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Scott S

Mai Tai Recipes

411 posts in this topic

By the way Pusser's doesn't have its own stills. They use rum from Demerara Distillers Ltd (the guys who make El Dorado, and technically every other Demerara rum produced today), specifically the double wooden Port Morant pot still, as well as rums from elsewhere, possibly Trinidad, possibly VI or Jamaica.

I think almost any pure-pot still rum will have the requisite hogo for a good mai tai

The label says product of Barbados. Doesn't that mean the rum has to have been distilled in Barbados? Quite a ways away from Demerara, not that I have anything against Demerara rum.

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And yet nothing like typical Barbados Rum.

What do you think would have been the Barbados rum that Curtis had in mind for his Mai Tai?

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the archetypal one is Mount Gay, but anything by Seale's/Foursquare is probably a better buy

ETA: I had some Pusser's in a daiquiri and neat last night, because of this discussion and because it had been a while, and man, it might be my single favorite under $20. It's like Smith and Cross but more approachable, the entrypoint into real, no-nonsense rum.


Edited by Hassouni (log)

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I thought it was said above that Mount Gay was not suitable for a Mai Tai, or was that just the Mount Gay Extra Old I had asked about?

My bottle of Pusser's cost more than $20.

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I get mine for 17 or so. Barbados rum in general is very subtle, even elegant. They do not have the intensity or fire to cut through an ounce of lime and another ounce of orgeat/curaçao. MG Eclipse and XO, to my taste, are not too far off from each other.

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Tonight is:

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Appleton 12

3/4 oz Cointreau

1 oz fresh lime juice

3/4 oz orgeat

Two sprigs of mint and spent half lime. I had intended to try 1/2 oz orgeat rather than 3/4 but I forgot what I was doing. Even so, this is good. No ingredient stands above the others. And it's particularly nice after standing up four hours making dinner.

I can hear Captain Jack wondering: "Orgeat, why is the orgeat gone??"

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I tried:

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Appleton 12

3/4 oz Cointreau

1 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz orgeat

For some reason this batch comes through as bitter. Perhaps from the lime pulp? Note I used the other half of the same lime as last night, so pretty sure not a bad lime. I even tried adding a little more orgeat, which didn't fix the bitterness at all. Maybe it's because I did not strain the lime juice, which I otherwise always do? Anyhow, not as good as last night's effort, which was:

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Appleton 12

3/4 oz Cointreau

1 oz fresh lime juice

3/4 oz orgeat

In fact tonight's Mai Tai is the worst Mai Tai I have made. I may compare with:

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Appleton 12

3/4 oz Cointreau

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz orgeat

But this will have to wait till tomorrow. Or probably should wait till tomorrow. Maybe.

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The things I will do for eGullet and for science. I staggered out to the kitchen and lurched back with:

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Appleton 12

3/4 oz Cointreau

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz orgeat

This concoction is much better. At least it is not bitter. And yes, I did strain the lime this time. But I'm not sure it was as good as:

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Appleton 12

3/4 oz Cointreau

1 oz fresh lime juice

3/4 oz orgeat

Which I really, really liked last night. However my critical facilities are not 100% at the moment. No wine for me with dinner! I'm not that certain about dinner either.

Could using the unstrained lime juice really have caused the bitterness in my first Mai Tai tonight? Or could this all be my imagination? I also had a little cheese. Could that have spoiled my taste?

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In my experience, bitterness in lime juice is more likely to come from the oil in the skin than from the pulp. What kind of juicer are you using?


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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It might have something to do with you using a lime that had been cut open the night before. And the cheese is probably a factor; I tend to dislike cheese and cocktail pairings for that reason. (Though fino sherry is great with cheese plates.)


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”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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What Matt and Rafa said. Also, I can't believe there was THAT much difference, your recipes are pretty close.

This was the worst:


1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Appleton 12

3/4 oz Cointreau

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz orgeat

While this was the best?

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Appleton 12

3/4 oz Cointreau

1 oz fresh lime juice

3/4 oz orgeat

That's only 1/4 oz more lime and orgeat respectively. And I bet your "worst" one still tasted pretty damn good. Try knocking the Cointreau back to 1/2 oz, per the original recipe.

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That's only 1/4 oz more lime and orgeat respectively. And I bet your "worst" one still tasted pretty damn good. Try knocking the Cointreau back to 1/2 oz, per the original recipe.

No, last night's, the worst one, was unfortunately pretty much undrinkable...though I drank it anyway. It was not any flavor of good. It was horribly bitter. Something went very wrong. Maybe I didn't rinse well enough and got some dish detergent into it, though that is not likely. More likely it was bitterness from lime pith, since I really reamed the poor lime and didn't strain the juice. Although tonight I did not have any cheese (nor anything at all to eat) so that may be an issue.

Right now I am enjoying:

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Appleton 12

1/2 oz Cointreau

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz orgeat

This is really good and a little more rum forward. No problems with bitterness tonight. Based on my experiments I don't think 1/4 oz of any ingredient, give or take, makes a catastrophic difference. Though I lean towards a touch more orgeat and Cointreau, myself.

My lime juicer is a plastic reamer type thingy that screws onto a glass receiving vessel. It is from the 1970's or 1980's, and the plastic is doing what old plastic tends to do. I may be ready for a new juicer. When I discussed this with my colleagues at work tonight, they were horrified by my choice of juicer. Though my one coworker who used to be a bartender said in the bar they used only sour mix, no real limes at all.

