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Mai Kai - Favorite Drink?
tikiyaki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2710
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2008-09-06 6:39 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-09-06 08:27, Digitiki wrote:
I must recommend the Grandfather Barrel. Its not on the menu and is rather pricey ($22). It is a top shelf Rum Barrel. They use top shelf rums, mix them and let the mixture mature for a month (So I was told). The result is a cocktail that is so exceptionally smooth, it is my new favorite! Definitely worth the price--an amazing cocktail!




I concur. A Must for any Lush.
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Bohemiann
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Joined: Apr 29, 2004
Posts: 444
From: Sarasota, Fla.
Posted: 2008-09-06 8:37 pm   Permalink

"That old black magic has me in its spell". yeah, yeah, I know... to obvious. At least I did not say I'm a black magic woman. Cuz I'm not, I'm a guy.

But I am definitely gonna research the Grandaddy barrel! although I'm not a Grandaddy yet or a black magic woman. Just so we got that straight.

whatever.
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otikiniko
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Joined: May 10, 2005
Posts: 120
From: The Molokai (or a studio 3 minutes away)
Posted: 2008-09-08 09:12 am   Permalink

I'll have "the usual".

(um...that's a black magic to anyone who ain't used to seeing me during happy hour)

...but, if Hayward is around it's most of "the right half of the menu"!
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5062
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2008-09-08 10:30 am   Permalink

I always get a Zombie. I may have a few others, but always a Zombie. It's very near the original 1934 recipe, but weaker.

My next favorites are the Shark Bite, Black Magic, 151 Swizzle and Jet Pilot.


 
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Hurricane Hayward
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Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 681
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2008-09-08 12:42 pm   Permalink

OK, I suppose it's ready for public unveiling. Thanks to otikiniko and everyone else who helped me on my taste-testing sojourn (hey, somebody's gotta do it), I now crack open my little black book and present ..

Hurricane Hayward's Mai-Kai Top 40

(A few introductory notes: This is very much a work in progress and will most likely continue to evolve slightly. However, its basically pretty stable and, of course, based on my own personal tastes. I've tried all but one (banana daiquiri) on the official mild, medium and strong menus and am slowly working my way through the after-dinner drinks. I've yet to sample the Grandfather barrel - I have a feeling it will probably be near the top of this list some day. See the footnotes for a few other drinks not on the menu. And aside from perhaps the bottom three or four, they're all highly recommended and sure to please imbibers with different tastes. If you think I've made a grave mistake, please let me know and I'll gladly give the drink in question another shot.)

Without further adieu ...

1 - Zombie (strong)
2 - Shark Bite (medium)
3 - 151 Swizzle (strong)
4 - Special Planters Punch (strong)
5 - Barrel O' Rum (strong)
6 - Sidewinder's Fang (strong)
7 - Yeoman's Grog (strong)
8- Rum Julep (medium)
9 - Jet Pilot (strong)
10 - Hidden Pearl (medium)
11 - Pina Colada (medium)
12 - Cobra Kiss (medium)
13 - Shrunken Skull (strong)
14 - The Hukilau (strong)
15 - Samoan Grog (mild)
16 - Mai-Tai (strong)
17 - Mutiny (strong)
18 - Pina Passion (medium)
19 - Zula (strong)
20 - Bora Bora (strong)
21 - Special Reserve Daiquiri (medium)
22 - Black Magic (strong)
23 - Mara-Amu (medium)
24 - S.O.S. (mild)
25 - Chocolate Snowflake, Mai-Bai Blizzard (tie) (after dinner)
26 - Moonkist Coconut (medium)
27 - Oh So Deadly (mild)
28 - Tahitian Breeze (medium)
29 - Deep-Sea Diver (medium)
30 - K.O. Cooler (strong)
31 - Malayan Mist (mild)
32 - Mai-Kai Special (mild)
33 - Mai-Kai Swizzle (mild)
34 - Floridita Daiquiri (mild)
35 - Derby Daiquiri (mild)
36 - Gardenia Lei (after dinner)
37 - Planters Punch (medium)
38 - Strawberry Daiquiri (mild)
39 - Martinique Milk Punch (mild)
40 - Tahitian Coffee (after dinner)

Footnotes:
* The top 3 are remarkable, and the top 10 are all worthy of the tiki drink hall of fame. But please, consume with caution, they're all very potent.
* Pina Colada No. 11? The best I've ever tasted. Excellent drink to recommend to a newbie who might be a little intimidated by a Shrunken Skull.
* I'm not tremendously impressed by the Mutiny or Black Magic. So shoot me. Very sold drinks, I admit, but I guess it's just a personal taste thing. I prefer The Hukilau among the three coffee drinks. I'm also not a huge daiquiri fan though the Special Reserve is quite special.

