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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Chi-Chi's Mai Tai
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Chi-Chi's Mai Tai
aloha.taboo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 08, 2006
Posts: 176
From: Grand Rapids, MI
Posted: 2007-02-28 7:17 pm   Permalink

Has anyone tried the bottled Chi-Chi's Mai-Tai? It's red, so I don't have high hopes for it.

At least there's a tiki on the bottle.


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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2176
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2007-03-01 04:44 am   Permalink

I haven't tried that one, but of all of the pre-mixes I have tried they all sucked.

Well, more specifically, they sucked big <curse and dirty words....>. I don't expect that particular brand to be any beter.

The pre-mixes are OK if you are serving the unwashed masses who don't know the true joy that is a Mai-Tai. Or if someone is trying to get you something for your bar and they gift you a bottle, you could find something to to do with it. I hope.

Basicaly what I am trying to say is stay away from the pre-mixes because they have too many things in them that don't belong in a cocktail. Read the ingredients, you'll see what I mean.


 
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aloha.taboo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 08, 2006
Posts: 176
From: Grand Rapids, MI
Posted: 2007-03-01 04:47 am   Permalink

The scary thing is that they don't list the ingredients!

 
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TikiJosh
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 01, 2005
Posts: 735
Posted: 2007-03-01 3:07 pm   Permalink

I agree with Chip and Andy. About mixes, that is. I'm not even very pleased with the TV Mai Tai Mix (I know, I know). I'm just not sure about all the weird stuff in those things. From what I can tell, the mix takes the place of the curacao, orgeat and sugar syrup. I can't recall if you're supposed to add your own lime juice or not. I think you are. Regardless, aside from the sugar, I don't believe that Mai Tai mix has any of the other "actual" Mai Tai ingredients. There's no curacao in the ingredients. Nothing. You'd think the ingredient list would be three things: Curacao, Orgeat, Sugar Syrup. In that order. But it's not. It's all sorts of God-knows-what chemicals that are "supposed" to taste proper, but let's face it-- they don't.

Ditto with Navy Grog mix. I was trying to make a voodoo grog and realized that the recipe calls for Navy Grog mix (TV bartender guide, revised). Well, I look at the navy grog recipes I've got and can't really come up with a good consensus about what would go into a Navy Grog mix. Since I don't know the mystery ingredients, I can't just make a voodoo grog from scratch, and I don't have all the weird chemicals in my house to make my own. Wish I had a meth lab. Even then I probably couldn't do it.

It's a real hassle.

As far as Mai Tai mix goes, if you only want it to give to people who don't know any better, and you just wanna save some money, here's what you do-- buy all the cheapest ingredients you can find instead of buying the premade mixes. Use Finest Call orgeat, bar syrup, etc. You could use the cheapest curacao, or if you're really stingy, use some cheap triple sec. Many of the uninitiated probably won't know the difference. If you work out the cost, you'll only pay $20 to $25 for all these things, and you'll be able to make nearly 50 drinks. If you're using Mai Tai mix, with a bottle being approx 25 oz, you'd need 6 bottles of Mai Tai mix for 50 drinks. At approximately $5 per bottle, you're talking $30, so it actually costs more to use the premade mix and doesn't even taste as good as buying everything separate.
The only advantage is the convenience, IMO.

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Ojaitimo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1313
Posted: 2007-03-01 8:19 pm   Permalink

I have a bottle of Trader Vic's Mai Tai mix in my bar that is probably bad by now because I have never used it since the first time. Good looking label so I keep it there but I tried it once and it sucked. Juice some limes, get a bottle of orgeat and curacao, make some simple syrup and you will never be tempted to try the pre mixed crap again.
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Lukeulele
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 04, 2006
Posts: 377
From: So Cal-holic
Posted: 2007-03-02 8:36 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-28 19:17, aloha.taboo wrote:
Has anyone tried the bottled Chi-Chi's Mai-Tai? It's red, so I don't have high hopes for it.



These are the same people who make blue "Zombie" mix.
Run, run like the wind.......


 
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DJ HawaiianShirt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 04, 2006
Posts: 148
From: NoVA, DC
Posted: 2007-03-04 08:39 am   Permalink

I've found that while drink mixes can be rather despicable and (of course) unauthentic, there's still merit in keeping them around the bar. Mainly because if you ever just want to mix up a made-up drink on the fly, a dash of mix can really add life to a drink.

For instance, I always keep a little Strawberry Daquiri mix, because just a bit adds great flavor from time to time. And I usually keep some Pina Colada mix too, because it can better hold up to really acidic drinks than can coconut milk.

Like I often say, if you're a TikiCentral purist, then I'm speaking sacriledge. But if you're strapped for ingredients for feel like being whimsy, give it a try.


 
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TraderPeg
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 10, 2006
Posts: 91
From: Haunted Hudson Valley
Posted: 2007-03-04 1:09 pm   Permalink

About those bottled drink mixes...

When I see how well-stocked most of the large beverage chains are with these dreadful concoctions, along with those gallon-sized bottles of white Bacardi they always have on sale, I understand why the profane world can easily dismiss "those horrible sticky-sweet tropical drinks with the umbrellas." This is what they see all the time, at family barbecues and chain restaurants.

We cannot blame them for their ignorance; we can only try to enlighten them.

Or not. [Hic!] More for us.


 
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DJ Terence Gunn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 250
Posted: 2007-03-04 1:30 pm   Permalink

Don't ever buy pre-made mixers. They're all rubbish and full of sugar and artificial this and that. Some may have some amount of real lime juice, etc.; but still, it's rubbish all the same. Make your own pre-made mixer. It's quite easy, and the mix will last a long time in the fridge. There really are only three essential ingredients one needs for a mai tai mixer, and the rest is easy.

These are the ingredients for the Terence Gunn Mai Tai, of which, when given to the recipient drinker, I have never gotten anything short of an ecstatic reaction to; and which is very close to Victor Bergeron's original recipe.

Fresh-squeezed lime juice (1 jigger/16 ounce mug)
{Don't buy your limes at a grocery store, as they're too damned expensive. Go to an Asian market or a place like Cash N Carry. For the price of 3 or 4 grocery store limes, one can get a whole bag full}
Orgeat (almond) syrup (1/2 shot/16 oz mug)
Water (for dilution) (1/2 cup/16 oz mug)

(Rock candy syrup -- although original to the recipe -- is 'sweet' over-kill and superfluous to the overall flavour of the drink. Don't use it.)

Put these ingredients together in a pitcher or capped bottle/container, and store in the fridge to keep cold. When cold and when required.....

In a cocktail shaker add 1 cup of mixer with:
1 jigger golden rum (Appleton),
1 jigger dark rum (Myers),
1 jigger triple sec (or Cointreau if you're wealthy)

DO NOT ADD ICE! Shake vigourously for 15 seconds.

Then pour into a 16 or 18 oz vessel filled just under halfway with ice.

Garnish with fresh mint sprig.
(Mai tais are not garnished with fruit! And the original feature of dropping in the drink the spent lime shell, simply takes up too much room, and does little to enhance the drink's flavour.)

Add straw.

Savour.

But be careful! These can be very addictive!

Now, of course, even with an excellent recipe, some folks simply cannot follow it/bring it into fruition properly. But should you be able to you'll have a perfect mai tai every time, without having to have resorted to store bought pre-made mixers!

Okole Maluna!


[ This Message was edited by: DJ Terence Gunn 2007-03-04 16:14 ]


 
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Ojaitimo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1313
Posted: 2007-03-04 9:35 pm   Permalink

Ditto to the above except find orange curacao not triple sec. Potters is decent and about the same as triple sec.
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DJ Terence Gunn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 250
Posted: 2007-03-05 01:33 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-03-04 21:35, Ojaitimo wrote:
Ditto to the above except find orange curacao not triple sec. Potters is decent and about the same as triple sec.




Potters? Potters is one of, if not THE, lowest of the low bottom shelf liquors.

More expensive Curacao and Cointreau drinken straight are one thing, but as a component of a drink with several ingredients nobody will taste the least slightest difference or subtlety. And Blue Curacao is one of the biggest marketing scams in the liquor industry ever invented. (Yes, those blue oranges are mighty difficult to come by! I simply can't make a Blue Hawaiian without one!) Yes, you can. It's called blue food colouring mixed with orange liqueur; and there are many orange liqueurs at many different prices, and called by many different names; but ultimately, on their own, they all taste sickly sweet and artificial (much like pre-made mixers sold in stores).

I've always called orange liqueur the vermouth of the tropical libation; and indeed it is. But like vermouth -- sweet or dry -- there isn't a tremendous amount of difference in taste (unless one is drinking it on the rocks, or is buying the worst vermouth ever produced and marketed: Lejon.) The same can be said of Sherry and Port wines. One can find a very decent $6 bottle of both and compare the flavour and body to that of one for $20 or more, and find no, if any, difference in flavour or alcohol content, or body. But Sherries and Ports are a bit different, as they're all from the unpredictable grape and its unpredictable harvests and exposure to the elements, and are then fortified with grape brandy -- based initially on the same.

If you want to waste money buy the expensive stuff, sure; shop by the name brand. But you can find the same flavour and effect in a Bols Triple Sec (higher alcohol content, too) or even Hiram Walker.

Now rum -- that's a completely different story, as regionally they are made so differently from each other, and the end result -- straight or mixed -- is very noticeable.


 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2176
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2007-03-05 05:12 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-03-05 01:33, DJ Terence Gunn wrote:

More expensive Curacao and Cointreau drinken straight are one thing, but as a component of a drink with several ingredients nobody will taste the least slightest difference or subtlety. ...



