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Mai Tai (Trader Vic's) from Kindred Cocktails

 

1oz Jamaican rum (dark, 7-15 year old)

1oz Rhum Agricole, St. George

3⁄4 oz Lime juice

1⁄2 oz Curaçao (I used Morays Orange Liqueur)

1⁄4 oz Orgeat (I used almond extract)

1⁄4 oz Simple syrup

1 spg Mint (as garnish)

 

I was really excited to try Rhum Agricole, OMG, what a surprise. O.o

It's not a rum, I don't know why I thought it was a rum. It's not sweet at all, it smells like pickled olives and grass.

Yet it's a key ingredient in the original mai tai. The sweetness of the other ingredients hide its brininess.

I really enjoyed the Trader Vic Mai Tai. I'm undecided on the Rhum Agricole. All I can say for now is it's mighty fine in a mai tai and being a St. George product, it goes down smooth as silk, as long as you can hide the taste.

 

IMG_2587.JPG


Edited by Smokeydoke (log)
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11 hours ago, Smokeydoke said:

 

Yet it's a key ingredient in the original mai tai.
 


If I'm not mistaken, the dark Jamaican/Martinique combo was the solution for replacing the Wray & Nephew 17 year that was the key ingredient in the original Mai Tai. When the W&N became scarce and eventually unavailable other than in private collections, it forced finding a workable substitute. I claim no expertise in that area though, I just happen to be fresh off of a thorough reading of a couple of Beachbum Berry's books and Martin Cate's book and I'm pretty sure I remember that being the case regarding the Martinique rhum in the Mai Tai.

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@Tri2Cook, I went online to see if they sold me a bad batch and the consensus was St. George's is really raw and savory, even for an rhum agricole, so maybe other rhum agricole's aren't as bad. Clement VSOP Rhum Agricole Vieux got good reviews.

 

I really like this version of the Mai Tai, it's a complicated drink, much like a higher-end brandy. It's not cloyingly sweet like the ones I've had elsewhere. So the agricole may be doing it's job. I've been reading that it's used like bitters, it's suppose to provide that je ne sais quoi . And for that, I think it's perfect.

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2 hours ago, Smokeydoke said:

@Tri2Cook, I went online to see if they sold me a bad batch and the consensus was St. George's is really raw and savory, even for an rhum agricole, so maybe other rhum agricole's aren't as bad. Clement VSOP Rhum Agricole Vieux got good reviews.

 

I really like this version of the Mai Tai, it's a complicated drink, much like a higher-end brandy. It's not cloyingly sweet like the ones I've had elsewhere. So the agricole may be doing it's job. I've been reading that it's used like bitters, it's suppose to provide that je ne sais quoi . And for that, I think it's perfect.

 

Check out this topic if you have not already:

 

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/72687-rhum-agricole-the-topic/

 

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2 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Check out this topic if you have not already:

 

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/72687-rhum-agricole-the-topic/

 

My recommendation as well - do some research! :)

Rhum agricole is wonderful (including the St George, specifically), although it is so different from molasses-based rum ("rhum industriel") that the first time is a shock, for sure.

Also as pointed above, the agricole that a lot of people use in Mai Tais is an aged one. Aged and and unaged agricoles are both funky but have very different profiles and are not interchangeable.

In any case, if you are trying to reproduce "the original Mai Tai", Martin Cate's research revealed that the Martinique rhum component was a molasses-based rum, not rhum agricole.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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I'm not interested in getting a perfect reproduction of "the original Mai Tai" and have no desire to do the research to do so. I much rather do my research by making drinks!

 

Sometimes, you have to stop reading, and start making. Besides, the version I made earlier was tasty, as is using DeKruper Triple Sec. YMMV.

 

I had St. George's Rhum Agricole in my cabinet anyways, for honestly no better reason that I wanted to try it and it was the right price.

 

I'm not going to go into debate about whether or not what I made was the a "true" reproduction of Trader Vic's Mai Tai, but just because I perused it, you can read the comments and articles linked in Kindred Spirits page, stating that argicole and dark rum were combined to try to create the original J. Wray 17 year old rum, which is what the original Mai Tai was created to highlight. It had a distinct flavor, that is not common in molasses-based rum, but reproduced by a molasses based rum and an agricole, which must've disintegrated into the mai tai that most of us know today, a dark rum and a (light) rum. 

