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Mai Tai Recipes


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#31 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 06:03 PM

Thanks, FrogPrincesse, for acquainting me with this thread!  I've been working on assembling the makings of a Mai Tai.

 

Sadly I misremembered seeing some older Appleton Estates at my local store.  When I went today to buy some all they had was V/X.  They did have one lorn bottle left of Mount Gay Extra Old, but I wanted to check with the experts here before buying it for my Mai Tai, to use in place of Jamaican.

 

I still have a little Barbancourt 5 star for the sugercane component.  Would that mix well with the Mount Gay Extra Old?

 

I've also been window shopping for a proper Mai Tai glass.  Would 11 1/2 oz be big enough?  I have no cocktail glasses whatsoever -- other than two hurricane glasses, one of which is my son's.  From what I've read the Trader Vic Mai Tai glass is 15 oz, however, to me, the printing looks more tacky than tiki (although I understand that may be part of the charm).

 

What I'd like is plain crystal, similar in shape to the one in Beachbum Berry's Mai Tai picture:

 

http://beachbumberry...make-a-mai-tai/


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker, 12 October 2013 - 06:06 PM.


#32 Kerry Beal

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 06:16 PM

I think the description is calling that a double old fashioned glass.  I find lots of them at thrift stores and places like Homesense (that's Marshalls in american I think)



#33 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 06:48 PM

Yes, but a large double old fashioned glass with sloping sides.  One book I have calls it a bucket glass.  I don't have a vehicle and I live in what some people call the boonies, so I need to find something on line or within walking distance.  I saw one glass I liked that is 11 1/2 oz, that's why I asked if 11 1/2 oz was large enough.  Many double old fashioned glasses seem to have straight sides or do not hold enough.

 

Another possibility, I suppose, is a pint beer glass.



#34 Kerry Beal

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 07:28 PM

I think that 11 1/2 might be a bit small - a little under 4 ounces of liquid and 2 cups of ice.  

 

These look nice but still might be a bit small.  



#35 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:15 PM

I think that 11 1/2 might be a bit small - a little under 4 ounces of liquid and 2 cups of ice.  

 

These look nice but still might be a bit small.  

 

But Libbey is sold in a case of twelve.  Last I checked I am one person.  The space under my bed is already occupied by Libbey!  Nothing against Libbey, I'm having my milk at the moment in a Libbey cobalt tumbler.  Though for a Mai Tai I was hoping for a better grade of glass.

 

The 11 1/2 oz glass that I was taken with is Baccarat.  My wine glasses are Baccarat and I always wanted to have more pieces.  Unfortunately I agree 11 1/2 is tight for the amount of drink.  Baccarat makes larger double old fashiond's, of course, but they are rather more expensive and not as attractive, to my taste.

 

I've spent hours now on the web looking for the right glass.  One possibility is:

http://williamyeowar...?ProductID=1140

 

My concern is I never heard of William Yeoward until tonight.  I have no idea if their crystal, if it is real crystal, is any good.  I'm thinking it's not crystal because it's not that expensive, and there are other collections they call crystal.  Note, however, that the thing holds 18 oz!

 

Back to ingredients, though, can no one address my question about Mount Gay Extra Old?  The reviews I seen have been favorable, but I don't know how it would work in a proper Mai Tai.



#36 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:39 PM

If you have access to Appleton, I would go with that. Although I use the 12-year at home, the V/X is what I have seen many bars use for the Jamaican component. I have tried it and while it's lighter than the 12, it's still a very nice rum for mixing.

Edited by FrogPrincesse, 13 October 2013 - 11:49 PM.


#37 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:53 PM

Plus it's a lot cheaper than the Mount Gay Extra Old.  Hmmm.  I asked the store if they could order in any older Appleton.  But now from what I've been reading the older Appleton is not cost effective.  Horrible decisions.



#38 Adam George

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 09:08 AM

Mount Gay Xo is boring when mixed to be honest.

 

Grab Appleton VX or Extra 8


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#39 Rafa

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:22 AM

Mount Gay Xo is boring when mixed to be honest.

