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Go Back   Rum Lovers @ the Ministry of Rum > Cocktails and Food > Mixers, Water, Ice and Glasses
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Mixers, Water, Ice and Glasses

All of the ingredients in a cocktail contribute to the experience.

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Old 10-22-2009, 08:34 PM   #1
Coastie Mike
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Default Mai Tais

Ok, I know there has been many a discussion here about Mai Tais...But I'd like to share my experience. I've never been big on mixed drinks, besides rum and coke, so I decided to try making Mai Tais

I first made the Orgeat:
10z chopped almonds
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
Heated to a boil, removed heat
Let sit over nght
The added 4 cups sugar, 2 tbsp OJ, 1.5 tbsp Grenadine
Heated till sugar melted, let cool down, removed almonds, then bottled.

First Mai Tai I made:
2oz Appleton VX
2oz Rhum JM (Gold)
1oz clement shrubb
1oz Orgeat
1oz Lime juice
*Yuck!**...way to bitter, almost like GF juic

Mai Tai #2
2oz Appleton VX
2oz St James Royal Amber
1oz clement shrubb
1.5oz Orgeat
1oz Lime juice
*Not to shabby**

Mai Tai #3
2oz W&N Overproof
2oz Kaniche Rum Martinique
1oz clement shrubb
2oz Orgeat
1oz Lime juice

I like #3, but that could also be because that was my 3rd drink in a
So, like many others...I am in a quest for the "perfect" Mai Tai...and no it isn't the one I was served at Red Robins...the one I had at Rumba was much better, hahaha

Out of the rums below, which do you think I should marry together for my next Mai Tai???

Mt. Gay XO
Rhum J.M White Rum
Rhum J.M Gold Rum
Rhum J.M 1997
Clement Creole Shrub
Kilo Kai
Clement Premiere Canne
Kaniche (Guadaloupe)
Kaniche (Martinique)
Ron Barcelo Imperial
Zaya 12yr (Guat)
El Dorado 12
El Dorado 15
Gosling 151
Lemon Hart 151
Planters Gold Pyrat XO
Ron Centenario Conmemorativo
Matusalem Classico
Matusalem Platino
Tommy Bahama Golden Sun
Oronoco Rum
10 Cane Rum
Rogue Spirits Hazelnut Spiced Rum
Plantation Rum Trinidad 1996
Rubi Rey Rum
Trader Vic's Spiced Rum
Trader Vic's Gold Rum
Ron San Miguel 7
Depaz Blue Cane
St. James Royal Ambre Rum
St. James Extra Old Rum
Zaya 12 (Trinidad)
Ron Zacappa 23
St. Teresa 1796
Cockspur 12
Ron Pampero Aniversario Rum
Zhenka Dark Rum
Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum
Jack Spiced No.94
Pussers British Navy Rum
Screech Rum
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:03 AM   #2
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It might be best to start with the serious study recently made by our own Dood:

Rum Dood's Month of Mai Tais

There were a flood of Mai Tai recipes on many cocktail blogs, including the one from our Tiare, who knows her way around a shaker and all things Tiki.
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:48 PM   #3
leisure master
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Coastie - very commendable you are experimenting with mai tais. The mai tai is a specialty at the rhum rhum room and served at every gathering we have. First, I noticed your orgeat recipe:

Originally Posted by Coastie Mike View Post
I first made the Orgeat:
10z chopped almonds
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
Heated to a boil, removed heat
Let sit over nght
The added 4 cups sugar, 2 tbsp OJ, 1.5 tbsp Grenadine
Heated till sugar melted, let cool down, removed almonds, then bottled.
A few suggestions:
  • make sure the almonds are blanched
  • I don't use grenadine in my orgeat - but if you do, make sure to use homemade and not Rose's or any other commercial gunk like that (to make homemade reduce POM juice by half over heat and then add sugar equal to your original juice amount)
  • I would back off the sugar a bit - maybe total of 4 or possibly 5 cups, but not the 6 you have above (unless you like it sweet)
  • I would remove the almonds after sitting overnight and then reheat to add the final sugar, etc.
  • most important - hopefully you mean orange flower water and not OJ - there's a big difference there. Absolutely make sure you are using OFW
  • it wouldn't hurt to throw one TBSP of rose water and a couple of TSPs of almond extract in there as well.
  • once you find a recipe you like, make a big batch if you plan on experimenting with rum combinations - you want to keep everything else constant including the orgeat!
From your substantial list of available rums, you can definitely make some fun combinations. I agree with Michael that you should check out the Dood's site for all the leg work he has already put in for you.