 

Not to mention, there's a handful of other "adaptations" to this exact recipe! So get off my case! If I want to mix it with unaged agricole and report on it, I can. Not many of here have tried St. George's Rhum Agricole, it's not like I'm reporting on Bacardi White.

 

YMMV, I look at the suggestions for using Appleton 12 v/x in a cocktail and gasp.


Edited by Smokeydoke (log)

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And not that RumDood is the "end-all" in any rum conversation, here's an interesting recipe he posted on his blog, that won the Bacardi Legacy Championship 2015

 

Le Latin
by Frank Dedieu

 

45 ml Bacardi White

20 ml Lemon Juice

20 ml White Wine (Viognier preferred)

6 ml Olive Brine

2 barspoons Sugar

 

So, mixing rum, albeit white in this case, with olive brine is not such a travesty after all. It's actually tasty. And olive brine and grass are the predominant flavor profiles of a St. George Agricole, so it's not a far stretch to mix it in this mai tai. Not that it was inspiration, I read RumDood's blog much later, but was surprised to see another using the same flavor combination. If I hadn't tasted it just hours before, I would've thought it was foul. 

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37 minutes ago, Smokeydoke said:

I'm not interested in getting a perfect reproduction of "the original Mai Tai" and have no desire to do the research to do so. I much rather do my research by making drinks!

 

Sometimes, you have to stop reading, and start making. Besides, the version I made earlier was tasty, as is using DeKruper Triple Sec. YMMV.

 

I had St. George's Rhum Agricole in my cabinet anyways, for honestly no better reason that I wanted to try it and it was the right price.

 

I'm not going to go into debate about whether or not what I made was the a "true" reproduction of Trader Vic's Mai Tai, but just because I perused it, you can read the comments and articles linked in Kindred Spirits page, stating that argicole and dark rum were combined to try to create the original J. Wray 17 year old rum, which is what the original Mai Tai was created to highlight. It had a distinct flavor, that is not common in molasses-based rum, but reproduced by a molasses based rum and an agricole, which must've disintegrated into the mai tai that most of us know today, a dark rum and a (light) rum. 

 

Not to mention, there's a handful of other "adaptations" to this exact recipe! So get off my case! If I want to mix it with unaged agricole and report on it, I can. Not many of here have tried St. George's Rhum Agricole, it's not like I'm reporting on Bacardi White.

 

YMMV, I look at the suggestions for using Appleton 12 v/x in a cocktail and gasp.

 

"Get off my case"?! Chill, dude. All I was trying to say was that St George was a fine product, and that trying it in a Mai Tai maybe wasn't the easiest way to fall in love with it. If you liked it, great!

And research includes making/drinking. Of course it does!

Enjoy your St George. You got it for a steal!

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It's growing on me, I've read reviews that use it like bitters and that makes more sense to me than using it like a molasses-based rum. It's a distinct flavor, an analogy would be anchovies, anchovies don't taste good plain, but mixed in Caesar salad, it is delicious. I made a Cuba Libre with it today and it really brought out the flavor of the limes and caramel. I'm sure I'll find a use for my bottle. 

 

I'm a big fan of St. George gin (I'm a predominantly a gin drinker), so I had to buy anything St. George on sale. I noticed St. George gin in your cabinet too. There's something we agree on. Cheers.

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A gin and tonic with Tanqueray No. 10 and Fever Tree tonic. Supremo.

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@Smokeydoke I would suggest you find real, high quality orgeat or make some. It tastes like actual almonds (nom, nom, by the handful) rather than extract (e.g. marzipan). Small Hands is reported to be great. BG Reynolds is good, although it is tan in color which puts some off. I would avoid Fee. @JoNorvelleWalker is the Mai Tai queen in these parts. Probably has done more experimenting than anyone with this particular drink.

 

Tiny correction. It's Kindred Cocktails, not Spirits.

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It's funny, I went to my nearby (big) liquor store and asked if they had orgeat and had to explain what it was to the clerk.