 

Grab Appleton VX or Extra 8

 

Agreed. Nice sipper in a classic style but it disappears in a mixed drink. You want something assertive and distinctive; if you can't get one of the older Appletons or El Dorados something like ED5 will do fine. Ditto the two Banks blends (5 Islands and 7) and Denizen white, if you can get those. Basically as long as you mix rums with character and use good orgeat it's hard to go wrong with a Vic's Mai Tai.*

*On the "Vic's" Mai Tai note, Andrew Willett at Elemental Mixology asserts that there's no evidence that Vic Bergeron came up with the Mai Tai recipe attributed to him and that it's more likely that Vic took credit for it after the fact. Willett can be curmudgeony and delights in painting most modern mixologists as fools and frauds, but he is also well-researched and often right on fine points of mixological history. Can someone who's more familiar with Jeff Berry's research on the topic counter this assertion, or provide more context?


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#40 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:13 AM

 

*On the "Vic's" Mai Tai note, Andrew Willett at Elemental Mixology asserts that there's no evidence that Vic Bergeron came up with the Mai Tai recipe attributed to him and that it's more likely that Vic took credit for it after the fact. Willett can be curmudgeony and delights in painting most modern mixologists as fools and frauds, but he is also well-researched and often right on fine points of mixological history. Can someone who's more familiar with Jeff Berry's research on the topic counter this assertion, or provide more context?

 

Hmmm. It's one way to get noticed I guess (it worked - I am now following his blog).

 

The history of the Mai Tai was detailed by Jeff Berry in Remixed and seemed well supported. I will have to refresh my memory regarding the specific details (good thing I have some homemade orgeat left in the fridge).



#41 Rafa

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:48 AM

 

 

*On the "Vic's" Mai Tai note, Andrew Willett at Elemental Mixology asserts that there's no evidence that Vic Bergeron came up with the Mai Tai recipe attributed to him and that it's more likely that Vic took credit for it after the fact. Willett can be curmudgeony and delights in painting most modern mixologists as fools and frauds, but he is also well-researched and often right on fine points of mixological history. Can someone who's more familiar with Jeff Berry's research on the topic counter this assertion, or provide more context?

 

Hmmm. It's one way to get noticed I guess (it worked - I am now following his blog).

 

The history of the Mai Tai was detailed by Jeff Berry in Remixed and seemed well supported. I will have to refresh my memory regarding the specific details (good thing I have some homemade orgeat left in the fridge).

 

 

It's well worth following, though I object in part to his tone and his framing (only clear-eyed mixological historian vs. hipster charlatans) and his general approach to cocktail history (strict prescriptivism based on a somewhat problematic canon of pre-prohibition literature). That said, I've learned a lot from his work, and his work on classifications and families of mixed drinks is well worth reading. 


Edited by Rafa, 14 October 2013 - 11:55 AM.

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#42 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 03:05 PM

 

Mount Gay Xo is boring when mixed to be honest.

 

Grab Appleton VX or Extra 8

 

Agreed. Nice sipper in a classic style but it disappears in a mixed drink. You want something assertive and distinctive; if you can't get one of the older Appletons or El Dorados something like ED5 will do fine. Ditto the two Banks blends (5 Islands and 7) and Denizen white, if you can get those. Basically as long as you mix rums with character and use good orgeat it's hard to go wrong with a Vic's Mai Tai.*

*On the "Vic's" Mai Tai note, Andrew Willett at Elemental Mixology asserts that there's no evidence that Vic Bergeron came up with the Mai Tai recipe attributed to him and that it's more likely that Vic took credit for it after the fact. Willett can be curmudgeony and delights in painting most modern mixologists as fools and frauds, but he is also well-researched and often right on fine points of mixological history. Can someone who's more familiar with Jeff Berry's research on the topic counter this assertion, or provide more context?

 

 

I just got off the phone with my supplier:  he can have 12 year old Appleton in by day after tomorrow.  I ordered.  For that matter he can get a range of the older Appletons however the 50 year seems a bit excessive.

