Skip to content

Our famous Mai Tai Recipes Revealed

July 27, 2010


“Anyone who says I didn’t create this drink is a dirty stinker.” Trader Vic

Dana's Famous Mai Tai

The love affair started on a moonlit beach. We were setting at a bar with tiki torches fluttering in the breeze and a hula dancer swaying to the sounds of the slack key guitar. The server asked us what we wanted and the first thing that rolls off my tongue is, “Mai Tai please.”  The drink came in its sexy glass, all dressed up with an orchid and a slice of pineapple. I took a sip and fell in love.

I guess it is important to note here, that before this moment, I basically only drank wine. But that night was perfect and the Mai Tai was even more perfect. I vowed to continue my love affair with them and learn how to mix them. Little did I know that it’s not as easy as you would think, since there are about 300 variations.

The original Mai Tai was not born in the islands but concocted by the famous mixologist “Trader Vic” in 1944 in his San Francisco bar. The original Mai Tai is very different than what we are used to drinking. In fact, I, self professed Queen of Mai Tais, have never had one. But not from lack of trying!

It is tart and sophisticated with the emphasis on a fine 17 year old Wray & Nephew Jamaican amber rum that is very difficult to get these days. There is no pineapple juice, grenadine or two kinds of rum. Then there is the splash of the French orgeat, a subtle almond syrup flavored with orange blossoms, which is impossible to find. I looked so long and hard for it I almost tried to make my own.

I finally made peace with the fact that the original Mai Tai was a relic of the past and to move on and make Mai Tais like the one I fell in love with. (Even though there is a cult following of this drink that would riot over that statement!)

Then the games began. Paul and I mixed and drank, and mixed and drank to find the perfect recipe. So thoroughly was Paul and I’s study of Mai Tais, that one unforgettable night (really I remember most of it) we went to bar after bar in downtown Kailua Kona just to taste their Mai Tais.

This summer weather builds a powerful thirst for Mai Tais in us. Here are two of our favorite recipes for you, one sweet and one tart. They are tried and true, with selfless sacrificing by tasting and mixing tons of Mai Tais! (hiccup)

Our favorite rums to use are Goslings Black Seal dark rum and Bacardi light rum. Amber Curacao, an orange flavored liquor (don’t get the yucky blue stuff!) is important in this drink. You can find it at the Seaside liquor store or substitute “Tripe Sec” in a pinch. The passion fruit puree is optional but really adds a depth that is fabulous!

You will need a 28 oz large glass or a cocktail shaker, a jigger and a lime juicer to make these masterpieces. Each recipe is for two 14 ounce drinks. Sometimes I add the dark rum in the whole mix and don’t float it on top. That way guests don’t have to mix in the dark rum. Watch out! These drinks pack a wallop, especially Paul’s!

Dana’s Famous Mai Tai

Fill your drink shaker about half way with ice.

Add one jigger of each of the following:

Light rum

Amaretto

Amber Curacao

Then add the juice of one lime, a small splash of grenadine, and a jigger of passion fruit puree.

Top off with pineapple juice and shake or stir it up.

Pour into two glasses filled partially with ice, preferably clear to see the beautiful color.

Then float one jigger of dark rum on top of the concoction of each glass.

Add a pineapple slice and do the hula!

Paul’s Famous Mai Tai

Fill your drink shaker about half way with ice.

Add one jigger of each of the following:

Dark rum

Light rum

Amaretto

Amber Curacao

Then add the juice of two limes and a jigger of passion fruit puree.

Top off with pineapple juice and shake or stir it up.

Pour into two glasses filled partially with ice, preferably clear to see the gorgeous color.

Then float another jigger of dark rum on top of the concoction of each glass.

Add a pineapple slice and start up the BBQ!

About these ads
4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 31, 2010 3:05 am

    Hi! It was so nice to meet you and your husband at the Manzanita market tonight! We’d never been before and you guys were the highlight! We can’t wait until September to plant our garlic! :)

    I love your blog! I’m so glad to have found it!

    We hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

    Gail and Pete

  2. Jen permalink
    August 1, 2010 1:25 am

    I found your post via Foodgawker. I’m a fellow Mai Tai lover! I found my orgeat on Amazon; Torani (coffee syrup brand) makes a serviceable orgeat with no HFCS and a nice, floral flavor. I want to try the Small Hand Foods orgeat, but I had to order a 3-pack of Torani, so I’ll be working through that for a while. There’s also a really fun video from Chow.com demonstrating the classic Trader Vic Mai Tai:

    http://www.chow.com/stories/12090?tag=introduction;intro_full

    I love the classic Mai Tai! It’s totally worth the ingredient hunt to try it.

  3. August 4, 2010 5:49 pm

    Oh my, Dana, I’m heading right over. Be there in approximately 6 hours (from Redmond WA). :-)

    You’ve captured the romance of the Mai Tai so perfectly. I’m overlooking the beach on Maui in my head right now and sipping my favorite drink. What a wonderful post!

    …Susan

  4. July 7, 2011 12:37 am

    Really nice post. You’ve captured the essence of why the Mai Tai is such a seductive drink. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 176 other followers

%d bloggers like this: