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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Mai Tai and mint
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Mai Tai and mint
Ojaitimo
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Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1313
Posted: 2007-01-07 11:44 am   Permalink

I'm wondering if anyone else uses bruised mint leaves like I do in your Mai Tai's?
I like to add about 10 leaves to my shaker sometimes and leave them in the drink as I really like the mint taste it gives.
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Chip and Andy
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Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2177
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2007-01-07 12:11 pm   Permalink

The Mint debate for Mai Tais is not a new one here on TC....

The mint as garnish is both beautiful and aromatic, two key considerations for anything that goes in a cocktail. And, when the Mai Tai was invented, fresh anything in a cocktail made it exotic and exciting and mint was no exception.

Originally, or traditionally if you prefer, the mint is bruised ever so slightly to release the oils/aroma and then placed in the drink. This gives you the wonderful aroma of the mint combined with the woody rum and exotic orange/almond base to make a drink that is appealing to the eye, the nose and the tounge. Add an orchid and you have a most exotic looking cocktail. If you don't have orchids handy, you can use just about any edible flower as a garnish (and yes, orchids are edible).

Now, as to adding the mint to your shaker... If you like it, go for it. It is your drink on your bar and you should be making it the way you like it.

As for me, that would be too minty for my tastes. I'll stick with the mint being a garnish and not an ingredient.
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5667
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-02-20 6:28 pm   Permalink

Where does a mixologist/neophyte find edible orchids for drinks?

 
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hiltiki
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Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3078
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2007-02-20 8:17 pm   Permalink

Ojaitimo, I also add a whole bunch of fresh mint leaves from the garden in the Mai Tai glass first and then I add the ice and the rest. And I also use mint for garnish on top. I love the flavor and the smell of mint in my Mai Tai, the stronger the better.

 
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Chip and Andy
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Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2177
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2007-02-20 8:25 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-20 18:28, VampiressRN wrote:
Where does a mixologist/neophyte find edible orchids for drinks?



Dendrobium (sp?) blooms are edible. Not tasty, but edible. Almost all orchid blooms are edible, or more specifically, you can use just about any orchid bloom as a garnish for your drink. For that matter you can use just about any flower you want for a garnish, not just orchids. Orchids are exotic, daisies are fun, rose petals are kind of romantic, you get the idea...

Now, as to where to find them.... You can order in bulk from the internet if you are having a party. You can buy flower sprays at your local florist if you only want a few for you. Or, and this is the best way, you can buy an orchid at your local garden store. Then, when you have used up all of the flowers, you still have the plant and can grow more flowers. And, don't let anyone tell you differently, orchids are very easy to grow if you have any kind of indirect sunlight in which to place them.


 
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5667
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-02-20 9:16 pm   Permalink

Thanks C&A.....there is a florist in my local Raleys, so I am going to scope them out. They sure make a drink look nice, even if you don't eat them.
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GentleHangman
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 23, 2006
Posts: 463
From: Stuart, Florida
Posted: 2007-02-21 07:47 am   Permalink

I guess I've been doing it all wrong. I simply stick the sprig in a hole I've made in a lime shell (sort of an 'island' effect) along with a pineapple strip and a cherry. I don't bruise the leaves or anything . . . but I do get the waft of mint up my nose with every sip of my Mai Tai.
The only time I've ever actually used mint in a drink is when I make a "Hemingway Mojito" and I mash the heck out of about 10-15 mint leaves in the lime juice with my rosewood muddle stick at the bottom of the glass before adding the ice, simple syrup and rum. The flavor blend of the mint and fresh lime juice (I use Nellie & Joe's Key West bottled lime juice for this particular drink) compliments the rum (and I use Appleton Estates VX) perfectly for my taste. I know it's not a Mai Tai . . . but it's tasty and refreshing all the same. And . . . what the heck . . . good enough for Hemingway . . . good enough for me!


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[ This Message was edited by: GentleHangman 2007-02-21 07:48 ]

[ This Message was edited by: GentleHangman 2007-02-21 07:49 ]

[ This Message was edited by: GentleHangman 2007-02-21 07:50 ]


 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2177
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2007-02-21 08:29 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-21 07:47, GentleHangman wrote:
.... I don't bruise the leaves or anything . . . but I do get the waft of mint up my nose with every sip of my Mai Tai....



