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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
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1031
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-11-12 11:07 pm   Permalink

As posted on a few other threads, I've just updated The Mai-Kai guide to rums from Guyana with a head-to-head comparison of the much-ballyhooed 151 rums ...



http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2012/05/08/rums-of-the-mai-kai-legendary-lemon-hart-returns-to-the-promised-land/#151-compare

On a 1-5 scale, with 5 being perfection:
4.7 – Lemon Hart 151 “yellow label”
4.5 – Lemon Hart 151 “red label”
4.4 – Hamilton 151

It's hard to beat the old yellow label Lemon Hart, but Hamilton 151 comes close. Check the link above for the full review.


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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 466
From: Austin
Posted: 2015-11-23 12:57 pm   Permalink

I recently snagged a copy of Mr. Lemon Hart's Tropical Treats cocktail guide and was surprised to find a couple Mai Kai recipes inside. I compared them to the ancestral recipes you posted on the Atomic Grog which were both sourced from Berry's books. Only difference I noticed between those and the recipes in this 1973 publication are the proportions. The Lemon Hart drinks are exactly half the size. Has Mai Kai doubled the size of their drinks since then or was Jeff just trying to make these larger for our own enjoyment/drunkenness?






 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1566
From: San Diego
Posted: 2015-11-23 1:14 pm   Permalink

Those look like pretty small drinks... 2 oz in a Shrunkin Skull?!? Is that a shot

 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 466
From: Austin
Posted: 2015-11-23 1:28 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2015-11-23 13:14, lunavideogames wrote:
Those look like pretty small drinks... 2 oz in a Shrunkin Skull?!? Is that a shot



Right?! So why did they publish it half size?


 
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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1031
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-11-24 11:43 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2015-11-23 13:28, mikehooker wrote:
Quote:

On 2015-11-23 13:14, lunavideogames wrote:
Those look like pretty small drinks... 2 oz in a Shrunkin Skull?!? Is that a shot



Right?! So why did they publish it half size?



Are they trying to be consistent with the rest of the recipes in the book? I have no other explanation. You'd think they would want to sell more rum, not less.

The Shrunken Skull is certainly much bigger than that, as we all know well. (And if you haven't had the drink lately, since they added Hamilton 151, do yourself a favor and revisit it. I was pleasantly surprised. The rougher Hamilton cuts through the sweetness of the drink.)

As for the Demerara Cocktail, it has returned several times for special occasions, and while not as potent as the Bum's version, its definitely bigger than that Lemon Hart recipe. Here's my tribute:
http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2012/01/08/mai-kai-cocktail-review-the-demerara-cocktail-is-a-throwback-to-another-era/#tribute



Mahalo for sharing Mike!

And to answer your original question, I seriously doubt that they have doubled the size of any of the drinks over the years. In all the old photos I've seen, they look almost identical. And the glassware is virtually the same size.

I think this was taken some time in the mid to late '70s when Mariano was still there:

The drinks are remarkably similar today. Though you'll notice some vintage glassware that's no longer around, like the Deep Sea Diver glass in the upper left.

[ This Message was edited by: Hurricane Hayward 2015-11-24 12:01 ]


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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1031
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-11-29 10:54 am   Permalink

Mike: Upon further reflection, my educated guess is that Jeff tweaked the proportions to make them larger. I'm pretty sure he made multiple changes to drinks he found in old books to make them better. The "Mr. Lemon Hart" book is in the Sippin' Safari bibliography, so it makes sense that's his source for the Demerara Cocktail.

I'll try to verify this with him when I get a chance, but I know he made tweaks to replace defunct ingredients (like fassionola) and make some recipes more modern and easier to make, not to mention enhance "our own enjoyment/drunkenness." :>)

Also worth noting: Back in the day, recipes were kept in such secrecy that it wasn't uncommon for bartenders to give book writers and magazines a different recipe, often dumbed down or not as good as what they served in their bars. Donn Beach was known to do this, which is one of the theories about the 1950 Zombie.

So it's also possible that The Mai-Kai gave the Lemon Hart book publisher a scaled back recipe on purpose, though that doesn't really hide the secret that much. Come to think of it, I've seen smaller versions of the Mara Amu published as well.

Also, regarding the Shrunken Skull, they might have given the book the version without the 151 floater that Donn originally served. All the Mai-Kai menus I've seen include the little shot glass next to the mug. I'll have to ask Jeff about this as well. It's likely that he knew this, having already frequented The Mai-Kai when he published the Shrunken Skull recipe (without credit) in Grog Log. It's possible Jeff got this recipe from the Mr. Lemon Hart book and surmised that it was Donn's version.


 
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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1031
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2015-12-29 2:11 pm   Permalink

We had a great time at last night's 59th anniversary party in The Molokai. It didn't hurt that most drinks and appetizers were 59% off all night. Mahalo to Dave, Kern, Pia and everyone at The Mai-Kai for the great hospitality.


We started with the Zombie and Mai Tai and didn't look back. All the drinks and food were on-point all night. I posted more photos on The Mai-Kai and "What are you drinking?" threads.

Noted lowbrow and tattoo artist Pooch joined me for more than a few. Mrs. Hurricane and I hung out with lots of friendly ohana.


An added bonus, the new mugs from Tiki Diablo are already available in the gift shop ...


The Week in Tiki is taking up most of my blogging time, but I promise lots of updates to The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide in the coming months. I've been busy with research and have quite a bit of news to report.

The Hukilau's Tiki Kiliki dropped by recently to help with the research ...


Okole maluna!
_________________
The Week in Tiki * Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide

The official blog of The Hukilau


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AceExplorer
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 1593
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2015-12-29 2:15 pm   Permalink

Nice bar, Jim, with interesting lighting! You need an area where you post signed photos of prominent visitors.

 
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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1031
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2016-01-09 09:36 am   Permalink

On Thursday, I had the chance to take a tour of the back service bar and got another look at the historic rum collection ...












 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 466
From: Austin
Posted: 2016-01-09 1:50 pm   Permalink

Super cool. So what do you have to do to get a taste of some of those??

 
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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1031
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2016-01-09 10:13 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2016-01-09 13:50, mikehooker wrote:
Super cool. So what do you have to do to get a taste of some of those??



Most of the old stuff is most likely undrinkable, unfortunately. I recall a Beachbum Berry blog from eight or so years ago where he wrote about getting his first tour back there. He talked them into letting him sample a few old bottles, but they had either become tasteless or turned to sludge. I've heard that the only chance of an old bottle surviving for decades is keeping it unopened.

FYI, here's a photo of the same bar from 1962 (scanned from Sippin' Safari). That's head bartender Mariano Licudine at right and manager Robert Van Dorpe at left.


On a related topic: Swanky has launched a great-looking website that previews his upcoming book ...
http://www.maikaihistory.com

Some great photos of rare mugs: http://www.maikaihistory.com/?page_id=462

[ This Message was edited by: Hurricane Hayward 2016-01-09 22:28 ]


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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5169
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2016-01-10 06:43 am   Permalink

Btw, that's James Donn In the center of the picture. Head of Gulfstream Park.

 
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