 

Thanks for the link to Andrew Willett.  I notice Willett calls for using only a single rum in the Mai Tai, for which he strongly recommends Wray & Nephew white overproof, which as I recall my dealer has on shelf.  Any thoughts?  Strange to see a picture of an all white Mai Tai, though.

 

As far as the origin of the Mai Tai, The NY Times lukewarmly credits it to Beach:

http://www.nytimes.c...urateur-81.html

 

A good source of Mai Tai lore is chapter 9 of Wayne Curtis' book "and a Bottle of RUM, a history of the new world in ten cocktails".  Chapter 9 is appropriately named "Mai Tai".  Interesting to read that upon her release on bail, terrorist/heiress Patty Hearst, who presumably could have had pretty much anything she wanted, called for a Mai Tai.

 

And according to Curtis:  "Jeff Berry is the most rigorous tiki cocktail archaeologist practicing today..."


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker, 14 October 2013 - 03:39 PM.


#43 Moto

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:08 PM

I would definitely not use Wray and Nephew in a Mai Tai.  When you awoke from your Wray induced slumber you would surely not do that again:)  To me a mai tai is about all the ingredients at balance to give a perfect cocktail.  Just the right amount of lime, and orgeat, combined with a good mix of rums to create a perfect cocktail.  Half the fun is coming up with different rum combinations that work.  My combination changes all time.  I started with Mount Gay Eclipse and as I built my rum collection I now have three or four favorites.

 

It astes good with only Appleton, or only El Dorado.  Tastes even better with  a little Clement mixed in.  Lately I have been including a 1/4 oz of Smith and Cross in whatever combo I go with


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#44 Hassouni

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:34 PM

I bet 1/2 oz wray, 1/2 oz SC, 1 oz Appleton 12 would be SICK! Too bad it's getting chilly here (and I'm still recovering from the worst hangover of 2013), or I'd mix one up right away


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#45 Rafa

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:40 PM

I bet 1/2 oz wray, 1/2 oz SC, 1 oz Appleton 12 would be SICK! Too bad it's getting chilly here (and I'm still recovering from the worst hangover of 2013), or I'd mix one up right away

 

Exactly. I don't see why Wray & Nephew couldn't work in a Mai Tai in the same way S&C works, as one component of a more rounded rum mix. It's delicious on its own and mixes well in most places S&C is called for. 2 oz of the stuff would overwhelm the other flavors but a half or even a whole ounce mixed with one or two other rums sounds delicious. I might try that tonight or tomorrow...


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#46 lesliec

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 04:11 PM

S&C isn't available out here in the outer spiral arm of the Pacific, so out of necessity I can confirm W&N is delicious in a Mai Tai.  Along with Appleton VX and home-made orgeat, falernum and curaçao, and some Gunpowder Rum on top.

 

And I now own a couple of Tiki mugs too ... life stinks sometimes.


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#47 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:36 PM

All my suppliers and shipments came through and I have prepared my very first Mai Tai, and the first Mai Tai I've had since the 1980's.

 

I used:

 

1 oz Appleton 12

1 oz Barbancourt 5 star

1/2 oz Grand Marnier

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz Small Hand orgeat

1/4 oz Small Hand syrup

 

I shook with 2 cups crushed ice and served in a tumbler with half a spent lime and brused fresh mint.

 

 

The orange was pretty much undetectable so I added 1/4 oz more Grand Marnier.  Even so all that comes forward is Appleton, lime, and sweetness.  Not that it's a bad drink, but not what I remember.  The orange and almonds are wandering around lost somewhere and the mint is only nice to look at.  I tried eating some of the mint neat, and unfortunately it does not have much flavor.  Maybe it's the time of the year?  And I don't think I can tell the Barbancourt is in there.

 

I think I'd like less sweetness and less lime.  Definitely less sweetness.  I muddled up the sprig of mint with my green straw, and finally a little hit of mint.

 

Thoughts and suggestions would be welcome.

 

 

P.S.  With only a quarter glass left of mostly melted ice, without measuring I dumped in some Appleton and orgeat.  I like it!  Better than at the start.


