As time goes by….
…and we try more and more cocktails there will always be one, two or three (or more) that keeps being there, rotating and sticking with us and becoming our favorite cocktails. What is it with these cocktails that makes them last? what`s so special with them?
The Mai Tai has been with me for many years, the Sazerac a bit shorter but both are always there and if it takes too long in between – something just tells me that its time – for a Mai Tai – or a Sazerac. The Mai Tai is on my favorite list because its such a perfect cocktail. Its so balanced, yummy, refreshing, exotic – and simple. So simple that most makes it the wrong way.
Please try to understand – its dark rum(s) lime, orgeat, rock candy or simple syrup, orange curacao and mint sprig (and maybe a spent lime shell as well) for garnish – and crushed ice in a double old fashioned glass. Anything else isn´t a Mai Tai but maybe a “Pineapple Mai Tai” or other but not “Mai Tai” – Period!
Its ok with – say Cointreau if you don`t have orange Curacao, to add a cherry for garnish as long as you stick to the original recipe. Probably the orgeat is the hardest part or that`s what i hear, but now when Trader Tiki delivers orgeat worldwide it should be available if you really want to make it right and its also easy to make. Amaretto is another topic of this discussion, yes it has also an almond flavor but it just won`t replace orgeat i think.
One last thing – a Mai Tai isn`t red, pink or brightly orange – its brownish.
As for the Sazerac, it has just like the Mai Tai an interesting history and i like it with rye – or maybe half rye half cognac – it used to have cognac at first, namely a cognac called Sazerac-du-Forge-et-fils. The problem for me is that no rye is sold here in our spirit shop, yes you heard me – NO – rye. Can you believe that? “But you can special order” some say….yes i can, they have ONE brand to choose from, and even though luckily very good (Wild Turkey Rye) – but – wow. Its really rye-desert here.
Good ryes for Sazeracs are Sazerac 6 year, Rittenhouse Bonded Straight Rye, Old Overholt rye or Wild Turkey Rye. For a luxury experience or a special occasion try Sazerac 18-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey – if you can.
One thing these two of my favorite cocktails has in common apart from being two tasty classical well balanced cocktails, is that they both are traditionally served in my favorite type of glass – the old fashioned. Its just something with that glass, its so homely and comfy, steady in your hand and beautyful too – and i love it.
The Mai Tai is the King of Tiki cocktails and the Sazerac is the official cocktail of New Orleans so you see – both are two steady cocktails. But to be really honest…there is a third favorite as well – Absinthe Suissesse – i love that silky smooth fluffy wonder of a cocktail but i won`t write about that one in this post as i just did that in the last MxMo where i made a little twist of it. If you like Absinthe and haven`t tried the Suissesse yet, i think you should.
1/2 teaspoon Herbsaint or Absinthe
1 teaspoon of simple syrup or 1 cube of sugar or 1 tsp of granulated sugar
4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Optional: 1 dash Angostura, not tradition but some say it opens up the flavors.
2 ounces rye whiskey
Strip of lemon peel
Fill a 3-1/2 ounce Old Fashioned (rocks) glass with ice. Place the sugarcube in another glass and moisten it with water until it saturates and crush it or use simple syrup. Mix with whiskey and bitters, add ice and stir to chill.
Discard the ice from the first glass and add herbsaint or absinthe and coat the sides of the glass, then discard the excess (i like to leave a drop or two in the glass) Strain the whiskey into the glass and twist a lemon peel over the glass to express the oils, then rim the glass with it as well. Discard the peel.
Some like to use the peel as garnish, i`m one of them. But be careful not to drop the entire peel back into the glass as that would give too much citrus flavor.
ORIGINAL MAI TAI
2 oz Wray & Nephew 17 Year Old Rum (Sub your favorite dark rums here, i would suggest Appleton Extra and St James hors d`age or Clèment VSOP or 2 oz of a good demerara is tasty too)
0.5 oz orgeat ( i used Trader Tiki`s)
0.5 oz orange curacao
0.25 oz simple syrup
Juice of one lime (approx. .75 oz lime juice)
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a double old fashioned glass over crushed ice. Garnish with lime shell and a sprig of mint. Add two short straws near the mint.
This is truly deliscious and so simple.
And now – i just couldn`t help myself…i just had to add this video of a very (in) famous and entertaining guy – well known by the cocktailsphere…showing how to NOT make a Mai Tai – How many errors can you possibly do? I found these:
1) Tall glass 2) ice cubes 3) wrong rum, and he doesn`t even show us the label 4) triple sec – well..i would rather use cointreau if there`s no orange curacao 5) amaretto 6) grenadine 7) orange juice 8) pineapple juice 9) a float – and even if floats are nice, its not in the Mai Tai recipe 10) long straws 11) the drink isn`t mixed.. 12) NO MINT!
WHERE IS THE LIME??? OH MY GOD!!
Check it out, it will bring out a smile f`sure.. its actually quite entertaining. Maybe you`ll find more errors than i did.
WHOHOOO HERE WE GO!! DUMP! DUMP! DUMP! SPLASH!
So what do you think? and which are your favorite cocktails?