Aged Jamaican Rum - 1 oz
Amber Martinique Rum - 1 oz
Lime Juice - 1 oz
Orange Curaçao - 1/2 oz
Orgeat Syrup - 1/4 oz
Simple Syrup - 1/4 oz
Shake everything with crushed ice and pour unstrained into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a mint sprig and a spent lime shell.
Don the Beahcomber’s Zombie and Trader Vic’s Mai Tai are the two drinks that should jump to mind when thinking about Tiki; but unlike the Zombie, the Fog Cutter, or the Scorpion, no one knows who actually came up with the original Mai Tai.The name came from the Tahitian phrase “maita’i roa a’e”, basically means “out of this world, the best!”
Without getting too deep into the “Mai Tai Battle”, I’d just like point out a few facts:
- According to Trader Vic’s story, he invented the Mai Tai in 1944 in his Oakland bar, and even won a court case for this. Most people believe this.
- Don the Beachcomber’s widow Phoebe Beach provided a recipe of Mai Tai Swizzle and she claims it dates back to 1933.
- Don the Beachcomber’s Q.B. Cooler cocktail created in 1937 resembles Trader Vic’s Mai Tai in terms of flavour, but contained very different ingredients.
No matter what you believe, it can’t be argued that Trader Vic had a significant role in this cocktail, as his recipe became the standard, followed by most bartenders around the world.
Beachbum Berry updated Trader Vic’s recipe slightly: using a combination of dark or aged Jamaican rum and Martinique rum to recreated the flavours of the original 17-year-old J. Wray & Nephew rum used by Trader Vic, that sadly is no longer available; he reduced the amount of orgeat by half and replaced rock candy syrup with simple syrup, for a much more balanced drink.
For the Jamaican rum I’m using Appleton Estate Extra 12-year-old; Myers’s will do, but it’s too rich in molasses and doesn’t have nearly the same complexity. As for the Martinique rum, the only one I have is Saint James Royal Ambre, but an aged Clément would likely to produce a better result.