

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:39 PM

I find that blanc agricole rhum is too assertive to be an asset in a Mai Tai. Better to use an aged r(h)um. Also, speaking only for myself here, as much as I am otherwise enthusiastic about Creole Shrubb, I've never thought it was the best liqueur to use in a Mai Tai. I don't know if it's too comparative, not a bright enough orange character, or what. Many people of taste will disagree with me on that though.


Sounds like I will have to try a little experiment and see what I think with the Shrubb. Tonights test run was a pretty straight forward and classic Mai Tai with S&C and ED 15. A definite winner!

The Depaz has a little bit of age as I undwerstand it (maybe 2 years) but not as much as Clement or St. James I would think and so probably isn't quite as subtle. I thought it might make a good pairing with Appleton 12 but will probably wait until tomorrow to give it a try.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#23 Refined Vintage

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:16 AM


Any other thoughts on a good combo to try? I have a fair number of rums (ED, S&C, Scarlet Ibis, Appleton 12 and lots of good ol' downtrodden Myers of course), not to mention several curacaos (Senior, Brizzard, the new Ferrand Dry Curacao), not to mention the Creole Shrubb, so I probably have some flexibility.


My personal favorite combo for the Mai Tai is La Favorite coeur de rhum vieux (aged) + Appleton 12 years, staying with the Trader Vic formula (aged rhum agricole + Jamaican rum). But there is only one way to find out - try different combos until you find one you like! I've never had Depaz so I don't know how it compares to other rhum agricoles. I would think that you need something with enough funk to really stand out in this drink. Some of the aged rhums can be too smooth.

I've been using the Trader Vic recipe upthread (post #9) and have started using Clement Creole shrubb recently as the orange curacao, which works better than Cointreau, after a side-by-side test.

And if anybody has a favorite tiki drink or two that uses passion fruit syrup I picked up a bottle of the BG Reynolds version of that is well. Have been flipping thru the Beach Bum Berry Remixed book looking for a good one that isn't too complicated but nothing has caught my eye yet!

As for the passion fruit, I have a bottle of passion fruit syrup but have found it surprisingly not very versatile. I love passion fruit but it is such an intense flavor that it is hard to use well in mixed drinks.

Recently though I made the Hart of Darkness from Beachbum Berry Remixed for Mixology Monday, and it was quite nice. It only uses 0.5 oz (I don't think more would be very good).

Our friends, whose parents have passion fruit vines in their yard, kindly donated some fresh passion fruit pulp last weekend. This became my inspiration for the challenge.

I started by making a passion fruit syrup. I mixed the pulp with simple syrup (1 part each), heated the mixture gently, and strained through a fine sieve.

For the cocktail, I went with the Hart of Darkness from Beachbum Berry Remixed. I found that it highlighted the fresh passion fruit flavor quite well, and the spice from the Lemon Hart 151 gave it a nice kick.

0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz homemade passion fruit syrup
0.25 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz honey mix (1:1 honey/water)
0.75 oz soda water
1.5 oz Lemon Hart 151-proof Demerara rum
1 cup crushed ice
Blended


Posted Image

This is my favorite as well. A great Mai Tai! I also love your glass!

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#24 KatieLoeb

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 02:22 PM


Images of the former Kahiki Supper Club can be viewed HERE. It was a stunning bit of architecture, and I remain puzzled how such a unique structure could be bulldozed to put up a Walgreen's. :huh:


Thanks for the link. Loved those pictures. Sure wish it were still around. I could enjoy an evening or two in a place like that. Columbus is not too far away from me. Some of my favorite memories as a kid were when my parents would take us to a Tiki place in Philly. Unfortunately i can't remember its name, but I have a very clear image of what it looked like inside with all the tropical plants. Unfortunately, at that age, I was only permitted to drink a Roy Rogers.


Wait a second. There was a tiki place in Philly? How could I not know about this? Paging Dave Wondrich for historical confirmation. I wonder if it's one of the places Dave told us about when he led our local Bartender's Guild chapter on a historical cocktail tour of Philadelphia a couple of years ago? I think it might be the one that was around 10 or 11th and Walnut. We heard some wild stories about that place. I thought that closed long enough ago that no one still with us could possibly have been there. Hmmmm...

