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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
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 943
From: Austin
Posted: 2017-05-26 11:51 am   Permalink

Wonderful developments all around Sir Hayward, but I wanted to comment on this matter...


On 2017-05-26 00:38, Hurricane Hayward wrote:

Postscript: I've been curious about the use of key lime juice in cocktails and wondered if there was a historical precedent. My questions were answered by a story I found online from Punch, published in January 2014, and titled "Why Your Daiquiri Isn't the Same as Hemingway's".
In it, Jennifer Colliau, founder of Small Hand Foods, investigates why the limes America's bartenders used a century ago are at odds with the citrus we shake with today. The reason: Key limes were actually the more widely used during the golden age of the cocktail. "Until two hurricanes decimated Florida's groves in 1926 and 1928, the key breed ruled as America's common lime," Colliau writes. Her recipe for the Key Lime Daiquiri is the one I now follow using my key lime juice blend: http://punchdrink.com/recipes/key-lime-daiquiri/

I'm not sure exactly how this may have influenced Mariano Licudine or The Mai-Kai. Persian limes would have been prevalent across the country by the 1950s. The use of key lime juice in the restaurant's bars could even be a more recent development. Whatever the origin, it's just one more distinctive twist that gives The Mai-Kai's cocktails a deliciously unique flavor profile.

[ This Message was edited by: Hurricane Hayward 2017-05-26 00:39 ]

As stated last week in the "What are you drinking..." thread, I've been trying to replicate a magical daiquiri that I recently had the pleasure of consuming at Floridita. Having depleted an entire bottle of Havana Club 3 year in a matter of days trying to crack the code, I came to the conclusion that it's not a matter of proportions or technique, but of citrus (or perhaps even the sugar). What does Cuba use today for lime juice? I never saw a single lime the entire time I was there, not behind the bars or in the markets. Juice was pre-squeezed (or perhaps thawed) into plastic squeeze bottles everywhere I went. The possibility of key limes crossed my mind, so I went to a Mexican market and grabbed a dozen for a buck. I'd never tried key lime in a cocktail before. I squeezed one and it produced a measly 1/4 oz of juice. Another got me to 1/2 oz, or roughly half of what I was using when making Daiquiris with Persians. Mixed with 2 tsp sugar (in Cuba they didn't use syrup), a dash of maraschino and 2 ounces Havana Club 3, I was finally onto something. Something really good. I'm still making minor tweaks but that ratio produces a fabulous drink. Note that I'm using less lime and sugar than the recipe in the Punch article to better highlight the rum. For me this works.

Going back to how Persians took the place of Key Limes in the late 20s, wouldn't that lead us to believe that what Hemingway was drinking in Cuba and what the original creators of Tiki cocktails were using in the 30s onward, were likely Persians? I'm sure there's plenty of research on this topic out there that could prove otherwise but the time line seems to lead to the fact that by tiki's heyday, Persians were the lime of choice. But then again, who knows how the flavor of the fruit has been altered over the last four score.

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