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Old 09-21-2010, 11:13 PM   #1
saltgrassbear
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Default best Mai Tai's

There are many Mai Tai recipes floating around the net and here. But unless one has had the pleasure of tasting an "original" how can you tell if the one you make is up to the standards set.

I've followed many good recipes and also tweeked them a little but still have nothing to compare them to.

SOOOO, if you will please, list the best places in the U.S and Canada to buy a great Mai Tai. In your opinion of course. Maybe I'll take the road king on a trip to try some.


SGB

Last edited by saltgrassbear; 09-22-2010 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:56 PM   #2
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My limited view, is there IS NO place to buy a really good Mai Tai (specialty rum bars possibly excluded); you have to make them yourself.
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:26 AM   #3
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Ed, I know you don't like to make endorsements and thats what it would sound like but feel free to make suggestions.


SGB
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:34 AM   #4
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Well it seems to me that if you were to make the one that is featured on Jeff Berry's website, you would be making the one against which all others should be measured. I've had a lot of fun varying the exact rums used, but pretty much always staying within genres and I have some favorite combos, but in fact the research continues. So it all boils down to, are you making a Mai Tai that is recognizable as a true Mai Tai, and how do you like it? I never order them out, why bother? You have to be very careful about any drink in any bar. A few make great drinks (and that number is increasing exponentially these days, thankfully), but most do not. When in a bad bar, pick their best rum and mix it with something in a bottle, like tonic.... or just ice and lime.... or maybe pick another bar. Just don't get fancy. And a Mai Tai would definitely be considered fancy.
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:13 AM   #5
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I'd suggest with someone you love by the pool at The Grand Wailea Resort in Maui Hawaii preferably after a massage.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:05 AM   #6
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Sound advice. When eating out, I ask the Bartender how they make a Mai Tai. 95% of the time Rum is the only ingredient common with the "authentic" version.


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Old 09-22-2010, 02:54 PM   #7
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I would just love to have a good recipe. I have some that are sweet, and others that just taste bad. I have never had two exactly alike at any restaruant or bar, even with the same bar and the same night! Is there a "gold standard" recipe out there? I hope that the original/best recipe is not lost somewhere in the white noise of history.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:08 PM   #8
Edward Hamilton
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A good mai tai is a real piece of art. The best mai tai I've had was in Washington DC and I'd be remiss if I said who made it as I would certainly get it wrong, but maybe Joe Riley can refresh my memory.

The second best mai tai was at the Rhum Rhum Room in NY, thanks Joe.

I haven't had a mai tai at Smuggler's Cove. At least not that I remember.

The key ingredient is orgeat syrup, an almond based syrup that has more bad imitations than Louis Vuitton handbags. The best I've had was made by Small Hand Foods in San Francisco. There are others but hers is one of the best and most authentic I've had the pleasure of drinking.

Here's Beach Bum Berry's instructions on how to make a mai tai.

In the mai tai I drank in Washington DC, the rum was a combination of the three Neisson rhums available in the US. Actually I only had a few sips of it since it was noon, I had work to do, and two fo the three rums were 100 proof.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:43 PM   #9
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Hey Ellis, I am going to kind of repeat what I said a post or two ago, which is, in answer to your question about a gold standard.... it really depends on your taste! And are you making something that all of us who would call a Mai Tai is a Mai Tai. For instance, Ed just posted a very interesting response which said that his fave ever was with three agricoles (!)..... helllooooo, the original recipe (according to the source, the Bum, has two rums, one a jamaican, the other from martinique) so already Ed is straying from the dead center... but, hey, it's got orgeat, lime and curaçao (I am assuming).... so what else is this drink, but a Mai Tai? Now Ed loves rhum agricole so no surprise that he loved this version. I am sure I would have too! Now the Bum might not have because he actually pans most agricoles in Tiki drinks, even tho this one calls for one. So, grab some rums, and rhums, and go after it, try a bunch of different versions. But stick to the essentials, so that what you make is a Mai Tai, and not some ghastly pink thing sickningly sweet made with Floor de Cancun and I am sure you will find the one you love the best... or will be on your way like I am...
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:27 AM   #10
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You're so right about the Bum's taste but I can assure you that he likes real agricole when mixed right. There are a lot of drinks in which agricole sucks out loud, especially if you don't use good agricole. This is especially true when you are mixing with rhum agricole blanc. While I wouldn't recommend the recipe above for someone who doesn't like agricole, the three Neissons play very well together.
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