Tag - mai tai

Elsewhere For Tiki Month: Basic Civilization Goes Down the Mai Tai Hole
Tiki Drink: Hot Buttered Mai Tai
SideBlog: The Business Cost of a Real Mai Tai
“The Best Bar in the World”
Cocktail Culture Hits the Worthington Hills
Happy Birthday to Me!

Elsewhere For Tiki Month: Basic Civilization Goes Down the Mai Tai Hole

Among the Twitter types I interact with a lot is Joe Garcia, @JMGIII. We appear to have the same tastes in politics, bloggers, cars, and cocktails, and which of those roads led us to follow each other, I have no idea. Joe’s blog, Basic Civilization, is an amalgam of food blogging, drink (and Tiki) blogging, and even fashion blogging. And any blog with post titles like Rum, Bloggery, and the Lash is worth reading.

Joe has tottered onto the Tiki Month train, though he wonders where I got the authority to declare February Tiki Month. Well Joe, I am allegedly one of the 20 most influential booze bloggers on the internet, so if I say it’s Tiki Month, it’s Tiki Month! And here you are.

Joe’s post starts off about his Number One Son’s commitment to (his dad) throwing awesome parties for #1s’s birthday each year. He then goes on to explain how he is apparently building an entire Trader Vic’s or something to accommodate said massively spoilt offspring’s party. Finally, because he has the brains to invite parents to these parties….

See, here is where he makes his mistake. Every drink blogger has this moment in his life. It is the moment where he decided he is going to make Mai Tais. Joe doesn’t seem to realize how much the making of the best Mai Tai on Earth™ will consume the next year (including at least 5 posts) of his life. Look what happened to RumDood when he made an offhand comment one day in the Mixoloseum chat room about how Mai Tais were a lost art these days. I made Mai Tais and decided to do Tiki Month… that was three years ago. Look at this event now. All because I decided to make a Mai Tai properly. There are videos of my obsession.

I’d warn Joe to not go there, but it is too late for him. But for any young booze bloggers out there, don’t make Mai Tais! The life you save (socially speaking) may be your own!

Tiki Drink: Hot Buttered Mai Tai

Well, it is Mixology Monday time again, folks! That is our monthly round up of cocktail bloggers, posting in harmony on a single theme. This month’s festivities are being hosted by Nancy, The Backyard Bartender. The theme that she has decreed for us is, “Some Like it Hot!”

Now, I’m not much of a hot alcoholic beverage guy, at least not yet. (We’ll see after I read everybody’s posts) But as it happens, the announcement for this month’s MxMo came across my reader less than an hour after I had discovered the perfect drink for me for this month’s entry.

See, this is the last post I’ll be putting up during Tiki Month 2011, my annual month-long exploration of all things Tiki. Tiki drinks are hardly a bastion of hot beverages, tending more to the delicate chill of crushed ice. so it was fortuitous indeed, perhaps fated, that I find this idea.

One of the classic hot drinks, perhaps the classic hot drink, is the Hot Buttered Rum, and I’m sure we’ll see a few of these this Mixology Monday. One of the classic Tiki drinks, perhaps the classic Tiki drink, is the Mai Tai. The Mai Tai is made with rum. Hmmm.

Let’s Tiki, an excellent Tiki blog I just discovered this month, had a post late last year producing this cosmic convergence, the Hot Buttered Mai Tai. He even produced a good video of the process for making it, but since I’m stealing his drink for my MxMo post, I’ll make you have to visit his blog to see it.

Like any good Tiki drink, this one is a little complicated to make and requires a two step process. First, you have to whip up a batch of the mix. Simply combine 4 tablespoons of softened butter with 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract. Then stir in 2 tablespoons of orange zest. This is going on all the zest you can get from a single large orange. (Remember when zesting to not abrade the orange too deeply. Orange zest is yummy, the orange pith which dwells a millimeter deeper is not.) This is enough to make four Hot Buttered Mai Tais. I don’t know for sure, but if you keep it sealed in plastic wrap in single serving sized dollops, it should keep a good while.

When you are ready to make your drink, here’s the recipe.


  • 2 oz. good dark rum
  • 1 tbsp. mix
  • 2 tsp. honey (to taste)
  • hot water

Combine rum and mix in a small coffee cup. Add a small amount of hot water and stir to dissolve. Add honey to taste.

The resulting drink is interesting. It combines the basic Mai Tai taste elements, but from often different directions. It is pretty good, but is very easy to screw up as well.

First, don’t scrimp on the quality of the rum. Just because this is a hot drink doesn’t mean you can get away with any old rum.
I know.
I tried.
Just as with a regular Mai Tai, you need a rich, full-bodied dark rum, or even a blend of rums. (Rum blending for Mai Tais can lead you down the rabbit hole of obsession, so be careful). I tried this first with Mount Gay Eclipse, a perfectly serviceable dark rum which I’d never use in a regular Mai Tai, to totally bland results.

