||Am I missing something about a Mai-Tai? (Update: Problem Solved!)
Joined: Apr 13, 2006
|Posted: 2012-06-10 04:21 am  Permalink|
Well, last night I found the promised land! I made my own orgeat from the CincyTikiCraig recipe on the last page of the Homebrew Orgeat thread, ordered up a bottle of Senior Curacao de Curacao from DrinkupNY and busted out the good rums. The good curacao killed off a lot of the boozy taste I was getting from the rums when I used Bols. The orgeat in a side by side comparision with Fee's is much better and does not have that moderate off putting chemical taste. I would be tempted make a Mai-Tai with both today just to see if it makes a big difference but the homemade is so easy to make that will be my new bar standard and the Fee's will go in the basement fridge for extreme emergencies.
A big thank you to the board for steering this jaded tiki drinker into some good Mai-Tais. While I still think more people would prefer Painkiller's, my choice has definitely switched over to the $100 Mai-Tai.
Now one last question...How can I "cheapen up" this drink and still maintain some respectability? Obviously the Curacao has to stay and the Orgeat. Is there cheaper rums that can still make a decent drink? I have a lot of rums to choose from so any advice is appreciated. I don't mind the Bum's recommendations but I am curious.
Joined: Jun 03, 2007
|Posted: 2012-06-10 05:21 am  Permalink|
G'day Tom, here's my 2c on this topic.
When i first became interested in Tiki and Tiki drinks i had quite a substantial bar going and made dozens of Mai Tais for myself. Here is the recipe that is now my standard go to and also what i ask for if i decide to have one whilst out at a bar.
15ml lime juice
To elaborate on that recipe i'm going to start from the bottom.
The original recipe called for the juice of one lime. That is a very vague description. As my palate has changed over time and i do not like my drinks too citrusy, 15ml is the amount that i personally like the best.
Originally i used Monin orgeat but as that is quite expensive i now use what is available at the deli. I personally cannot taste much difference between the two. I use 15ml instead of 7.5 plus 7.5 of sugar syrup as i like the taste of almond and you are going to end up with the same amount of sweetness regardless. I've never made my own so i can't comment on that although i'm sure i'd probably have to adjust the recipe if i did.
I use Cointreau as we only have cheap rubbish orange curacao here and IF you can find a decent brand they are very expensive and i don't think it justifies the cost.
As for the rum, the reason i said two X 30ml is for two reasons.
1)Everyones taste is different so different combinations will appeal to different people.
2)The original recipe called for 30ml Jamaican rum and 30ml Martinique. A Martinique rum is an agricole, so this refers back to point #1. There are lots of different brands so unless you experiment you won't know what really appeals to you.
Here in Australia we have a very small amount of rums available to us. I was fortunate to find a liquor store who imported their own spirits and i was able to get my hands on a bottle of Saint James. It wasn't the Hors D'Age although it did open me up to the world of agricoles. And i've never looked back.
Agricole rums are very hard to come by here and are also very expensive so unless i'm at a bar which has some, the Mai Tais i make at home are generally a mix of what ever rums i have at the time. I have to say that i don't care what they are, provided it is a GOOD rum and not cheap rubbish, if i make a Mai Tai with my recipe listed above i know i'll enjoy it. I'll always prefer one with an agricole though.
P.S. You can make it with 60ml of a good rum and it will still taste great. Although i'm a pisshead and like my booze.
[ This Message was edited by: swizzle 2012-06-10 05:27 ]
[ This Message was edited by: swizzle 2012-06-10 05:29 ]
[ This Message was edited by: swizzle 2012-06-10 05:33 ]
Joined: Oct 13, 2011
|Posted: 2012-06-10 1:00 pm  Permalink|
On 2012-06-10 04:21, teamtom wrote:Now one last question...How can I "cheapen up" this drink and still maintain some respectability? Obviously the Curacao has to stay and the Orgeat. Is there cheaper rums that can still make a decent drink? I have a lot of rums to choose from so any advice is appreciated. I don't mind the Bum's recommendations but I am curious.
Well Appleton VX ($15-20 a bottle) is my go to well Jamaican, and a Mai-Tai made with it is definitely not bad, but, IMHO, a little bit bland. To spice things up, I will often mix some El Dorado 5 yr ($15-20 again) in, though I have also experimented with RL Seale's (if you like that Barbados funk, try it) and Zaya 12 yr. The Appleton is a great, cheap base to start with, and plays well with other rums.
If you want to go cheaper than that, the only advice I can offer is to change your Mai-Tai recipe. What do I mean by this? Well, I also once did not really like Mai Tai (mostly because I was using cheap rums) until I stumbled upon this one:
1 oz light rum
1 oz dark rum
1 1/2 oz fresh lime juice (reduce this to 3/4oz to 1oz unless you like sucking on lime wedges)
1/2 oz orange curacao
1/4 oz grenadine
1/2 oz orgeat syrup
1/4 oz falernum
The Falernum and increased amount of Orgeat really livens up a Mai Tai made with cheaper, blander rums. I prefer to use a mix of 'bland' rums, like 1-1 Cruzan Silver/Gold, or some Flor De Cana. Those are generally as cheap as I will go, as the nasty aftertaste of Bacardi or similar will ruin this drink (or any drink really).
[ This Message was edited by: kid_dynamo 2012-06-10 13:01 ]
Joined: Jan 12, 2012
From: Ontario, Canada
|Posted: 2012-06-10 2:06 pm  Permalink|
There are no agricoles available through the LCBO so rather than try to approximate, I just replace it with another tasty rum and don't worry about the authenticity. I do mine with 1 oz Appleton 12, 1 oz El Dorado 12, 1 oz fresh lime juice, 1/2 oz Cointreau, 1/4 oz orgeat (homemade) and 1/4 oz simple.
Joined: Mar 31, 2009
From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
|Posted: 2012-06-10 8:48 pm  Permalink|
Glad you liked the Orgeat recipe Tom!
As to a less expensive Mai Tai, Appleton Reserve & St James Extra Old makes for a tasty, though lighter, combo. Each of those rums are about $10-12 less expensive then their older counterparts.
Joined: Apr 13, 2006
|Posted: 2012-06-11 04:30 am  Permalink|
Good to know, I look for those tonight.
Joined: Jun 17, 2005
|Posted: 2012-06-11 2:54 pm  Permalink|
Hey Tom, thanks for hipping me to Drinkupny.com!
I just ordered some Senior Curacao, also some El Dorado 12yr, neither of which I'd ever be able to find here in VA.
Looks like it already shipped today too, so I imagine it should be here in a few days.
Joined: Apr 13, 2006
|Posted: 2012-06-11 4:34 pm  Permalink|
Shhhhh! It's too good to last long. I have no idea how they do it but it shows up 2 days later and cheaper than me driving to the big store to find it. I need to get another order in before someone wises up and shuts them down.
[ This Message was edited by: teamtom 2012-06-11 16:35 ]