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#48 lesliec

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:16 PM

Hi Jo.

 

As with, I suppose, all cocktails, personal taste comes into this.  I don't like tart/citrus to be noticeable in my drinks, so for the Mai Tai I use my own falernum instead of lime juice.  There's certainly still lime character, but so much more richness of flavour and less tartness.  But you're right about the Grand Marnier/curaçao; I don't recall ever noticing the orange with everything else going on in there.


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#49 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 07:23 PM

Thanks for the encouragement!  Tonight I used:

 

2 oz Appleton 12

1/2 oz Grand Marnier

3/8 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz Small Hand orgeat (I was aiming for 3/4 oz and missed)

 

Garnished with no lime this time, but with a small forest of fresh mint.  Much more to my taste.  Sweetness is still a little much, so next time perhaps I'll cut the orgeat to 3/4 oz and up the lime, but just a bit.  I could drink a lot of these.



#50 Adam George

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:27 AM

Don't mind me, just posting this recipe again:

 

0.75oz Skipper Demerera
0.75oz Smith & Cross
1.25oz Trois Riveries Blanc
1.25oz Lime
0.75oz Pierre Ferrand Curaçao 
0.5 oz Orgeat 
0.25oz Vanilla Syrup.

Shake, strain over cubed ice, crown with crushed, lime husk with bitters dashed on and large mint sprig for garnish.


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#51 Hassouni

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:39 AM

How does the Curaçao work for a Mai Tai? I've been long considering getting a bottle.



#52 Adam George

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:48 PM

Though I'm at risk of sounding immodest, this is the best Mai Tai I've ever had - hands down.


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#53 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 02:31 PM

Though I'm at risk of sounding immodest, this is the best Mai Tai I've ever had - hands down.

You seem very sure of yourself...

 

 

How does the Curaçao work for a Mai Tai? I've been long considering getting a bottle.

It also works great in a Sidecar.

 

 

Thanks, FrogPrincesse, for acquainting me with this thread! I've been working on assembling the makings of a Mai Tai.

 

[...]

 

I've also been window shopping for a proper Mai Tai glass. Would 11 1/2 oz be big enough? I have no cocktail glasses whatsoever -- other than two hurricane glasses, one of which is my son's. From what I've read the Trader Vic Mai Tai glass is 15 oz, however, to me, the printing looks more tacky than tiki (although I understand that may be part of the charm).

 

What I'd like is plain crystal, similar in shape to the one in Beachbum Berry's Mai Tai picture:

 

http://beachbumberry...make-a-mai-tai/

You are welcome but did you call my Mai Tai glasses tacky?! In any case, they are 14 oz glasses (available here if anyone's interested). As Kerry already responded, 11 1/2 glasses are probably going to be a bit small for a Mai Tai (but are perfect for an old-fashioned). 



#54 Adam George

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 02:59 PM

 

Though I'm at risk of sounding immodest, this is the best Mai Tai I've ever had - hands down.

You seem very sure of yourself...

 

 

 

 

ce46074c_images2Farticle2F20122F092F232F


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#55 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 03:45 PM

And I French shrug in your general direction... (sorry, could not find a good video - although I looked. Just imagine Amelie doing the above)

 

But more seriously, I would love to hear how you came up with your rum combo & final recipe. Did you just get lucky or is it the result of endless experiments a la Rumdood ?


Edited by FrogPrincesse, 22 October 2013 - 03:47 PM.


#56 Adam George

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 04:48 PM

I'll list how got there in roughly chronological order.

Should note, these aren't the only combos I tried, but the ones that best represent the lineage of my thinking.

 

Appleton VX only.

Appleton VX & Clement VSOP

Appleton VX & Leblon Cachaca

Appleton VX & Leblon Cachaca with a dash of Wray

Meyers's Dark Rum & Leblon Cachaca

Meyers's Dark Rum & Trois Rivieres Blanc

Smith and Cross & Trois Rivieres Blanc

Part Skipper, part Smith & Cross & Trois Rivieres Blanc

 

Basically, I and many Mai Tais I had before this used Appleton VX and it's sensibly priced for mixing.