I challenge you to a Orange Liquor Throwdown! Or something like that, I have been watching too much FoodTV lately.

Yes, and no, on the orange. Flavor wise there is not a lot of difference between the different brands. Cointreau is the original Triple-Sec (so they say), and what is now Triple-Sec is only slightly lower in quality overall. Marie Brizzard, Bols, Hirim Walker, and others all make a Triple-Sec and all of them are good as far as the orange flavor. The difference between most of the mid-level brands is aroma and mouth-feel which are two very under-discussed aspects of modern cocktails. I think the Bols smells like Orange gasoline and the Marie Brizzard leaves a synthetic waxy kind of mouth feel, neither of which is good in a cocktail.

So the challenge is to go back and examine your cocktails from a holistic approach and include the smell of the cocktail as well as the taste. Think also about what the cocktail does in and to the mouth. Do your teeth feel fuzzy after a couple, or do you loose the ability to taste the second drink because something burned out the tastebuds and nose hairs from the first one?

I will end by saying the same thing I say to everyone... it is your bar, brink what you like and like what you drink.


 
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DJ Terence Gunn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 250
Posted: 2007-03-06 08:35 am   Permalink

[quote]
So the challenge is to go back and examine your cocktails from a holistic approach and include the smell of the cocktail as well as the taste. Think also about what the cocktail does in and to the mouth. Do your teeth feel fuzzy after a couple, or do you loose the ability to taste the second drink because something burned out the tastebuds and nose hairs from the first one?
[quote]

Very well said. But that is, in fact, my point (about the over-all smell and taste of the cocktail once it's finished) concerning using Triple Sec over Cointreau or Curacao. Once in the cocktail (at least the way I prepare it, and using the ingredients I listed in my initial post) I do not taste or smell a difference to the more expensive brands and names. (And yes, I have tried all the others in my mai tais.) As well, buying Myers and Appleton are expensive enough, without having to superfluously indulge your pocket book to Cointreau and Curacao. (And I'm not talking about low-grade, knock-offs that claim to be Curacao.) Good rum and fresh lime juice are the most important factors, not the orange liqueur. And ice (cold temperature) is going to inhibit the flavour of any liquid anyway.

The other ingredients, however, if altered in measurement or substitution, will effect the flavour and smell of the cocktail drastically. Not having enough dilution of water (or crushed ice, if one prefers shaking the contents with crushed ice over not shaking the contents with crushed ice and using a dilution of water) can also surprisingly make or break any mai tai, as well. (The latter can also be said for martinis and manhattans -- which are supposed to be stirred, not shaken, as the shaking with ice will bruise the alcohol and smash the ice, which will dilute the cocktail.)

But once again we stray from the inital post. If one truly respects and appreciates cocktail culture, do not buy pre-made mixers of any kind for any cocktail, even if they have Trader Vic's written on the label or feature a tiki, palm tree, hula gal, etc. (I've a feeling a large amount of the good people who frequent this site would unwittingly substitute their regular toilet paper with a more expensive, less square footage, 1-ply toilet paper, if Trader Vic's had its label on it, or Shag his artwork.)



 
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TraderPeg
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 10, 2006
Posts: 91
From: Haunted Hudson Valley
Posted: 2007-03-06 9:03 pm   Permalink

>(I've a feeling a large amount of the good people who frequent this site would unwittingly substitute their regular toilet paper with a more expensive, less square footage, 1-ply toilet paper, if Trader Vic's had its label on it, or Shag his artwork.)

I have half a mind to write you a tart response to this accusation but I can't find my Shag notecards. Harumph!


 
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Ojaitimo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1313
Posted: 2007-03-07 12:57 pm   Permalink

Chip and Andy wrote "I challenge you to a Orange Liquor Throwdown! Or something like that, I have been watching too much FoodTV lately."

Great idea you two. I want to be a part of this. I suggested using Potters curacao instead of triple sec because it isn't $25. a bottle like Brizzard curacao or their triple sec is. I think the orange peel taste is quite different from triple sec and since they make both they must think so as well. Not that I'm claiming Potter is great curacao but I think its better to stay with the original recipe even using a inexpensive curacao.
I make a point of trying everyones Mai Tai where ever I go and most people and places use triple sec instead of curacao like there is no difference. (I have had some pretty bad Mai Tai'sin my travels but thats another post) "Share your worst Mai Tai here?"
But back to the curacao vs triple sec, yes lets have a food network type Mai Tai Throwdown. I'm up for it.

The mai tai on the left is from the Warehouse with triple sec and sweet & sour
On the right is mine with curacao and fresh lime juice that I challenged them with recently.


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[ This Message was edited by: Ojaitimo 2007-03-07 13:13 ]


 
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