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Scott S

Mai Tai Recipes

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Having just hiked home from work in the tail end of a thunderstorm...pausing only for a shower and some peanuts:

 

1 1/2 oz W&N overproof

1 1/2 oz Neisson Blanc

1/2 oz Cointreau

1 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz orgeat

 

 

This I was not as wild about as the similar mai tai made with La Favorite in place of Neisson Blanc above.  Nice, mind you, and some subtle dunder of the W&N now makes it through.  But the orange from the Cointreau is out of balance.  And I don't get hit in the face with the same La Favorite funk.

 

I measured as accurately as I could, and both recipes have the same amount of alcohol, so that is not a factor.  However this time I confess I used a green straw rather than a blue.

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I made this. Well. Kind of. I used my commercial orget--not a fancy brand like Small Hand, either--and Mount Gay XO in place of the El Dorado. And, er, Cointreau instead of Creole Shrubb. And I don't have Lemon Hart or any other overproof rum, bar the rather assertive Inner Circle, so I left that bit out entirely. Which is to say I didn't make it. Still pretty good, tho'.

 

This recipe, by the way, and just to sate my mania for attribution, is by the great Jessica Gonzalez, ex-NoMad and Death & Co. 


DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”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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To possibly save my sanity, I set out to recreate the mai tai I was so enamored of the other night:

 

1 1/2 oz W&N overproof

1 1/2 oz La Favorite Blanc

1/2 oz Cointreau

1 oz fresh lime juice (generous)

1/2 oz orgeat

 

 

Shaken and dumped, spent half lime and mint.  Yellow straw.  Yes, I can report this drink is every bit as good as the other night.  Perfectly in balance.  Everything a mai tai should be... at least to my taste.

 

One thing I blew:  I remembered the straw as being yellow, but I see from my prior post that it was blue.  But this is good:  I have eliminated straw color as a variable!  (Though I must say green is prettier.)

 

Thus the only differences between this mai tai and the so-so mai tai of last night are the La Favorite in place of Neisson Blanc and slightly more lime juice.  By "generous" I mean maybe an ounce and a quarter.  Anyhow, it was the juice of one lime, which is, as I recall, what Vic calls for.

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Last night:

 

1 1/2 oz W&N overproof

1 1/2 oz La Favorite Blanc

1/2 oz Cointreau

1 oz fresh lime juice (generous)

1/2 oz orgeat

 

 

For whatever reason it tasted a little funny after aviations.  Must have been all that lemon juice.  Anyhow, tonight I continue my experiments with La Favorite:

 

1 oz S&C

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz La Favorite Blanc

1/2 oz Ferrand dry curacao

1 1/4 oz fresh lime juice (generous...limes were 8 for $1.99 today)

1/2 oz orgeat

 

 

This is very good and maybe more like a traditional mai tai than the La Favorite Blanc/W&N combination.  If I had to be critical I'd say the La Favorite Blanc/W&N/Cointreau recipe was better balanced.  This version might have been even nicer with Grand Marnier in place of Ferrand.

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It's been so hot here today!  After sunset I warmed up with a Cana Brava daiquiri.  Oh the pain as my frozen flesh stuck to the Yukiwa!  I could drink daiquiris all night, but them I wouldn't learn anything, would I?

 

1 1/2 oz W&N overproof

1 1/2 oz La Favorite Blanc

1/2 oz Ferrand dry curacao

1 oz fresh lime juice (generous)

1/2 oz orgeat

 

 

The Ferrand is a little more mellow than Cointreau.  Which I like better would require much more testing than I can accomplish in one night.  Plus a lot of peanuts.

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Next:

 

1 oz S&C

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz La Favorite Blanc

1/2 oz Grand Marnier

1 oz fresh lime juice (generous, though not as generous as I might like)

1/2 oz orgeat

 

 

I apologize that I was not up to testing this recipe last night.  One must acknowledge her own limits.  However I must say I like this muchly!  It is a pleasant combination.  Pusser's possesses a nice funk.  So many rums, so little time.  With these rums Grand Marnier works better than Ferrand for me.

 

 

Edit:  yellow straw this time.


