With the South being in the middle of a heat wave (our average heat index is over 100) it feels like we're sitting in a tropical paradise. So I couldn't think of a better way of celebrating Cocktail Friday then with a Mai Tai. Whether you believe that Trader Vic or Don the Beachcomber created the cocktail, one thing remains true to both origin stories. Neither cocktail was a sugar bomb like what you will find at a lot of bars and restaurants today. As with all of our cocktails, you can play around with the sweetness. Here, instead of simple syrup we're using the traditional orgeat, a sweet almond syrup. You may need more to counteract the bitterness of the Campari in my drink. For hers, the recipe calls for 1 tsp but she usually only adds 1/2 tsp. Again, make the cocktail to your palate. But please, use freshly squeezed juice over the bottled stuff.
His Cocktail Ingredients - Bitter Mai Tai (via Jeremy Oertel)
1 1/2 oz Campari
3/4 oz aged Jamaican rum
1/2 oz orange curacao
3/4 oz orgeat
1 oz fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until cold and strain into rocks glass filled with ice.
Her Cocktail Ingredients - Mai Tai
1 oz dark rum (Myers's)
1 oz amber rum
1 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 tsp orgeat (more or less to taste for sweetness)
Rum floater - optional
Combine all ingredients, except for the floater, in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until cold and strain into rocks glass filled with ice. For optional rum floater, pour a little rum slowly onto the back of a spoon positioned over top of the cocktail.