When coming up with rum combinations, you definitely want to look for two distinct flavors and not two similar rums.

I would not use any of the following in a mai tai because they will get lost (or worse, could be excellent but too expensive to make it regularly!).

Rhum J.M 1997
Zaya 12yr (Guat)
Zaya 12 (Trinidad)
Ron Zacappa 23
St. Teresa 1796

I do notice that you have the goods to make one of my favorite mai tai combinations:

Kaniche (Martinique)
El Dorado 15

I can't get the Kaniche anymore, but LOVED this rum combination in my mai tais. Currently I am using Clement VSOP and ED15. A more traditional combination would be Appleton and Clement VSOP (or other brownish agricole rum).

I prefer to use orange curacao in my mai tais (specifically Senior Curacao of Curacao) as opposed to the Shrubb. The Shrubb is nice, but a bit too heavy on the orange and sticky for me.

Being from New England, I see you have Screech, which could be interesting in a mai tai - I find it to have a bit of a slight banana flavor that may work well. I would generally stay away from the spiced rums and the overproof stuff in a mai tai.

Sorry for the ramble - the mai tai is one of my favorites and I have spent a lot of time playing with the components. Have fun and keep us updated on your very important research!
Rhum Rhum Room
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:03 PM   #4
Coastie Mike
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Posts: 100

I've looked at both Rum Doods and Mountain of Crushed Ice...Most of the rums they used are not easily accessible for me (Can't have rum shipped to MA).
Yeah, my Orgeat was kinda half a**ed, I did use OJ instead of OFW and used the Grenadine as a sub for Rose Water. The almonds I purchased were already blanched and chopped (forgot to mention that). I was too lazy to go to the store to get almond extract Thanks for the tip on how to made homemade Grenadine. Now I have to find a source for OFW and RW.
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:41 AM   #5
El Phadrino
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this is how i mix my old school mai tai - and i really love it that way

6cl el dorado 15
2cl dry orange liqueur
1-2 cl orgeat (depends on your personal taste)
the juice of 1/2 lime

shake on ice, pour into a glass filled with crushed ice, decorate with some fresh mint
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." ~ Ernest Hemingway
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:21 AM   #6
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I have to really recommend Leisure Master's house Mai Tai. Between a really good made from scratch Orgeat and the excellent rum pairing of Clement VSOP and the ED 15, it is one of the best Mai Tais I've had.

One thing I noticed from your posts is that you are making doubles. The three you made would have been 6 if you were following the classic proportions of Vic Bergeron's recipe. It may have had a lot to do with how good that 3rd double tasted Although the only 4ish ounces of ingredients of a classic Mai Tai do not seem like a lot, a well made Mai Tai (ideally) calls for a double old fashioned glass (13-15 oz) full of crushed ice. Pouring your ingredients over the crushed ice along with the added melt from a good shake makes a huge difference in the quality of the drink. (and if you really want the best Mai Tai possible - don't forget the mint)

Keep mixing and keep sharing your pairings!
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:27 AM   #7
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Default Don't let that Lemon Hart sit!

Rumors continue that unblended Lemon Hart is going the way of the dinosaurs. Try this for your next Mai Tai.

2 oz. Rhum J.M. White Rum
1.5 oz. El Dorado 15
0.5 oz. Lemon Hart 151 as a float

Done right, the first sip starts hard and finishes smooth and relaxed as all the flavors make themselves known. It tastes like that initial rush you get when you step off the airplane in the tropics and that blast of warm moist trade winds hit you followed by the comforting aromatics of the local plants.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:07 PM   #8
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For me the biggest challenge is getting good orgeat syrup. I've tried to make it with what I can only call mixed results. There will continue to be rumors about Lemon Hart but I expect some news on that by the end of the month. If I'm to believe any of the rumors I hear.
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Ministry of Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'm going to take it. In the meantime, the research continues.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Edward Hamilton View Post
For me the biggest challenge is getting good orgeat syrup......
That's my problem also. I've contemplated making my own but....
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:44 AM   #10
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From your list, I would first go with Pampero Aniversario and one of the aged agricoles, like St. James. Or go buy (good excuse) some Appleton 12 and use that with the agricole. You will not die!
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