How to Make a Mai Tai | Cocktail Recipes

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Recipe: 2 oz Jamaican rum; .75 oz lime juice; .5 Orange Curacao; .5 Orgeat syrup. Shake and strain over fresh ice. Garnish as desired.

The Mai Tai is the flagship cocktail of all Tiki drinks. Tiki culture is something that became really popular in the 1950’s when people would want to travel to somewhere really exotic, but didn’t exactly want to spend the money or go through the trouble of getting there. So instead they would just go to their local Tiki bar and order a tropical drink that made them feel like they were on the beach.

The Mai Tai has really suffered through some bad mixes and bad recipes over the years, so if you’ve had one before and it wasn’t good it probably wasn’t made properly. But if it is made properly like I’m going to show you how to do, it deserves every ounce of the legendary status that it has. So we’re going to start with two ounces of Jamaican rum.

You can play around with the rums a little bit in the Mai Tai, but I think some really good full-bodied Jamaican rum is a definite must. I’m just going to go with the Jamaican rum by itself now, because I think that’s all you need and you know, the simplest solution is usually the best one, right? So two ounces of the rum and we’re going to do half an ounce of orange Curacao.

Make sure you get a quality orange Curacao, none of that really syrupy Triple sec stuff, that’s not going to do you any favors. Half an ounce of that. No pineapple juice in this drink. I know that’s going to shock you. No OJ either and if anyone ever does that, tell them they’re doing it wrong. Three-quarters ounce of fresh lime juice. I know that you are juicing your lime juice fresh, but just to be sure, you’ve got to do that. Juice those limes. It only takes a couple of minutes.

And now here is the key ingredient to making a true Mai Tai is orgeat, which is almond syrup. It’s not the easiest ingredient to find, but you can get it at coffee stores or gourmet shops. And it’s definitely worth the trouble going to find it, because it makes a fantastic Mai Tai. So just half an ounce of that, and that’s it. So we’re going to shake this and strain it over crushed ice. So I’m going to get my handy ice crank.

Any ice can do, but if you happen to have these on hand, as I happen to today, why not use it. All right, fill that up with ice. These were really popular back in the 50’s. Maybe your parents may have some lying around. Whoa, they’re a little bit of a struggle, but really worth it. Sometimes it’s good to reverse direction around the other way. Yeah, good enough. Okay, let’s get our glass that we have chilling in the freezer.

Now we’re going to shake it not very long, because this ice is going to dilute it a lot, so we just want to mix all the ingredients together, but we don’t want to dilute it too much, because that crushed ice is going to do the trick. Ah, look at that. Tell me that wasn’t worth all that effort I just put into crushing that. Now just a few shakes. I’m on the beach already. Now the garnish. I don’t have an umbrella on hand. I don’t think you need one. But if you want one, knock yourself out.

I’m just going to put a little lime wheel on there. I happen to have some mint here actually. The garnish is something that really adds some authenticity to your cocktail, and if you’re making it for people, something they really notice and appreciate. Definitely want a straw with this one. In Tahitian, Mai Tai means out of this world, and I think they’re pretty right about that. And that’s how you make a classic Mai Tai.
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Recipe: 2 oz white rum; 1 oz simple syrup .75 lime juice. Muddle 8-10 mint leaves in simple syrup. Shake and strain over ice in a high ball glass. Top with soda. Garnish with mint sprig.

A Mojito is a cocktail that everyone is familiar with. It’s become on of the most popular drinks of the last 10-15 years. I think one of the main reasons for that is that a lot of bars have been using fresh mint when they’re making their Mojito, imagine that. So people are having these drinks made with fresh ingredients and they’re like, “Oh, my God, this is amazing.” I kind of have to wonder if every drink was made that way if they’d feel the same way about every drink they have, the way they do about the Mojito. In case you don’t know, here’s how to make a proper one.

So we’re going to start with some fresh mint. Like I said, into your shaker and you’ll notice this is essentially, a daiquiri made with a little bit of mint, and we’re going to top it off with soda water. So just like a daiquiri we’re going to do three-quarters of an ounce of simple syrup. Now that we have our simple syrup in there, we’re going to muddle the mint. And just gently press the mint leaves in there, so they extract the really beautiful, aromatic oils, but it doesn’t pulverize it and you get any of those really bitter tannin’s. You don’t want that.

That’s what I’m talking about. Okay, now we’re going to do three-quarters of an ounce, same amount as the simple syrup, of fresh lime juice. Again, I cannot stress fresh juice enough. Once again, it’s good to have our trash can nearby, because cocktails do produce their fair amount of waste. All right, three-quarters of an ounce of lime juice. The Mojito was originally invented in Cuba, and actually goes back to way back early 19th century. They’ve been drinking it over there for a while. It took some time to sort of sink in over here, but once it did, it really did.

I really think that this is just the regular Mojito, the best way to have it. You see blueberry Mojito’s and watermelon Mojito’s and that’s when you start to put processed, fake ingredients in there, and that’s not what you want. You just want the bare essentials. The freshest ingredients you can find. If you want to put fresh watermelon in there, that’s another story, but I don’t think that’s what those bars are doing. I don’t believe it. So that was two ounces of white rum and now we are ready to shake.

Let’s prep our ice in our glass first. Mojito’s a long drink, as you probably know, so we’re going to use a Collins glass. I like to use a lot of ice, because it’s a really refreshing drink, so we want it nice and cold. All right, now we’re ready to shake. Here we go. Okay, now you’ll see a lot of Mojito’s that have the pieces of mint floating in them. I really think that gets in the way. I don’t want to eat mint. It doesn’t taste nearly as good as it smells. So I like to use a strainer and strain it out. There little bits of mint that will come through, I think are all the really, pieces you need.

It still gives it that same, that nice texture, it looks great. It makes you think you’re drinking something really fresh, but it doesn’t really get in the way of actually drinking it. Now just a little bit of soda on top. And finally we’re going to garnish it off with some beautifully, picturesque mint sprigs. I just put them in a little bit of water to keep them nice and sprightly. All right, and there we go, the ever popular Mojito.

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