He suggested I buy some Torani almond syrup.  

No orgeat for me.

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@EvergreenDan, not understanding what you're getting at, I'm definitely not the Mai Tai queen, nor do I have an desire to be and I definitely don't want to take that title away from @JoNorvelleWalker. I'm predominantly a gin drinker who happened to have a new bottle of Rhum Agricole.

 

But concerning orgeat, point taken, I will try making some. It does appear in a few cocktails I want to try.

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/11/how-to-make-orgeat-recipe-almond-syrup-for-cocktails.html

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2 hours ago, Craig E said:

A gin and tonic with Tanqueray No. 10 and Fever Tree tonic. Supremo.

 

Perfect combo.

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44 minutes ago, lindag said:

It's funny, I went to my nearby (big) liquor store and asked if they had orgeat and had to explain what it was to the clerk.

He suggested I buy some Torani almond syrup.  

No orgeat for me.

 

Here is @feste's order page...

http://smallhandfoods.com/shop/syrups/orgeat/

 

(She also makes two different types of tonic.)

 

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@JoNorvelleWalker they used to give you crap about drinking "disgusting" mai tais, now you're the Mai Tai Queen. Congratulations! :D

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I'm quoting my post from back in Dec:

Quote

Cliff Old Fashioned from Dave Arnold's Liquid Intelligence 

IMG_6449.thumb.jpg.a3356a5a7c413511e7c9fff687a9fdca.jpg

Built over ice with Elijah Craig, ango bitters and a coriander syrup (which I could have filtered a bit better) as the sweetener.  The red chile flakes in the coriander syrup add a nice warming touch.

 

I really like that coriander syrup.  I've always shied away from the sweetness in an Old Fashioned but this syrup includes some red chile flakes, which provide a bit of heat to balance the sweetness. It also makes very nice coriander soda. 

In addition to the Elijah Craig bourbon specified in the recipe, I've made this cocktail with various base spirits:

Wild Turkey 101 - not recommended

Rittenhouse Rye - so so

Laird's 100 proof apple brandy - good

Appleton Estate Reserve - excellent

Koloa Kaua'i Coconut rum -  (I used a dash Angostura and 1 dash orange bitters for this one) sweet, but very nice 

Cazadores Añejo tequila - no, no, no

Hacienda de Chihuahua reposado sotol - nice!

 

Maybe I should try a brandy or cognac version.  What I've learned from my experiments it that a sippable spirit will make a sippable Cliff Old Fashioned.  

Also, coriander seeds are cheaper by the pound xD

 

 

 

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^^ that looks delicious. I'm curious about the Appleton Reserve, it gets good reviews everywhere, I think I'll buy that next.

 

And coincidence (?) I just borrowed a copy of Liquid Intelligence today.

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On 1/9/2018 at 7:01 PM, EvergreenDan said:

Someone posted this from Fred Yarm's site, CocktailVirginSlut. I tried it tonight and thought it was pretty great. My wife, who isn't a huge Zucca or Cherry Heering fan, loved it too.

 

Estocada
by Sahil Mehta, Estragon, Boston

3/4 oz Mezcal
3/4 oz Cherry Liqueur, Cherry Heering
3/4 oz Zucca
3/4 oz Lime juice
1 twst Lime peel

Shake with ice, strain into a coupe, garnish

 

 

 

I think I've seen this mentioned on the board somewhere but memory loss and lack of initiative to find the thread is prevailing - is Sfumato a reasonable substitute for Zucca? Regardless this looks great, I'll have to try this.

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12 hours ago, lindag said:

It's funny, I went to my nearby (big) liquor store and asked if they had orgeat and had to explain what it was to the clerk.

He suggested I buy some Torani almond syrup.  

No orgeat for me.

In case you feel like making your own, this thread has a lot of info.

 

 

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Kevin Liu has a recipe for easy cheat orgeat using almond milk that is pretty good (not that I'm a connoisseur). 

 

I got it in his kindle book. There is some discussion in the Orgeat topic.

 

On a side note, I miss seeing his posts.

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22 hours ago, sbumgarner said:

 

 is Sfumato a reasonable substitute for Zucca?

Yes.

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