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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Updates to The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide on The Atomic Grog
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Updates to The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide on The Atomic Grog
Hurricane Hayward
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Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1393
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-02-19 3:30 pm   Permalink

The Mai-Kai's head mixologist, Troy Gallant, will be competing tomorrow night (Feb. 20) against some of the top Tiki bars and bartenders from across the country at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The Mai-Kai's competition includes Lost Lake (Chicago), Tiki Mondays With Miller (New York City), Frankie’s Tiki Room (Las Vegas), Royal Kona Resort (Hawaii), The Rum Line (Miami Beach), and The Broken Shaker (Miami Beach).

Here's a full preview of The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown, hosted by Emeril Lagasse and featuring guest judges Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and Martin Cate ...
http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2015/02/19/bam-its-tiki-time-at-the-south-beach-wine-food-festival/



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Hurricane Hayward
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Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1393
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-02-22 12:57 am   Permalink

The Mai-Kai did not win, but a good time was had by all at The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Congrats to Judge’s Choice winner Brian Miller and and People’s Choice winner The Broken Shaker.


Judges Martin Cate and Beachbum Berry enjoy The Mai-Kai's Molokai Swizzle.


The Mai-Kai was represented by manager Kern Mattei (left) and mixologist Troy Gallant.

More photos on The Week in Tiki thread:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic=48724&forum=1&start=15

Full coverage and recap to come.

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Hurricane Hayward
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Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1393
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-02-22 01:01 am   Permalink



Great turnout tonight for the "secret cocktail" party. For the first time in who knows how long, The Mai-Kai served a lot of Singapore Slings ...



Full coverage of the event ...
http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2015/02/21/three-classic-lost-cocktails-drop-in-for-a-night-of-flights-at-the-mai-kai/

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Hurricane Hayward
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Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1393
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-02-27 10:48 pm   Permalink


The Mai-Kai’s Kern Mattei and Troy Gallant are busy preparing the Molokai Swizzle.

Here's the full recap of “The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown” hosted by Emeril Lagasse at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, plus a tribute recipe for The Mai-Kai's Molokai Swizzle:

http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2015/02/19/bam-its-tiki-time-at-the-south-beach-wine-food-festival/



It was a rare opportunity for Troy Gallant to step out from behind the back bar and into the spotlight. Though the Molokai Swizzle didn't take home the top prize (congrats to Brian Miller and The Broken Shaker), it was near the top of several ballots and was No. 1 on my informal ranking. Great classic ingredients and perfectly balanced. Here's the direct link to the recipe:
http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2015/02/19/bam-its-tiki-time-at-the-south-beach-wine-food-festival/#molokai-siwzzle
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The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide | The Tiki Times


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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 909
From: Austin
Posted: 2015-02-28 4:58 pm   Permalink

Chelsea wants Moonkist Coconut tonight and I might as well give this one a go. Any recommendations for a Morgan black substitute? I've got the regular kind and Kraken as my spiced options. Maybe a couple others buried deep in the pantry as well.

 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 909
From: Austin
Posted: 2015-02-28 5:09 pm   Permalink

Scratch that, it's Sailor Jerry I have, not Capt Morgan. Here's my vast spiced collection that I always tend to forget about...



 
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Hurricane Hayward
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Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1393
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-02-28 11:20 pm   Permalink

Mike,

Kraken or Calico Jack are probably your best bets. It needs to be a dark spiced rum.

Also, FYI, due to popular demand I've updated the Rum Barrel review with revised recipe instructions (pulse blending instead of shaking, among other updates) and a bunch of new photos ...
http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2011/06/27/the-rum-barrel-the-rodney-dangerfield-of-tropical-drinks/



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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 909
From: Austin
Posted: 2015-03-01 11:43 am   Permalink

Ended up making three versions of the Moonkist Coconut last night. Will have to save Molokai Swizzle for another night (tonight?).

