Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Aug 9, 2014 11:07 AM

Mai Tai Help

Planning to make a Mai Tai but need some advice with the rums I have on hand. My Grog Log book calls for Jamaican and a Martinique rum. Several people here use Coruba and a demerrara like El Dorado.

I have Appleton 12, Myers, Lemonhart 151, Havana Club 7 and Anejo Especial, and Goslings in my liquor cabinet. Any suggestions on a combo? I was thinking to up the Appleton to 1.5 oz and do .5 oz of the 151. Maybe .5 myers and .5 151 to 1oz Appleton?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Playa round with several combinations. That's what I do. You will find quite a few combos you like, and different ones will suit different moods. Take notes... and enjoy the process.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JMF

      I followed the grog log recipe except I did 1oz Appleton and 1/2 each of Myers and LH 151.

      The recipe calls for 1.5oz of lime which is more than most I see online. This was more sour than I remember so maybe I scaled it down in the past. I'm also using a homemade orgeat so maybe it has less sugar than my typical Monin. I had to add more to bring up the balance and taste some almond notes.

      By the way, I made the orgeat using almond milk. I followed a recipe you posted as well as another I found online which was very similar. Taste is nice, but it seems to curdle a bit in the cocktail and settle to the bottom.

      1. re: Ali G

        Never had any curdling. How long did it sit before settling?

        What almond milk? I've found Silk original to work best out of around 5-6 I tried.

        1. re: JMF

          I have found these proportions good. Mix and match 2-2.5 oz. rum. I like Bols triple sec or curacao, but try a few. May have to take up or down a slight amount due to sweetness levels.

          Mai Tai- JMF adaptation of Trader Vic, Trader Vic’s restaurant, Oakland, CA, 1944
          1 oz. El Dorado 5 yr. dark rum
          1 oz. Coruba Dark Jamaican rum
          .5 oz. Bols orange curacao
          1 oz. lime juice
          .75 oz. Orgeat syrup
          .5 oz. dark Muscavado simple syrup (preferred) or Turbinado or Simple syrup

          Shake with crushed ice, pour into double old fashioned glass. Garnish with mint sprigs.

          Instant Orgeat - JMF
          8 oz. (1 cup) Silk brand Almond Milk
          1/2 cup Sugar
          1/2 oz. Almond Extract (McCormick if that's all available, but prefer Penzey's)
          1/8 - 1/4 oz. Orange Blossom Water

          Combine ingredients and shake until sugar is dissolved. Will keep 2 weeks chilled.

          1. re: JMF

            I used Blue Diamond brand since we had it in the house. My wife uses the vanilla version in smoothies but bought the original unsweetened by accident so it seemed like a good chance to use some up. The other recipe I found online was the same as yours with less extract and obw. They used Pacific brand which had the same nutrition info as mine, so thought it would work. It tasted nice, but once I mixed the drink, it looked like little white bits were floating around the bottom.

            Your mai tai recipe is similar to the one I followed but my lime was higher. I also remember skipping the simple for more orgeat but I was using the commercial stuff which is probably much sweeter than homemade. I'll make some turbinado next time and see how that works. Maybe add the orgeat at the end when the acids are more diluted?

    2. Beachbum recommends (in the books at least):

      1oz Appleton V/X for the Jamaican
      1 oz Rhum Clement VSOP for the Martinique
      1/2 oz senior curacao of curacao (orange)
      .25 oz 1:1 simple
      .25 oz orgeat
      .5 oz lime

      I up the orgeat to .5 and skimp the simple, I use Small Hand Foods Orgeat

      JMF has spoke with the Bum and has another variation

      I prefer Senior Curacao of Curacao over Bols, but bols is much easier to source

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dapuma

        I have the Grog Log book from Beachbum and it lists 1.5oz of lime. I looked back in my notes when I was making these a lot and it looks like I used juice of 1 lime. That can vary, but my 1 lime this weekend got ~1.5oz of juice. I think there was a little left over.

        I used DeKyuper Curacao since it's what I had. I also have Bols Triple Sec. Both still have a fair amount in the bottle, so I'll probably stick with them until empty.

        The only Martinique Rhum I could find was from JM, but it was a Blanc. I assume that's not a good sub for the VSOP. My wife will kill me if I keep bringing home new bottles, so I'll hold out for a bit and try combos of the stuff I have on hand. Maybe mix in some of the Cubans I have. The 7yr is tasty on it's own.

      2. I support JMF's opinion to tinker and take notes.

        Two different bloggers did Mai Tai combinations like that (using their vast rum collections) to find the best rums. Perhaps their research can help:

        2 Replies
        1. re: yarm

          I like to sub out the Appleton for Smith and Cross

          I will try JMF's variation next weekend - just got my new bottle of Orgeat

          JMF have you tried using ED12 + Coruba versus LH151 + Coruba?

          1. re: Dapuma

            Dakota, Yes, I have tried both. ED and LH are very similar. The differences between the two are barrel selection, age, amount of added sugars and other flavors, and strength. They are actually just different blends of demerara rum from the same distillery. There is only one distillery in Guyana. They bought most of the others equipment, and have the ability to make all the old variations of demerara, but the reality is they only use a few of the stills. The ED12 is a bit sweeter and smoother in a mai tai. The LH151 one is a bit funkier, rougher, and stronger.

            I liked a version where I used 1 oz. Coruba dark Jamaican, .5 oz. Smith & Cross aged Jamaican, .5 oz. ED12, and .5 o. LH151. I think I used .25 oz. dark muscovado syrup instead of .5 oz.

            Mai Tai is a great drink to play around with the rums used, and even the proportions of simple or dark muscovado syrup. The original recipe is never going to be replicated because the 17 yr. Wray & Sons just hasn't been available for so many decades, heck, generations. But, the great thing about tiki is to play around with the drink, ingredients, proportions, etc. The history behind this goes back to the beginnings of tiki.