Now that the ice has melted a bit and the drink level has gone down I poured in more Pusser's, Cointreau, and orgeat. To confirm my theory, the drink is still great even if the proportions are now off. And so, slightly, am I.

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Tristan Stephenson is speccing his Mai Tai with Meyers's and Trois Rivieres in his book.

Great minds.

I put in a request for our library to purchase this.

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That's only 1/4 oz more lime and orgeat respectively. And I bet your "worst" one still tasted pretty damn good. Try knocking the Cointreau back to 1/2 oz, per the original recipe.

No, last night's, the worst one, was unfortunately pretty much undrinkable...though I drank it anyway. It was not any flavor of good. It was horribly bitter. Something went very wrong. Maybe I didn't rinse well enough and got some dish detergent into it, though that is not likely. More likely it was bitterness from lime pith, since I really reamed the poor lime and didn't strain the juice. Although tonight I did not have any cheese (nor anything at all to eat) so that may be an issue.

Right now I am enjoying:

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Appleton 12

1/2 oz Cointreau

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz orgeat

This is really good and a little more rum forward. No problems with bitterness tonight. Based on my experiments I don't think 1/4 oz of any ingredient, give or take, makes a catastrophic difference. Though I lean towards a touch more orgeat and Cointreau, myself.

My lime juicer is a plastic reamer type thingy that screws onto a glass receiving vessel. It is from the 1970's or 1980's, and the plastic is doing what old plastic tends to do. I may be ready for a new juicer. When I discussed this with my colleagues at work tonight, they were horrified by my choice of juicer. Though my one coworker who used to be a bartender said in the bar they used only sour mix, no real limes at all.

Now that the ice has melted a bit and the drink level has gone down I poured in more Pusser's, Cointreau, and orgeat. To confirm my theory, the drink is still great even if the proportions are now off. And so, slightly, am I.

I agree that .25 one way or the other makes not a huge difference. Your lime must have been mega screwed up. Get something like this, too: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002IBOAK/ref=nosim/?tag=egulletsociety-20

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Tonight I've been reading a copy of Beachbum Berry Remixed. So after studying Berry's version of the Mai Tai canon, I had to try his take on Trader Vic's original proportions, but with the ingedients that I'm using now:

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Appleton 12

1/2 oz Cointreau

1 oz fresh lime juice (which just happend to be all the juice of my last not very juicy lime)

1/4 oz orgeat

1/4 oz syrup

Did not bother with any garnish beyond a straw. So sue me. Very good Mai Tai, but I do have to pose the question: why did Vic go with half orgeat and half syrup, rather than all orgeat? I can only suppose he had only some truly vile commercial orgeat on hand and did not want to use too much to spoil his drink. I would skip the syrup and up the orgeat and Cointreau. Just my opinion.

I dearly wish feste would pop in and share her current recipe for Mai Tai. And that way I could thank her for her excellent orgeat.

If I had another lime I would make myself another Mai Tai.

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I use a Monin Orgeat and reckon its fine. I still cut it with Monin Vanilla to temper the almond flavour. I don't want it dominating.

And I can tell by your preferred specs that you have a sweet tooth.


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I use a Monin Orgeat and reckon its fine. I still cut it with Monin Vanilla to temper the almond flavour. I don't want it dominating.

And I can tell by your preferred specs that you have a sweet tooth.

Actually I don't. See all my posts in the ice cream thread. I use trehalose in place of sucrose to cut the sweetness. What I want are more almond and more orange notes in the Mai Tai, not more sugar. Hence why I would leave the syrup out. Small Hand orgeat is not the same as sweetened almond flavoring.

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Since it is unlikely feste will be reading this thread to make a contribution I went to her website to check her Mai Tai recipe, for which she credits as an adaptation from Trader Vic:

1 1/2 oz aged Jamaican rum

1/2 oz Cointreau

1/2 oz orgeat

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

I feel somewhat vindicated. Although drinking a Mai Tai without lime juice (as you may pretend that I am doing) is rather disgusting.

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Since I am too late to edit: although feste does not mention syrup for her Small Hand Mai Tai recipe, the Slanted Door drink menu does list "cane syrup" as a component (although with no specification of proportions).

http://www.slanteddoor.com/drink

I would have guessed the recipes would have been one and the same? Anyhow, at least they both allow Cointreau.

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Very good Mai Tai, but I do have to pose the question: why did Vic go with half orgeat and half syrup, rather than all orgeat? I can only suppose he had only some truly vile commercial orgeat on hand and did not want to use too much to spoil his drink. I would skip the syrup and up the orgeat and Cointreau. Just my opinion.

Too much orgeat overpowers the drink, especially with high quality/homemade orgeat. I tried all orgeat instead of half orgeat half simple in the past out of sheer laziness, and the Mai Tai was still decent but on the verge of becoming a creamy almond smoothie.

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The reason for 1/2 orgeat and 1/2 SS (or RCS or whatever) is so that the orgeat doesn't dominate the drink. If you make it with 1/2 orgeat and no sugar syrup, you get a very dry drink (which is nice as well). Try a full ounce of orgeat, then try just half an ounce and no syrup, and compare to the one posted in #117

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Jo, have you thought about making your own orgeat? Hop over here for Sam Kinsey's recipe, which is one of the more delicious things I've had in my mouth this year.

I am using feste's orgeat, which is basically the same formula. Yes, it is good.

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