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#25 tanstaafl2

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:15 PM

Let me know what you think about the Hart of Darkness.

Regarding the rum combos, since you are having a party maybe you can just prepare a bunch of different ones and have everyone sample them and decide what they like best. I tried this approach a few times at cocktail parties and it's been lots of fun. We made flights of White Negroni variations for example; we passed them around and had everyone share their thoughts (we call this our cocktail "lab"). It was also interesting to see how they evolved over time as the ice melted. The key is to make sure to mark each glass (permanent markers work fine), otherwise it's very easy to lose track!


Hart of Darkness was quite good and proved quite popular at our little tiki-tastique event this past weekend. Tried several different Mai Tai combo's but it was a bit too chaotic to really get good feedback on the different versions. Zombies were tried but only a few hearty souls could stand up to that one. Two very popular options were the Spendrift, Jr noted above and the Navy Grog.

All in all a very pleasant evening! Well, what I remember of it anyway...

Edited by tanstaafl2, 22 May 2012 - 03:16 PM.

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#26 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:10 AM

I tried the recipe from the 'doing it wrong' video using straight Appleton 12, as I don't have El Dorado Anything. Will maybe make another with, say, all or maybe 50:50 Mt Gay E/O next time.

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#27 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 03:12 AM

I tried the video recipe w/ Inner Circle Green instead of Appleton 12. I liked it a whole lot but my partner thought it was a step too far. 75% Inner Circle and 25% Appleton will form the basis of my next attempt, I think, unless anyone has any better ideas.

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#28 lesliec

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:15 PM

I spent the weekend making my own orgeat and falernum, both with splendid results (particularly the orgeat - that stuff's delicious!). I thought I'd seen a recipe which used both, but come last night the only ones I could find used one or the other. So ... I used the falernum instead of lime juice in a Mai Tai recipe I dug up.

This was probably the first Mai Tai we'd had. It soon turned into the second, it was that good. We're fortunate to have several people around New Zealand (and in Wellington in particular) making interesting spirits, which I should do a proper eG writeup on at some point; depending on where you are you might not find the precise ingredients I used, but those of you experienced with Mai Tais will no doubt have your own favourites. The following makes two drinks:
  • Two measures (say 60ml) Stolen white rum (local)
  • Two measures Appleton V/X
  • One measure (30ml) Smoke & Oakum English Curaçao (local)
  • One measure orgeat
  • One measure falernum
Shake together with ice and pour into a chilled glass. For each glass pour over one measure Smoke & Oakum Gunpowder Rum (another local product, and yes, it really has got gunpowder in it). Serve, sip and smile. I was less generous with the gunpowder rum in the first one; going all the way to a full measure added a certain character (and made it harder to stand up afterwards).

It didn't hurt that summer has properly arrived; the weather people are predicting 10 days of stunning weather and we were sitting outside on our deck, looking out at Cook Strait. Life stinks sometimes.

Call me a Mai Tai convert!

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#29 Moto

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

Congrats Leslie C on making your own orgeat and falernum. I think homemade orgeat is the real key to a good Mai Tai. The sublte nuttiness and mouthfeel it contributes to a drink are incredible .

I didn't see lime juice listed as an ingredient in your mai tai and while your homemade falernum may have a good dose of lime juice I would encourage you to make a Mai Tai with lime juice and no falernum. The difference will be night and day as the falernum adds a spicier note to the drink.

Edited by Moto, 28 January 2013 - 03:15 PM.


#30 lesliec

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:41 PM

Thanks, Moto.

What I was trying to say was the Mai Tai recipe I found wanted lime juice, but I used falernum instead and was very happy. But in the interests of completeness I'll do as you say.

Last night we had a Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (from cocktaildb.com) with rum, Cointreau, falernum and lime juice. I was reluctant to use the full volume of juice the recipe called for, but I did, and it was too sharp for our tastes! A bit of sugar syrup improved it, but I think we'd both have been happier with half the juice in the first place.

No argument about the orgeat. Wonderful stuff.

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
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After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

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