Why Mai Tai cocktail is still one of the best rum drinks? Who created it? Why is this craft cocktail one of the most miss made drinks? What is the easiest and best way to make a traditional Mai Tai? Lets find out. Get ready to taste one of the most tasty rum cocktails.
Mai Tai Cocktail – A Little History
So who make Mai Tai and when? There is few stories about the beginning of this great rum drink. The credit goes to a bartender named Victor J. Bergeron who claimed to be the creator of Mai Tai in 1944 at his bar “Trader`s Vic” in Oakland, Ca. So the story is that he was entertaining a few Tahitian guests one afternoon and made them a rum cocktail. However one of those guests Carrie Guild tested it and was very impressed as he exclaimed “Mai Tai-Roa Ae”, which in Tahitian means “Out of this World – The best”.
There is another person however who claims to be the creator of Mai Tai 10 years earlier and his name is Don the Beachcomber. His cocktail is very similar but includes grapefruit, bitters, Falernum (spiced low alcohol cordial) and a splash of water. Quite different than Victor`s Mai Tai.
So anyways… After we found out who is the creator, lets see how to make this great rum drink. What exactly is Mai Tai? Do not mistaken this cocktail with the tiki version of it which is so much different. As the tiki culture in USA got very popular the last 20 years. I have seen so many types of this drink claimed to be a Mai Tai but they are not even close. Not educated bartenders make Mai Tai with whatever juice they can think of – pineapple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice, grenadine, Rose Lime Juice, sour Mix…etc. I have seen it straight up, frozen, in a big tall glass, with a floater of coconut rum…. I am fine with all those different cocktails but please do me a favor and try to be as close to the traditional Mai Tai as possible.
The original Mai Tai Cocktail is: sour-sweet aged rum cocktail made with crushed ice in a short glass with fresh mint leaves for garnish. Yes there is no pineapple juice in there. I have made this cocktail many times and this is the best Mai Tai recipe I have figured. So what`s in Mai Tai?
The Best Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe
1.5 oz Aged Jamaican Rum
1 oz White Blanco Rum
0.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
0.5 Orange Curacao
0.25 Orgeat Almond Syrup ( you can buy it or make it)*
0.25 Simple Syrup (half sugar, half water)*
Garnish: Lime Wedge and Fresh Mint Spring
Glass: Old Fashioned
How to make it?
Add the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add scoop of ice. Shake for 10 seconds till it chills. Pour over crushed ice into a old fashioned glass. Garnish with lime wedge and fresh mint spring.
*Ogreat Syrup: Almond Milk, Orange Water, Sugar
*Simple Syrup: Half Hot Water, Half Sugar – Add it together and stir til the sugar dissolves. Wait till get warm and then use. Keep it in the fridge.
Optional: There is few tricks you could do if you do not have some of the ingredients. You can use Amaretto Disaronno instead of Ogreat Sirup or any type of Almond Liquor. Also you could replace the Orange Curacao with a regular Triple Sec. It is gonna be a little different but very close to the original recipe. I have done it and it taste great.
Bar Tools You Need To Make It
Aged Jamaican Rum, Ogreat Syrup
Time To Make
Craft Cocktail Flavor
Sour, Sweet, Refreshing, Strong
Mixology Chef Recommendation (1-10)
Highly Recommended – 8
Mai Tai cocktail is still one of the best rum craft cocktail and still one of the most popular one. It has the exotic flavor and at the same time consists very strong rum notes. I highly suggest you trying the traditional recipe and stay away of the fake versions of Mai Tai. Try different variations and play with the ingredients but do not add additional flavors. Keep the original one. And remember: Creating the best craft cocktail is an art!
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