Before summer comes to its unofficial end this weekend, I thought I would share a tiki classic, and a fabulous cocktail while the weather's still warm. The Mai Tai gets a bad rap, but made well, it's downright sophisticated–not to mention delicious!
2 oz aged rum
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz orange curacao
1/4 oz orgeat syrup
1/4 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz dark rum
Combine aged rum, lime, curacao, orgeat and syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice; shake for 10-15 seconds. Strain into a lowball or decorative glass filled with crushed ice. Top with 1/4 to 1/2 oz of dark rum. Garnish with a lime wheel and a sprig of mint.
Notes: Trader Vic had some pretty specific liquors and syrups in mind when he first crafted his Mai Tai, but nearly every one is a challenge to find. I love Barbancourt aged rum, so that's what we have on hand at the house, but feel free to use whatever you've got stocked in your cabinet or find at the store. As for the dark rum, hunt for Myers's Jamaican rum, or something similar. Orange curacao can easily be the Grand Marnier from last year's Christmas flambé, or a simple bottle of triple sec, and finally, you can substitute orgeat syrup, which is hard to find outside of cocktail meccas like San Francisco, for almond syrups from Monin or Torani. The only thing you shouldn't experiment with is the proportions–that's how Mai Tai became a dirty word! Cheers, and Happy Labor Day!
Image by Comfort Studio.