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Mai Tai for the Holidays

Here in the Midwest, it’s about to get cold… really cold. It’s this time of year that I could use a reminder that warmer temps will be here in just a few short months. On a cold Saturday night during a driving snowstorm I love nothing more than to pop Blue Hawaii in the DVD player and mix up my very most favorite cocktail… the Mai Tai.

There seems to be some debate as to who created the first Mai Tai. Was it Don the Beachcomber or Trader Vic? Visit this link to find out more…

It would seem there are as many ways to make a Mai Tai as there are Elvis movies with catchy tunes. But… not all Mai Tai recipes are created equal. Just ask Beachbum Berry from Latitude 29. (see the above link)

I do know this… there’s no quicker way to transport yourself to the South Pacific than by sipping on a well made Mai Tai.

So… here are a couple of recipes that are sure to put you on the path to paradise this holiday season.

Mele Kalikimaka from Kris & Kenny… The Atomic Sharks

Beach Bum Barry’s Mai Tai Recipe


In your shaker pour 1 ounce each fresh lime juice, Rhum Clément VSOP Martinique rum, and Appleton Estate Extra dark Jamaican rum; 1/2 ounce orange Curacao; 1/2 ounce Latitude 29 Formula Orgeat; and 1/4 ounce sugar syrup. Add at least 2 cups of crushed ice, then… shake well for around 10 seconds. Pour unstrained into a double old-fashioned glass. Sink your spent lime shell in the drink, and garnish with a mint sprig. (Drink pictured above.)

Here’s another version from The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu

Ingredients: 1 ounce dark rum 1 ounce light rum 1 ounce orange curacao 2 ounces orange juice 1/2 ounce lime juice Dash orgeat Dash simple syrup (bar syrup)

Preparation: Combine all of the ingredients in the order listed in an old fashioned style glass over shaved ice. Stir with a swizzle stick. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.

From my own experience, I’ve had good success with using Pure Almond Extract if you don’t have access to real Orgeat Syrup.

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