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker (log)

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I've been going back and forth between the last two mai tai recipes.  They are different, but I can't decide which I prefer.  One could have worse problems.  Still looking for more rums to try.

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Try Weber Haus Cachaça, it's like agricole on steroids

 

A local Brazilian steakhouse has that brand with a relatively well aged version available (maybe 5yo?) but apparently they get a special deal as I can't get it at retail so far. Presumably for that reason they are pretty fond of it which has discouraged me from trying more than a single pour. I though it was good but not great. The bottle was probably 2/3 empty and no telling how long it had been on the shelf so maybe that affected it a bit.


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

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I did acquire a cachaca today, but not Weber Haus.  What I have is Leblon Cachaca Reserva.  I have not yet sampled the Leblon but I have hopes for an interesting mai tai.  Tonight's research is new rum in the zombie!

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I did acquire a cachaca today, but not Weber Haus.  What I have is Leblon Cachaca Reserva.  I have not yet sampled the Leblon but I have hopes for an interesting mai tai.  Tonight's research is new rum in the zombie!

 

I have the Leblon Reserva and liked it but it did not quite fully scratch my itch to try reasonably well aged cachaça (Maybe at least 5 years or so. The Leblon is reportedly about two years old). Still had a pretty notable youngish twang to it. Not sure I fully appreciate the grassy versus earthy distinction Tiare makes either but that may just be me.

 

Then again I am not completely sure what that itch is supposed to be! I suppose I am comparing it to aged agricole but maybe that isn't fair. But until I can find a few bottles of reasonably well aged good quality cachaça (not that I am sure I even know which brands are "good quality". There are so many options in Brazil that never get to the States as noted earlier) to spend some time with so that I can really try to scratch it I guess I won't know!


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

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From the Small Hand Foods website:

1.5 oz aged Jamaican rum (I used Appleton Reserve)

.75 oz lime juice

.5 oz Cointreau

.5 oz orgeat (I used St. Vincent orgeat)

barspoon of demerera syrup

Enjoyed this one very much, if a tad sweet.

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Def not enough rum.....

Yes, I noticed most of the recipes immediately upthread are using double the rum...

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I agree, not enough rum!  Now what was the question?

 

It seems feste may have changed her mai tai recipe!  (And sadly brought it more in line with that of her employer's.)  It now sounds kind of vile.  I wish feste would come back to eGullet and dialog with us!  Back when I transcribed the classical mai tai recipes hers was slightly different:

 

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/25600-mai-tai-recipes/?p=1939568

 

 

Mukki, if you are using feste's recipe, you should at least try her orgeat.  It is good stuff.  Many large bottles I have gone through.  I cannot recommend it enough.

 

 

 

Edit:  CF.:

 

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/25600-mai-tai-recipes/?p=1939374


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker (log)

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To revisit and slightly modify a previous experiment:

 

1 oz S&C

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Neisson Reserve Speciale

1/2 oz Grand Marnier

1 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz orgeat

 

 

This was very good.  Had two.  Was (am) very tempted by the thought of three,  (And for once I have excess ice!)

 

For the first of the two I used well more than one ounce of lime juice.  This recipe works better with just one ounce of lime.

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Started with:

 

1 1/2 oz W&N overproof

1 1/2 oz La Favorite Blanc

1/2 oz Ferrand dry curacao

1 oz fresh lime juice (generous)

1/2 oz orgeat

 

 

I just can't make Ferrand completely work.  This mai tai version needs Cointreau.

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Followed by:

 

1 oz S&C

1 oz Pusser's

1 oz Neisson Reserve Speciale

1/2 oz Grand Marnier

1 oz fresh lime juice (ever so slightly scant)

1/2 oz orgeat

 

 

Blue straw.  I can confirm that this is really good.  Possibly my favorite even given the in your face funk of the former.

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Continuing to run with this idea of white rhum agricole with absinthe in a Mai Tai twist, I found a recipe by Brian Miller that I really loved.

 

My Oh My Ty: white rhum agricole (La Favorite), Plantation Barbados 5 (Flor de Cana 7 was specified), lime juice, Clement creole shrubb, orgeat (homemade), absinthe (St. George). I skipped the simple syrup.