Non-menu drinks:
* If anyone has any suggestions beyond the Grandfather Barrel, please let me know. I'd like to add those as well.
* A few drinks from Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari need to be mentioned. I'm not sure any of these can actually be ordered at the Mai-Kai anymore (does anybody know?) but from my home-mixing experience I would grade them thusly:
- Big Bamboo: The precursor to the Mara-Amu (once offered only to Okole Maluna Club members who worked their way through every drink on the menu). One of my all-time favorites would rank at or near the top of the list, especially if made at the Mai-Kai by Mariano Licudine with vintage ingredients. At least let me dream.
- Last Rites: A very solid, classic cocktail (also direct from Mariano's notebook). I'd probably rank this right below the Cobra Kiss or Shruken Skull on my list.
- Demerara Cocktail: I'm a big fan of Demerara rum but this one doesn't do much for me. A bit too strong and not terribly drinkable. It would need to be in the mid-30s on my list but again, this is just one man's opinion.

I'd encourage everyone to support the Mai-Kai and do your own evaluating. If you need an excuse to join other taste-testers, check out our monthly social:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=28926&forum=4



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floratina
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 998
From: West Los Angeles
Posted: 2008-09-08 2:18 pm   Permalink

Funny you should ask...


JET PILOT!

JET PILOT!

JET PILOT!

Their Jet Pilot is the loveliest drink ever to these tastebuds. Wish I knew how to make one.


 
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pablus
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Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2008-09-08 6:00 pm   Permalink

FLORATINA!!

I'll FedEx you a Jet Pilot next time I'm at the Mai Kai.
But you have to FedEx me a Ray's Mistake.


 
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Hurricane Hayward
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Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 681
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2008-09-09 12:14 am   Permalink

Quote:

Their Jet Pilot is the loveliest drink ever to these tastebuds. Wish I knew how to make one.



Try this:

3/4 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce grape (not grapefruit) juice
3/4 ounce honey mix (equal parts honey, water)
3/4 ounce gold rum (I'd recommend Cruzan Estate 5-year if you can find it)
3/4 ounce Myers dark Jamaican rum
1 ounce Lemon Hart Demerara 151 rum
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes grenadine (use pomegranate syrup if possible)

Blend with 6 ounces crushed ice for 3-5 seconds. Serve in a double old-fashioned glass with more crushed ice.

The above is the recipe for Don the Beachcomber's Test Pilot from "Hawai'i - Tropical Rum Drinks & Cuisine" by Arnold Bitner & Phoebe Beach (a book well worth picking up for anyone intrested in decoding Mai-Kai drinks). It's not the real deal, but pretty close (he writes between sips).

As we all know, most of the Mai-Kai drinks were adapted from Don the Beachcomber drinks by ex-Beachcomber bartender Mariano Licudine when he was hired by the Thornton brothers as their bar manager when they opened the Mai-Kai 1956.

The above book, while not as comprehensive or accurate as any of Jeff Berry's, offers some great insights into this Beachcomber/Mai-Kai synergy. You'll also find recipes for the Pearl Diver (Deep Sea Diver), Cobra's Fang (Cobra's Kiss), Beachcomber's Rum Barrel (Barrel O' Rum), Cuban Daiquiri (Floridita Daiquiri), Kona Coffee Grog (Kona Coffee Grog), Mai Tai (Mai Tai), Sharks's Tooth (Shark Bite), Zombie (Zombie), Planter's Rum Punch (Planter's Punch), Q.B. Cooler (K.O. Cooler), Coconut Rum (Moonkist Coconut), Tahitian Rum Punch (Tahitian Breeze), Mystery Gardenia (Gardenia Lei), Pi Yi (Pina Passion) and Don's Pearl (Hidden Pearl).

Be advised that many of these taste a bit different than the drinks you'll find in the Mai-Kai, but a few are spot-on (Don's Pearl, Beachcomber's Rum Barrel). It's safe to assume that Mariano tweaked many of the original recipes and others were adjusted over the years. Also, it's possible many of the recipes in Phoebe Beach's book are variations of the originals that Mariano took to Mai-Kai. And last, but not least, it's difficult if not impossible to duplicate the various rums, syrups and juices that are indigenous to the Mai-Kai.