You can bruise the mint without 'damaging' the pretty presentation of the mint. Take your mint sprig and place in the palm of one hand. Give yourself the equivilent of a high-five with the other hand. Basically, clap your hands with a spring of mint between them. That will bruise the mint and bring out many of the essential oils from the stems without damaging the leaves too much.


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5013
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-02-21 08:57 am   Permalink

First, I gotta say, don't add mint to the drink. I'm not just being a purist here.

The mint as a garnish is to be smelled. I usually rub the leaves between my fingers a bit to get the scent going.

I say not to add it to the drink for the simple reason that scent is very connected to taste. When working on new recipes, you can smell things together and get a very good idea of how they will taste together. When you smell the mint, you really are tasting it. The drink will taste differently without the mint or without smelling it.

If you literally add it to the beverage, you are changing the balance. You are pushing the mint too far out front. The good rum ought to be out front. All those flavors need to balance out.

Certainly, people like mint. People like sweet. You may add mint or more simple syrup, etc. But, that's not really a Mai Tai. Make a Mojito for the full on mint flavor. Smell the mint deeply as you sip a Mai Tai instead of putting it in the drink itself.

Or, for the other example, try drinking your next cocktail with your nose pinched closed and see how little you taste. That will show you how much your nose makes the drink taste good.
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GentleHangman
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 23, 2006
Posts: 463
From: Stuart, Florida
Posted: 2007-02-21 3:11 pm   Permalink

Quote:
You can bruise the mint without 'damaging' the pretty presentation of the mint.



I didn't mean to imply that I didn't know how to gently encourage flow of essential oils without visual damage . . . I just choose not to. I find that the aroma of the fresh mint leaves is just fine "as is".

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Ojaitimo
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Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1313
Posted: 2007-02-21 4:31 pm   Permalink

Vampiress, my friend Michael Glikbarg raises and sells orchids at Orchids of Los Osos. He once told me that about 5% of orchids have scents like plumeria and vanilla. I wonder how these would be in drinks.


From the site
With 30,000 species, orchids make up the largest family of flowering plants in the world," said Glikbarg. Famed for their showy flowers, orchids are also popular for their scent. "Fragrant orchids have been treasured in Asia for centuries," said Glikbarg. "There, fragrances can be valued more than the flower." And not just floral scents, but coconut, chocolate and vanilla.

He said he will give a 10% discount to any Tiki Central member.
http://orchidsoflososos.com/



[ This Message was edited by: Ojaitimo 2007-02-21 16:40 ]


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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5667
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-02-21 6:29 pm   Permalink

Thanks Oj...I will link up with them. Muchas Gracias.

Great thread...I am learning a lot about mint. Who knew it was such a connoisseur's delight. That high-five suggestions is pretty cool.
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Ojaitimo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1313
Posted: 2007-02-21 8:05 pm   Permalink

Hiltiki, I'm with you, the more mint the better, but I have never tried a Mojito before. Sounds great, I'll see if its in the Grog Log or Intoxica and make one if it is.

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[ This Message was edited by: Ojaitimo 2007-02-21 20:05 ]


 
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5667
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-02-21 9:44 pm   Permalink

The Mojito is another drink made famous by a James Bond movie. In the 2002 Die Another Day, the last one with Pierce Brosnan....Bond is in Havana, Cuba in the hotel bar and looks out to the ocean to see Jinx (Halle Barre) coming out of the water just like the very first Bond Girl in Dr. No and in a very similar outfit. James offers her a Mojito - in essence a Cuban Mint Julep.

Think I will head back to BevMo and pick up that Mojito kit....now that I know a little more about mint from this thread. Looks like in the Mojito, the crushed mint is left in the glass:


Mojito Ingredients
------------------
3 fresh mint sprigs
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 1/2 oz light rum
club soda



Mojito Directions
-----------------
In a tall thin glass, crush part of the mint with a fork to coat the inside. Add the sugar and lime juice and stir thoroughly. Top with ice. Add rum and mix. Top off with *chilled* club soda (or seltzer). Add a lemon slice and the remaining mint, and serve.

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frostiki
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Joined: Aug 14, 2006
Posts: 434
From: Mobile, AL
Posted: 2007-02-22 10:00 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-21 16:31, Ojaitimo wrote:
Vampiress, my friend Michael Glikbarg raises and sells orchids at Orchids of Los Osos. He once told me that about 5% of orchids have scents like plumeria and vanilla. I wonder how these would be in drinks.



This makes sense since vanilla comes from a type of orchid
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