However, I was looking for something with more depth of flavour.  

Then I discovered at the original was split with Jamaican Rum and agricole.  However, despite it being perfectly good, it was too dry with the Clement VSOP for my personal taste.

 

This video inspired me to use cachaca in place of agricole (and vanilla syrup, incidentally) since we had it in the bar already.

Appleton VX and cachaca was fine and I threw some Wray at it, which was fun, but ultimately just upped the proof and pushed the young Appleton out front a bit more.

A colleague suggested I try a "dark" Jamaican rum with the cachaca, so for a while I settled on Meyers's with Cachaca, and that eventually made it onto my menu.  I really liked this blend and loved how the drink was so layered, with a definite point where the Jamaican finished and the grassy, fresh cachaca took over and finished the drink.  It was so refreshing.

 

When the Trois Rivieres came in and I had finished my batch of Meyer's and Cachaca pre-mix I changed the recipe.  We even saved money because the agricole was loads cheaper than the expensive Leblon.  

 

I liked this mixture but was now looking at a 50% white spirit pushing the Meyers's out of the way in profile.  

I had taken delivery of hipster favourite Smith & Cross and for a while made half S&C and half TR.  This was a banging drink.  Really great and if it weren't so strong I might have called it a favourite.  Also, I was missing the heavy, molasses-centric profile of Meyers's.  

 

So I thought about creating "Turbo Meyers's" - something with a similar profile to the syrupy dark Jamaican, yet retaining the lovely banana/passionfruit notes of the S&C and also standing shoulder to shoulder with Trois Rivieres 100 Proof.

Enter the Skipper, a cheap £11 Demerera Rum from Guyana, yet bottled up in Glasgow.  It's young and coloured to fuck.  

When blended with S&C, this had exactly what I was looking for - it's basically 97 proof Meyers's. 

 

I loved making this drink because I got to try it each time.  

I typically don't taste drinks unless the balance really hangs in a couple of ml of citrus or sugar as I know when they'll be okay - and truthfully this was always going to be fine, just pour a measure from the pre-mix, squeeze 25ml of fresh lime and go - but I always tasted this Mai Tai because it's that fucking good.

 

Worth noting that I don't shake this with crushed and dump as I like to be able to control the dilution better, so I shake and strain over fresh cubes and crown with a good mountain of crushed to wedge my lime husk into.

This way the drink was as strong and punchy in ten minutes as it was as soon as served.


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#57 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 09:43 PM

 

You are welcome but did you call my Mai Tai glasses tacky?!

 

Well, I guess if they were mine they would be tacky.  I prefer plain crystal without decoration.  Very untiki of me.



#58 Hassouni

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:04 PM

And I French shrug in your general direction... (sorry, could not find a good video - although I looked. Just imagine Amelie doing the above)

 

But more seriously, I would love to hear how you came up with your rum combo & final recipe. Did you just get lucky or is it the result of endless experiments a la Rumdood ?

 

Ça suffit pas, Princesse?

 

 

Then I discovered at the original was split with Jamaican Rum and agricole.  However, despite it being perfectly good, it was too dry with the Clement VSOP for my personal taste.

 

 

The original was actually a 17 year aged Wray and Nephew, which makes me REALLY want to try barrel aging some WN Overproof. Vic later consider a more standard JA rum and a Martinique to be a decent sub. I still think S&C, W&N, and something mega oaky (Appleton 12, ED15, etc) would make THE killer Mai Tai. Someone remind me to try it when I'm not a few cocktails in....



#59 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:08 PM


You are welcome but did you call my Mai Tai glasses tacky?!

 
Well, I guess if they were mine they would be tacky.  I prefer plain crystal without decoration.  Very untiki of me.
Crystal? Definitely untiki.

#60 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:16 PM


And I French shrug in your general direction... (sorry, could not find a good video - although I looked. Just imagine Amelie doing the above)
 

 
Ça suffit pas, Princesse? 
C'est pas mal, Hassouni, but I was looking for Le Shrug. Thanks for your help though. Always good to revisit the classics.
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