So I previously reported on the "What are you drinking now" thread that I preferred your Moonkist tribute recipe over the published Mai Kai recipe in Esquire as the rum and coconut proportions were much more balanced and using Cayman Reef, Flor de Cana and Fee's falernum earned the drink a solid 7 on my ten point scale. (I actually keep tabs on most every drink I make, with ratings, ingredients and measurements so if it scores low, I know what I did and can tinker later to try and improve, or if it scores 8 and above, it's something I put into regular rotation). Well since then I picked up Mt Gay Eclipse, Cruzan light and Velvet falernum so I wanted to mess around a bit. I started off making two cocktails, both with Mt Gay and Cruzan, exact proportions of everything, but one with Fee Bros and one with Velvet. While I've been preferring Velvet in many of the spicier drinks I've been gravitating to lately, I had a feeling the sweetness of the Fee's would be the winner in this drink. And by a very slight margin, it was. In a blind taste test Chelsea felt the cocktail with Velvet tasted "boozier," which makes sense since it is a liqueur, but with such a small amount (1/4 oz) I don't think it adds that much actual alcohol content, but may sway the flavor in that direction. So the Fee's won out but the drink wasn't as good as we remembered when we rated it a 7. So I made another one, this time with Fees and the Cayman Reef. It was the best of the three but still not quite on par with the Flor de Cana version. I'm out of Flor de Cana or I would have made one more version to the exact spec that earned it the 7 rating just to verify my initial findings. Looking back over the past couple months, I think a lot of the drinks that I would normally use de Cana as my white aren't quite as good with Cruzan. I figured they would be mostly interchangeable and I think I remember you mentioning at some point that Cruzan is what the Mai Kai uses in their well for white. Is that so? When you make this, what are the rums and falernum you prefer? I'm thinking I need to go back to Flor de Cana as my base white.








[ This Message was edited by: mikehooker 2015-03-01 11:46 ]


 
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wupput
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Joined: May 03, 2005
Posts: 113
Posted: 2015-03-01 10:15 pm   Permalink

Damn that looks delicious. I'm going to have to try one sometime soon with Plantation and probably El Dorado white and Fee Bros.

Edit: I see this recipe calls for coconut milk, not Lopez or similar, is that right? Not sure where I can get pure coconut milk....

[ This Message was edited by: wupput 2015-03-01 23:37 ]


 
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mikehooker
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Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 909
From: Austin
Posted: 2015-03-03 12:17 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2015-03-01 22:15, wupput wrote:
I see this recipe calls for coconut milk, not Lopez or similar, is that right? Not sure where I can get pure coconut milk....

[ This Message was edited by: wupput 2015-03-01 23:37 ]



I made the mistake of using (sweetened) Silk coconut milk from the carton when I made my first Moonkist. Once we found the canned unsweetened kind at Trader Joe's it made all the difference.



I just looked on the coco lopez site and see in addition to the cream of coconut (which I use in Coconauts and Painkillers and would probably make this drink too rich), they make a canned coconut milk. Not sure if that is sweetened or not but I would think an unsweetened kind would be your best bet. It shouldn't be too hard to find in an asian or specialty market. Curious which brand Hayward prefers.


 
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wupput
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Joined: May 03, 2005
Posts: 113
Posted: 2015-03-03 10:10 am   Permalink

Thanks. I'll check out that Trader Joe's brand.

I've found Trader Joe's pineapple juice (not from concentrate) excellent for mixing.



 
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Hurricane Hayward
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Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1393
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-03-14 3:04 pm   Permalink

Sorry guys, just catching up on all this discussion. Very happy to see some action on this thread!

First, regarding the coconut milk, it's typically not too hard to find, at least down here in South Florida. Beachbum Berry recommends Thai Kitchen's organic brand, which I've tried and is very good. I can usually find something just as good and cheaper, though not organic, in one of the ethnic sections of our local Publix. Here's one I just picked up:


I'm sure there are comparable brands at other stores like Trader Joe's. Just beware of anything labled "light" as that might also cut out some of the fat and flavor. The can above has 90 calories and 9 grams of fat per 1/4-cup serving.

I've got to go you-know-where before happy hour ends, but I'll be back later to weigh in on the rum question.

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[ This Message was edited by: Hurricane Hayward 2015-03-15 00:33 ]


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Hurricane Hayward
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Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1393
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-03-15 01:07 am   Permalink

Mike, looks like I'm due to revisit the Moonkist Coconut. I'll admit, it's quite some time since I've had one. Been busy lately dissecting all the drinks featuring Hamilton's rums from Guyana. I've got a lot of updates coming on those, including several updated recipes that folks might enjoy.

I'm definitely impressed with your discipline and dedication to rating all the drinks you make. I've done exactly the same thing for years. When I'm looking for something good, I just look in the files with the high ratings.