The other way you can ruin this drink is too much hot water. Add a small amount at a time. And try to find the smallest Tiki vessel you can to mix it in. Let your mix get to room temp before you make the drink and you won’t need much to dissolve it and the honey. Then add a bit more for heat and to taste.

The Hot Buttered Mai Tai is a worthy last drink for Tiki Month, and a fun challenge to make with a tasty result. It won’t replace the classic in my repertoire, but I’ll keep it in my quiver for the right occasion. Now, head back to Nancy’s place and check out every one else’s hot drinks. Some like it hot, maybe you will too!

That’s it for Tiki Month. As usual, I have about thirty posts still in my draft queue that I just couldn’t get to. I may hit a few throughout the year, and the rest will have to wait for Tiki Month 2012! It’s been a gas, thanks for all the readers and the comments. Stick around as we return next month to our usual classic frivolity!

SideBlog: The Business Cost of a Real Mai Tai

Why the Mai Tai you ordered tastes like KoolAid… or costs 20 bucks. There are happy mediums to be reached here, folks!

“The Best Bar in the World”

Merchant's-BarI have no reason to travel to Belfast, and that is a damn shame. If any of my readers in Northern Ireland want to do a murder mystery party, I’m willing to do it for travel expenses alone, just so I can stay at the Merchant Hotel. I stumbled across its bar menu via a Google alert for “Pegu”. You can read it for yourself here (PDF).
The basic personality of the bar is revealed through the menu, and I am in love. First off, the drinks are sorted into three sections: The evening, the afternoon, and the morning. Sure, some bars will place a few meager selections of pick-me-ups on the menu; A Mimosa here, and Bloody Mary there. But the Merchant Hotel Bar has thirty-seven cocktails it classifies as Corpse Revivers & Picker Uppers (including the Pegu). I have a desire to visit a bar where the valiant patrons are beating back the morning hangover with Absinthe Drips and White Ladies! I am obviously not alone, as the bar proudly proclaims on the hotel website that it was named “World’s Best Hotel Bar” (as well as having the “World’s Best Drink Selection” and “World’s Best Drinks Selection”) at Tales of the Cocktail.
The menu is supplied with some wonderful, evocative quotations about cocktails that make it worth the read. It also includes a truly comprehensive array of towering drink classics to tickle every fancy, and warm a cocktailian’s heart.
Finally, they have a selection of cocktails that may benefit from a truly premium base, which they refer to as offerings from their Connoisseurs’ Club. For instance, Daiquiri’s at the Merchant range from £6.50 with Santiago de Cuba Anejo, to £195.00 with Bacardi Gold 1950s.
But the piece de resistance is the Mai Tai for £750.00….

I always had an inkling that I’d sell the first one and something told me it could be that night. I watched as a regular customer entered the room with another gentleman and two female companions. They were in high spirits, dressed for the occasion and as I approaced their table, I heard the ladies discussing cocktails. They asked me what I would recommend.
This was exactly how I hoped it would happen. I had rehearsed the scene a hundred times in my head.
“This cocktail was invented for discerning people like you — it’s an original Trader Vic’s Mai Tai. The key ingredient is extremely rare Wray and Nephew 17 year old rum from Jamaica. It has been reproduced to the exact original formula and we are theonly bar in the world that actually has a bottle to sell.”
Four sets of eyebrows raised and glances exchanged. I could see they were impressed.
“You’ll be making history by being the first person to buy this cocktail,” I continued.

Read the menu yourself to see how the story turns out.

Cocktail Culture Hits the Worthington Hills

A good country club bar is many things. It is a place to go to see friends. It is a place for swift, attentive, personalized service from people who know you on sight. It’s a place for reasonable drinks at reasonable prices. At least a good country club bar is all that. If you belong to a country club, and the bar is missing even one of these elements, get a new club. The bar at my club on the north side of Columbus, Ohio, Worthington Hills Country Club, is all of these things in spades.
Country club bars are also usually do not offer certain things. Chief among them is anything like high-end mixology. They aren’t the place to find original drinks, the bitters bottle usually has a splash of dust on it, and an Aviation is something the richer members do in their Cessnas. Over the years, the bar staff at the Hills has made some great strides in breaking out of this mold. Of course, you can safely order and get a Pegu there (I am a member, after all), and you can also get a decent Moscow Mule. And they have real lemon and lime juices to make drinks with, not just an endless supply of Finest Call Sour Mix to use for anything citrusy. My point is that I am lucky in the watering hole I frequent most. They are a cocktailian cut above country clubs just about everywhere.
But this May, they are making me swoon. Every month, they do a promotional cocktail, for which they bring in any needed special ingredients and stock up on fruit or whatever for garnishes that go the extra mile. Most of them haven’t been my cup of tea, but the effort and attention to detail is much appreciated….

