Saturday, June 30, 2018

Happy Mai Tai Day!

Mai Tai perfection
 Well, as with many Tiki drinks...already we start with controversy.  Trader Vic's would like you to know that the real Mai Tai day, by proclamation of the City of Oakland, is actually August 30th.  It was on this date in 1944, according to them, that Vic himself crafted a rum drink using rock candy syrup, fresh lime, orange curaçao, and orgeat. His Tahitian friend exclaimed “Mai tai roa ae!” which translates to “out of this world!” Thus this most popular Tiki drink was created.

Indeed,  I say, there can't be enough days to celebrate this amazing drink.  So look for another post on August 30th.

Mai Tai Tie!!
Here is the other controversy.  Pineapple juice.  Let me here by proclaim that this post will be about the classic tiki Trader Vic/Donn Beach/ Beachbum Mai Tai, not a Hawaiian Mai Tai.  I went to Hawaii last year and can confirm their Mai Tais are quite different with the addition of both pineapple and passionfuit and a very dark rum float.  I think we need to approach this drink like a "New Orleans Daiquiri".  Its going to be different with its own regional flair, and I accept and embrace that....when I am in Hawaii.

But today I am in glorious New Orleans!  And am about to embark on a Mai Tai crawl through the French Quarter.  First stop is my home bar of Compere Lapin, natch.  Bartender James whipped me up the prefect Mai Tai to start my day.

Think of a Mai Tai as an orgeat Daiquri had a baby with an agricole Daisy.  The Daisy being lime, spirit and orange curacao; we are going to use Clement Creole Shrubb, to perfectly compliment the aged agricole, in this case, Rhum JM VO, aged at least 3 years. 

The Daiquiri part would be lime, rum and sugar, in this case taking the form of orgeat, an almond rose water syrup popular in Tiki. With almonds and rose or orange water, it does indeed have it roots in the Mediterranean. It can be homemade if you are feeling ambitious,  but there are many fine pre-made versions available as well.  

The rums, according to the drinks inventor, were to be from Martinique and Jamaica.  But we are creating a dry funky Mai Tai for a modern palate that would go well with the Creole Caribbean food of our Chef, Nina Compton.  She is from St Lucia, so we will surely use Bounty or Chairman's reserve from her home Island in place of the Jamaican Rum.

So have a Mai Tai today, August 30th and, indeed, every and any day in between!

Happy May Tai Day from James and Abigail!
Easy steps on how to Mai Tai on Mai Tai Day!

1 oz Chairman's Reserve Rum
1 oz Rhum JM VO
.5 oz Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb
.5 orgeat
.75 oz lime.
Whip shake and put over crushed ice.
Garnish with mint sprig and lime wheel
. And for an extra touch I add a float of Chairman's Reserve Forgotten Cask to float on the top.

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