Re falernum, I think the consensus is that Fee Brothers is the best option to replicate what The Mai-Kai uses. Perhaps they use Fee, but it's definitely a rich and sweet falernum that's a bit different than Velvet. Beachbum Berry wrote in one of his books that the Fee recipe is very close to what Donn Beach would have used (and probably Mariano too), which seems good enough for me.

I lean toward Flor de Cana as a base Spanish-style white and gold rum (I actually stock all the golds: 4-, 5- and 7-year-old). It's step above Cruzan, Bacardi, Don Q and many others IMHO. Very solid mixer. The 2-year-old Cruzan is fine, but I prefer the old 5-year-old version and still have a few bottles left. Haven't tried the "new" 5-year-old "dark" from Cruzan but noticed it's a little pricey. For the same price, I'd stick with Flor de Cana. Other solid gold Spanish style mixing rums include Ron del Barrilito, Bacardi 8 and Bacardi Select. But those might actually have a bit too much flavor to use as a simple base rum in the Moonkist and some other drinks from The Mai-Kai. The well gold rum is Ron Carlos, a very cheap brand that's bottled in Florida from Cruzan stock.

I think what gives the Moonkist its nice gold rum flavor is the Barbados rum, most likely Mount Gay. (There are some other great Barbados rums out there to try, like Plantation, Cockspur, Doorly’s and The Real McCoy.) It's common for The Mai-Kai to use cheap white and gold base rums since you can barely taste them, and I'm sure that's cost effective. But then they'll use a great gold or dark rum, such as a Demerara, dark Jamaican or aged gold rum to add a signature flavor.

When mixing these at home, however, I wouldn't be afraid to experiment with better rums, as long as they're the same style.

Quote:

On 2015-03-01 11:43, mikehooker wrote:
Ended up making three versions of the Moonkist Coconut last night. Will have to save Molokai Swizzle for another night (tonight?).

So I previously reported on the "What are you drinking now" thread that I preferred your Moonkist tribute recipe over the published Mai Kai recipe in Esquire as the rum and coconut proportions were much more balanced and using Cayman Reef, Flor de Cana and Fee's falernum earned the drink a solid 7 on my ten point scale. (I actually keep tabs on most every drink I make, with ratings, ingredients and measurements so if it scores low, I know what I did and can tinker later to try and improve, or if it scores 8 and above, it's something I put into regular rotation). Well since then I picked up Mt Gay Eclipse, Cruzan light and Velvet falernum so I wanted to mess around a bit. I started off making two cocktails, both with Mt Gay and Cruzan, exact proportions of everything, but one with Fee Bros and one with Velvet. While I've been preferring Velvet in many of the spicier drinks I've been gravitating to lately, I had a feeling the sweetness of the Fee's would be the winner in this drink. And by a very slight margin, it was. In a blind taste test Chelsea felt the cocktail with Velvet tasted "boozier," which makes sense since it is a liqueur, but with such a small amount (1/4 oz) I don't think it adds that much actual alcohol content, but may sway the flavor in that direction. So the Fee's won out but the drink wasn't as good as we remembered when we rated it a 7. So I made another one, this time with Fees and the Cayman Reef. It was the best of the three but still not quite on par with the Flor de Cana version. I'm out of Flor de Cana or I would have made one more version to the exact spec that earned it the 7 rating just to verify my initial findings. Looking back over the past couple months, I think a lot of the drinks that I would normally use de Cana as my white aren't quite as good with Cruzan. I figured they would be mostly interchangeable and I think I remember you mentioning at some point that Cruzan is what the Mai Kai uses in their well for white. Is that so? When you make this, what are the rums and falernum you prefer? I'm thinking I need to go back to Flor de Cana as my base white.



 
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wupput
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Joined: May 03, 2005
Posts: 113
Posted: 2015-03-18 7:44 pm   Permalink

Hurricane, just FYI I love your Tribute to The Mai-Kai’s Shrunken Skull! That was a huge hit in our household. I used Cruzan and Hamilton 151 and made my own cinnamon syrup.

 
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Hurricane Hayward
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Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1393
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-03-20 01:17 am   Permalink

Mahalo wupput .... glad you like it. The Hamilton 151 really makes a difference in the Shrunken Skull. It's definitely smoother than when the drink featured Goslings, and stronger than when it had Lemon Hart.

 
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