 

Everything was harmonious and well integrated, including the absinthe. There were some crazy coconut notes that kept coming. It reminded me of my first Mai Tai efforts many years ago when I used to spike them with a bit of coconut rum, but infinitely better.

 

14724559643_6ae28a776e_z.jpg
 


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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A seminar at this year's Tales brought up the new (to me) notion that what Donn Beach and Vic Bergeron understood to be Martinique rhum was not sugar cane rum but, rather, a heavy-bodied, pungent, molasses-derived rum with a character somewhat similar to Demerara rums. This is based on Vic's tasting notes among other things.

 

Just a theory. Martin Cate still recommends the now-standard mix of Jamaican and agricole rum in a Mai Tai on the unassailable grounds that it's delicious. 

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DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”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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So Vic was using rhum industriel! Cheap bastard. It's pretty hilarious to see mention of Negrita. Nowadays, it's a low end rum that is probably one of the cheapest options at the supermarket in France. I am pretty sure that it is what my mom used to have in her kitchen cabinet for desserts calling for rum, and I made my very first (awful) pina colada with it. But most people use it for cooking, not for drinking.

 

Thanks for sharing this, Rafa. I agree that you should use whatever tastes delicious.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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So Vic was using rhum industriel! Cheap bastard. It's pretty hilarious to see mention of Negrita. Nowadays, it's a low end rum that is probably one of the cheapest options at the supermarket in France. I am pretty sure that it is what my mom used to have in her kitchen cabinet for desserts calling for rum, and I made my very first (awful) pina colada with it. But most people use it for cooking, not for drinking.

 

Thanks for sharing this, Rafa. I agree that you should use whatever tastes delicious.

 

Not all that surprising I should think. Martinique and the other French Islands all made a lot more molasses based "industrial" rhums for decades (two plus centuries really) to use up the by product of sugar production which is of course molasses. It was only as sugar production from beets and other sources began to cut into sugar profitability that rhum agricole began to grow as an industry. But it was probably not until the 60's and 70's the rhum agricole began to equal and surpass molasses based rhum production, well past the origins of Donn and Vic in the 30's. And I suspect it was funky enough that it took some time to catch on in the rest of the world even when it did become more common. My guess is that most agricole was kept close to home for consumption as "the good stuff" in the mid and early part of the twentieth century and very little of it got out to the States or the rest of the world with the possible exception of France and the Francophone world.

 

So the tiki boys would likely have been more familiar with "industrial" rhum from Martinique and the Caribbean in general than they would have been with agricole. 

 

Ernie "Donn Beach" Gantt, better known as Don the Beachcomber, at least had travelled the world, including the Caribbean in his youth (and also served in the European Theatre in WWII) so he might have had some knowledge of the differences. "Trader Vic" Bergeron was really little more than a copycat when it was all said and done in my mind.

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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

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Continuing to run with this idea of white rhum agricole with absinthe in a Mai Tai twist, I found a recipe by Brian Miller that I really loved.

 

My Oh My Ty: white rhum agricole (La Favorite), Plantation Barbados 5 (Flor de Cana 7 was specified), lime juice, Clement creole shrubb, orgeat (homemade), absinthe (St. George). I skipped the simple syrup.

 

Everything was harmonious and well integrated, including the absinthe. There were some crazy coconut notes that kept coming. It reminded me of my first Mai Tai efforts many years ago when I used to spike them with a bit of coconut rum, but infinitely better.

 

 

May I play too?  I used the closest ingredients that I had on hand, and also omitted the syrup:

 

1 oz Flor de Cana 12 (rather than 7)

1 oz La Favorite blanc

1/2 oz Ferrand dry curacao (rather than Clement Shrubb)

1/4 oz Jade 1901

1 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz orgeat

 

 

Very nice!  Better than I was expecting.  I get notes of pina colada in mine.  But make no mistake, to my taste this is an absinthe forward drink with the other stuff as flavorings.

 

If anyone knows, what is Brian Miller's original recipe?

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