Category: mai tai
Orange Liqueurs, Recipes, Rum, Sweets, Tiki Month 2016

Tiki Molecular Mixology

Keeping with the theme for this year's Tiki Month of "Modern Tiki", I'd like to present what has become a staple when I entertain during Tiki Months: Mai Tai Gels. These are cool for a variety of historic, philosophical, and practical reasons. When you consider truly 21st Century trends in the cocktail world over all, none is more truly such than Molecular Mixology in general and especially solidified cocktails. I like these treats in particular, as they combine perhaps the perfect classic early Tiki Cocktail with modern technique, all in a kitschy late-era Tiki look. And as an added bonus, they are bog easy to make. [caption id="attachment_10943" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Yummy... Yummy gummie[/caption] Rather than use any of the fancier liquid solidification techniques, I simply use gelatin. The result is sturdier than other methods, and since they are meant to be eaten as candies, that is a good thing. Aside from said gelatin, the recipe is exactly the same as the Mai Tai recipe that I believe to be closest to Trader Vic's original cocktail superweapon.
MAI TAI GELS
  • 1 oz. Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still rum (alternatively Smith & Cross)
  • 1 oz. gold or aged rum (e.g. Appleton V/X, Coruba, etc.)
  • 0.75 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 oz. Dry Curaçao (or Cointreau)
  • 0.5 oz. orgeat
  • 0.25 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 packet Knox Gelatine
  • 1.5 oz. water
The water is about the amount of melt you'd get from the ice if you were drinking it. It makes the gels taste right, and helps the gelatin bloom and set. Pour the gelatin into the water and stir. Let sit for five minutes to activate, then stir again. While this is blooming, heat the lime juice, orgeat, and simple syrup in your smallest pot to almost a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and scrape in the bloomed gelatin. Stir until the mixture is clear. Remove from heat and add in the rums and curaçao. Stir some more. Moai Ice Tray Set aside and prepare your molds. I use this cool moai ice tray. It has the virtue of being nearly the exact size needed to accommodate this recipe, with but a drop or two of waste. Before filling, simply give the tray a light spritz with Pam, and wipe off all excess with a paper towel. You will want to fill each mold to the brim, so I advise setting the mold on a tray or piece of cardboard. The molds are very flexible, and without support, you will spill some. Once you pour, carefully place in your fridge for at least three hours, preferably more. When you are ready to serve, peel the gels out of the ice tray with your fingers. Flexible silicone ice trays like the one I linked make this process easy. It will look like you are going to squash or tear the gels, but go slow and they will peel out perfectly. They are quite sturdy while chilled and can be eaten with you or your guests' fingers. Garnish as befits a true Mai Tai by laying each on a large mint leaf.abc
Rule 2, Tiki Month 2012

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!abc
Recipes, Rum, Tiki Month 2011

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. HOT BUTTERED MAI TAI
  • 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!abc
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