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Apr 22, 2005 07:59 PM

Having a polynesian style party - thoughts on beverages?

  • d

Howdy fellow chowhounds, coming in May I'm planning to have a Hawaiian themed outdoor party with a small, somewhat retro menu (grilled Spam and Pineapple skewers, macaroni salad, maybe some asian inspired dumplings, that sort of direction) and I'd like to make something along the lines of a Mai Tai or Blue Hawaiian punch for a beverage but I wasn't sure how well that would translate from single servings to a full punch bowl.

I've found these for Mai Tai's:,163,15...

Do any of the mix masters here know if these proportions sound correct? Better yet, has anyone tried doing something like this themselves? The main thing I want to avoid is having somebody assigned to making drinks for everyone else, lol.

Any thoughts?

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  1. See if you can get your hands on Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink. It's a 50s classic with everything you could dream of for a retro Polynesian party.

    It's long out of print but probably not too hard to find online.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Daniel

      I just sold a copy of Trader Vic's Kitchen Kibitzer on ebay and there were a few other Trader Vic's books listed when mine was.

    2. j
      JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

      Let's see... the first one ain't a Mai Tai. The second one is an even worse bastardization of the classic, and the third... just as bad as the first two. Mai Tais don't have pineapple juice in them. At least nobody tried to put grenadine in there- that's a guaranteed red flag that what you're getting isn't the real deal. All three are missing the special ingredient that really makes a Mai Tai... orgeat syrup. This milky white, almond flavored syrup brings a dimension to the drink that pineapple juice just won't do. The original Trader Vic's Mai Tai uses a somewhat rarefied list of ingredients (including 17-year J. Wray Nephew Jamaican rum), so here's a recipe that you could do with a minimum of fuss:

      1 ounce each dark and light rum
      1/2 ounce triple sec
      3/4 ounce orgeat syrup
      1 ounce fresh lime juice

      Shake and strain over crushed ice, and garnish with a sprig of mint.

      Now, for a crowd, you can make big bottles of the cocktail. When you do this, you need to add some water to the mix to compensate for the ice melting into a shaken drink. As a rule of thumb, use half as much water as you did base spirit, adding more water an ounce at a time if you think it's too strong. And please don't use bottled lime juice or Rose's Lime, neither one has the delicious flavor fresh limes can bring.

      This will make eight Mai Tais (1 quart total):
      8 ounces each dark and light rum
      4 ounces triple sec
      6 ounces orgeat
      8 ounces fresh lime juice
      6 ounces bottled water

      Mix everything but the water together and chill for a few hours, or up to 3 days. Less than 12 hours before serving, add chilled water and keep cold until serving. Pour over crushed ice.

      A couple of my other favorite drinks for occasions like these:

      This is an adaptation of the original by Don the Beachcomber. Unlike the Mai Tai, the original recipe has never been published. If you're going to serve this and Mai Tais at the same party, use the apricot brandy in this one so the differences are more distinct.

      1 oz dark rum
      1 oz light rum
      1 oz curaƧao or apricot brandy (or 1/2 ounce of each)
      1/2 oz fresh lime juice
      1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
      1 1/2 oz fresh orange juice
      1 1/2 oz passion fruit puree (substitute passion fruit nectar if you need to)
      1/4 oz grenadine

      Shake and strain over ice, top with a float of 151, and garnish with fruit and mint.

      Mass Quantities (2 quarts):
      8 ounces dark rum
      8 ounces light rum
      8 ounces triple sec or apricot brandy
      4 ounces lime juice
      4 ounces lemon juice
      12 ounces orange juice
      12 ounces passion fruit
      2 ounces grenadine
      6 ounces water

      Red Death
      This is one that popped up recently; it's a cross between an Alabama Slammer and a Kamikaze. This drink will sneak up on you; do not attempt to drive, operate heavy machinery, or tango if you have had more than two.

      3/4 ounce vodka
      1/2 ounce triple sec
      1/2 ounce sloe gin
      1/2 ounce amaretto
      1/2 ounce Southern Comfort
      1 ounce orange juice
      1/4 ounce fresh lime juice

      Shake and strain over ice.

      Red Death in Mass Quantities (38 ounces):
      6 ounces vodka
      4 ounces triple sec
      4 ounces sloe gin
      4 ounces amaretto
      4 ounces Southern Comfort
      8 ounces orange juice
      2 ounces lime juice
      6 ounces bottled water