It should be noted that there are several other Beachcomber/Mai-Kai drink recipes available in Beachbum Berry's books: Never Say Die (Oh So Deadly), Rum Julep (Rum Julep), 151 Swizzle (151 Swizzle), Don's Own Planter's (Planters Punch) and Don's Beach Planter (Special Planters Punch). I'd also mention that Berry's Zombie, Tahitian Rum Punch and Q.B. Cooler recipes are preferable to those in "Hawai'i" and also come closer to the Mai-Kai versions (in my humble opinion).

And, finally, here's my list of Beachcomber/Mai-Kai drinks that I've yet to find a recipe for. Cocktail sleuths, this is your cue:
- Hot Buttered Rum
- Martinique Milk Punch
- Special Reserve Daiquiri
- Colonial Grog (Yeoman's Grog)
- Don's Swizzle (Mai-Kai Swizzle)

But enough of my yacking ... I'm off to make another Test Pilot.


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2008-09-09 2:51 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-09-08 12:42, Hurricane Hayward wrote:
Hurricane Hayward's Mai-Kai Top 40


Wow, that's a mighty impressive list of "achievements" you've compiled! Bravo. Glad to see someone is single-handedly keeping the Mai-Kai in business.


 
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floratina
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 998
From: West Los Angeles
Posted: 2008-09-09 10:05 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-09-08 18:00, pablus wrote:
FLORATINA!!

I'll FedEx you a Jet Pilot next time I'm at the Mai Kai.
But you have to FedEx me a Ray's Mistake.




Oooh, that would be interesting...would we have to pack them in dry ice or somethin?


 
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floratina
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 998
From: West Los Angeles
Posted: 2008-09-09 10:06 pm   Permalink

Jet Pilot gots grape, honey, grenadine? there is something different about that drink. I just knew it!

[ This Message was edited by: floratina 2008-09-09 22:11 ]


 
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otikiniko
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 10, 2005
Posts: 120
From: The Molokai (or a studio 3 minutes away)
Posted: 2008-09-10 9:18 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-09-08 18:00, pablus wrote:
...But you have to FedEx me a Ray's Mistake.




OK, I Gotta get me one of these! If the gentleman that made me my first Pilot recommends it I simply must taste one... and I will! (eventually)


Quote:

On 2008-09-08 12:42, Hurricane Hayward wrote:
* I'm not tremendously impressed by the Mutiny or Black Magic. So shoot me. Very sold drinks, I admit, but I guess it's just a personal taste thing. I prefer The Hukilau among the three coffee drinks.




Um.. I was led to believe (shux I've tasted it) the Mutiny has no coffee while the Black Magic does.

Don't tempt me, Skot and I are going for our concealed weapons permits next month.

Look up the "Missionary's Downfall" or "Missionary's Doom" and you'll find some background for the Hukilau. Once again, I thought it was going to be called "Doom" or "Downfall" before it got rather generically named after Christie's shin-dig by the winner of a
contest to name the drink. Plus, it's been a bit inconsistent... but I'd much rather discuss/debate it at the Molokai.
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FLOUNDERart
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 1140
From: Orlando Florida
Posted: 2008-09-11 07:13 am   Permalink

Impossible to answer but I'm with Swanky and always get a Zombie.

 
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Tonga Tiki
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Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 154
From: The Tonga Lounge in Safety Harbor, FL
Posted: 2008-09-11 12:38 pm   Permalink

Its the Zombie for me. I try to recreate the Mai Kai's version, but fail everytime. Any suggestions?



 
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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 681
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2008-09-11 11:34 pm   Permalink

On 2008-09-10 21:18, otikiniko wrote:
Quote:

Um.. I was led to believe (shux I've tasted it) the Mutiny has no coffee while the Black Magic does.



How soon we forget. I seem to recall one blurry evening when we had the Mutiny and Black Magic (and probably the Hukilau too) all lined up for comparison taste-testing. But even if our recollections are fuzzy, the menu doesn't lie ...

Black Magic
The owner's choice. A superbly smooth but forthright blending of fine dark rums and tropical juices, subtly laced with coffee and truly refreshing.

Mutiny
A superb blend of the finest rums, fresh tropical juices and a splash of coffee.
A daily ration, says the Skipper, prevents scurvy and discontentment within the crew.

Prevents scurvy AND discontentment. Now there's a drink.

Now let's give the Grandfather's Barrel a whirl tonight and let the chips fall where they may.


 
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