Here’s your Mai Tai, Mrs. Calvert.

But this month, the Cocktail of the Month is the MaiTai. A real MaiTai. As in Trader Vic’s original 1940-something masterpiece (minus the original $50,000 a bottle rum). As in not that sweet mess you get virtually everywhere these days, if quixotically order one up. I’m betting the Hills is the only bar in Columbus with a bottle of oregeat behind the mahogany. If I’m wrong, I really want to know where it is! And they garnish it with a luxurious stem of Kentucky Colonel mint that I’ve now discovered really adds more than just pretty to the drink’s enjoyability. Never again will I garnish my MaiTais with lime!
Ditch the straw, people. It just takes away from the fragrance of the mint.
For those of you among my readers who are members, make sure you try a real MaiTai next time you hit the bar. This is a special cocktail, folks. If you live in Columbus and aren’t a member at the Worthington Hills, well, neener, neener. Or give me a call. I’ll get you in long enough to see what you’ve missing ’till now.
Now, it’s true that some of the upgrades in mixology have been in response to prodding from some damn cocktail geek who is there more than is good for him…

I wonder who that could be!

Sure, I’ve pushed some recipes into their repertoire by ordering them over and over, and getting others to order them. But I also want to say that a lot of the improvement in available ingredients is due to the fine efforts of our new head bartender, Tony Baker. (For you members, that’s Bald Tony, as opposed to Big Tony. I’m not saying Big Tony isn’t going bald, and Bald Tony isn’t big, just that Tony Myers is bigger than Tony Baker, and Tony Baker is much balder than Tony Myers….) Thanks, Tony! Keep up the good fight!

Happy Birthday to Me!

OK, my birthday isn’t until Saturday, but Maggi sprung one of my presents on me early, and you should all prepare to just be jealous. (My wife does do the awesome gifts, don’t she?)
Behold, the Blendtec Total Blender, ye lesser home bar owners, and despair!
The PeguWife, and PeguOffspring, were at Costco yesterday when they found themselves staring at a huge, live demo of the Blendtec, complete with dude wearing the little carny-approved microphone headset.

Hi! Vince here….

Shut up. It wasn’t you. And aren’t you in jail?

The Polithe thought I’th thuffered enouth….

Anyway, the guy who was there was an articulate salesman, as my wife came home with said blender, and my children came home with heads full of blender facts, demanding cabbage ice cream. I kid you not.
Since you are an internet reader, you doubtless are at least passingly familiar with the Blendtec blender. There simply has been no more successful viral marketing campaign in the history of… ever, than the Will It Blend? videos.

It’s got a 64 oz. jar with a three inch heavy duty blade. 1500 watts of power. Computerized smart controls. Computerized, mind you. The tips of the blade spin at over 320 mph! I snark because I care. It really is an amazing piece of engineering that outstrips other blenders by miles. While most blenders feel burly at 3/4 horsepower, this guy has three. More than 20,000 rpms lets it do some wild stuff that I’ll write about as I try it out. Oh, and I got a seven year warranty, too.
Only one force in the universe can withstand its power:
Ice? Not a chance! Not only will this puppy shred as much ice as you can fit in the jar with contemptuous ease, the shape and computerized cycles will create a perfectly uniform, smooth beverage with no poking, shaking, or cursing.

Yeah, sure. I don’t believe it.
I’ve been making frozen Margaritas for years, Bub.
You are just being a marketing victim!

No ma’am, I have already put it through its paces. Like me, Maggi is suffering from Tiki Lag, defined as the continuing desire for Mai Tais, even though Tiki Month is over. She felt it important that I get my gift early, so that not only could she have a Mai Tai, but a frozen Mai Tai. I’m pleased to report that if you take a great cocktail and turn it into a Slurpee, it will still be a great cocktail. (Pegu attempts not recommended)
No, here is the only force able to withstand the Blendtec, far mightier than mere Titanic-destroying frozen water:

OK, come on.
You just are doing this post as an excuse to post videos!

Nothing could be further from the truth…. OK, it’s partly the truth. But mostly, I’m doing this because all the greatest bloggers must blender-blog from time to time. And this really is a cool device that will be useful for more in the bar than just making frozen daiquiri-like cocktails. Fresh fruit purées and juices are a cinch with this device. You can even make soup, hot soup, from scratch with the Blendtec.

This Basement Bar is now the ultimate power in the universe!

The Blendtec even has alchemical powers. Watch what Tom puts in there to get out a tasty meal of roast pork!

I’ll have lots more to write about this puppy, silly and serious. There are lots of things I see that I can do with this with drinks, and I can see that there are lots of things I could do with it that I can’t see yet.

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