Formidable Dragon with Wray & Nephew Swag

Smuggler’s Cove is running a special on their Formidable Dragon to-go cocktail. There is Wray & Nephew Swag available with purchase, a promotion to celebrate the use of Wray Overproof and sister brand Appleton 8 Reserve in the cocktail. It’s a delicious cocktail and the merch makes it extra fun.

I chose these fine W&N beach slippers, which will come in handy next week on vacation.

The promotion is available for a limited times, is get thee to The Cove before it is too late.

Smuggler’s Cove To-Go Cocktails

Mrs. Mai Tai and I took a drive to SF and got some fab cocktails from Smuggler’s Cove.

I’ve been impressed with the quality of the take-out cocktails from Smuggler’s Cove, which have been consistently excellent throughout their to-go period. These cocktails aren’t the cheapest, but man they’ve been fantastic and importantly better than I could make at home. Remember that post a few weeks ago where Mrs. Mai Tai and I tried three different Painkillers made with fresh ingredients? Not as good as the Painkiller we had from the Cove, and not even close.

The Tradewinds was my order, pictured with some take-out sushi from another restaurant. I’ve never had this amazing cocktail made with coconut creme and apricot liqueur before and now I have serious FOMO. So good.

Now, if only Smuggler’s Cove would offer a to-go Mai Tai!

The True Bali Hai Mai Tai Recipe?

Following up on yesterday’s post, I found this recipe online and it seems to be much closer to what I remember of the potent Mai Tai from the Bali Hai restaurant in San Diego.

This version omits the Orgeat, the key ingredient in a Mai Tai, and suffers for it. This tastes like the Bali Hai Mai Tai that I remember though, so I’ll compare this to the one served there when we visit on April 5th.

Bali Hai Mai Tai (redux)
2 oz Sweet and Sour Mix
1 oz Triple Sec
2 oz Light Rum (I used Cruzan)
2 oz Myers’s Dark Rum 

The Bali Hai says that they have sold over 2.7 million Mai Tais since they opened in 1953. Good thing for us is that we’re staying within walking/stumbling distance of the restaurant.

Getting in Shape

We’re heading to San Diego after Easter, so I’m trying to get into shape to prepare for the legendarily lethal Bali Hai Mai Tai.

We visited Bali Hai in 2017 and one of their potent Mai Tais nearly killed me. They famously “don’t contain any fruit juice.”  This recipe was published so I thought I’d give it a try:

Bali Hai Mai Tai
1 oz Sweet and Sour Mix
½ oz Trader Vic’s Orgeat
½ oz Triple Sec
1 oz Light Rum (I used Cruzan)
1 oz Myers’s Dark Rum 

Unlike my experience in 2017, this wasn’t bad. Though, it must be said that I used Cointreau as the triple sec and fresh lemon juice in my Sweet & Sour mix, plus Latitude 29 Orgeat, so possibly these are “top shelf” compared to what’s actually used at Bali Hai. Still, I’m thinking that this isn’t the real recipe. I would have noticed that orgeat in the cocktail, even back in 2017 when my palette was less refined and when my booze tolerance was less.

Time to search for the true recipe.

Two Half-Sized Mai Tais

There is no rest at Ultimate Mai Tai HQ where we continuously strive to refine the best version of the world’s greatest cocktail.

Nothing to announce yet. Also, perfection is difficult, especially when sociopolitical and price factors come into play.

Planter’s Punch with Rum-Bar Gold

Mrs. Mai Tai wanted to get Malaysian and Thai cuisine from Banana Leaf in Milpitas, so we ordered take-out and it was quite fab. We love the Roti and my Satay Chicken and Beef was amazing.

I paired it with the the Smuggler’s Cove version of a Planter’s Punch. The recipe was a suggestion by Trader Jay who recommended using Rum-Bar Gold as the featured spirit. It’s a great recipe and a good use for this rum.

Planter’s Punch (Smuggler’s Cove)
1 oz Lime Juice
¾ oz Demerara Syrup
¼ oz Allspice Dram
3 oz Jamaican Rum (Rum-Bar Gold)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Flash blend or shake with ice.
 

Stash of Appleton V/X

These bottles are from before ~2015 when the V/X was rebranded as Appleton Signature. Still available at Bob’s Discount Liquors no.11 in Fremont, CA.

You never know what you’ll find in these dusty independent liquor store.

Birthday Cocktail Delivery

Happy Birthday to our friend Kristi. I made two double-sized cocktails for her to share with family.

The Mello Pomelo is a Hemingway Daiquiri riff that I came up with and features Pomelo juice. The single-serving recipe is:

Mello Pomelo
1 oz Pomello Juice
¼ oz Grenadine
½ tsp Don’s Spices no.2 (Pimento Dram + Vanilla Syrup)
½ oz Cointreau
¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur
2 oz Aged White Rum (Denizen 3)
Shake with ice and serve in a coupe

The Jungle Jetsetter is a tangy cocktail developed by Tikiyaki Orchestra and features Maraschino Cherry Juice.

Jungle Jetsetter
1½ oz Lime Juice
½ oz Pineapple Juice
½ oz Orgeat
¾ oz Maraschino Cherry Juice
2 oz Coconut Rum (I used Plantation 20th Anniversary as a sub)
Shake with ice and serve over crushed ice

Blood of the Irish

You were expecting a green cocktail today? We decided to go in a different direction with this Eastern Sour riff featuring Blood Orange juice and Irish Whiskey. It is so easy to drink, you’ll forget all about looking for leprechauns and clovers.

Blood of the Irish
2½ oz Blood Orange Juice
1 oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Orgeat
¼ oz Demerara Syrup
2 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
Shake with crushed ice

Forbidden Island Kill Devil 1.0 Rum List

I completed the Kill Devil list on the patio at Forbidden Island today. I started the list in early 2018, but got probably 75% of the 106 rums purchased via take-out orders in the last few months. So, I’m pleased to be part of the “Quaranteam” who did this largely under lockdown.

My final rum was my favorite, Appleton 12, in a Mai Tai of course. This was our first baby step back to dining in person with table service on the patio at a table with Mrs. Mai Tai (who said the Chi-Chi’s were especially delicious today).

Thanks to some of the members of the “Forbidden Ohana” Facebook group for coming out to celebrate today, some of which were at conversation distance away at their own tables. Thank you to Dean Koenig for the pour of Foursquare 2008, a fantastic rum. I was at FI when Dean completed his Kill Devil list, so it’s very nice to see him today for mine. Cheers!

And thank you John and Michael and all the FI staff for support doing the list. I’ll look forward to seeing my plaque up on the bar someday when I’m patronizing inside again (FI opens for indoor dining starting tomorrow). I’ll start working on FI’s Kill Devil 2.0 rum list soon, though for a while I’ll be sticking to cocktails on my next few visits.

These rum clubs are a great way to try our some new rums. And while they aren’t all “winners” it is a great experience to talk with fellow patrons and the FI staff about the rums. For my 106 rums I kept short tasting notes and did rate the rums. I grade on the curve so there were lots of 3 star rums, but here are the top rums from the list.

5 Star

  • English Harbor 5 yr
  • Ron Barcelo Imperial
  • Appleton 21 yr
  • Appleton 12
  • Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still
  • Hamilton 86
  • British Royal Navy Imperial
  • Pampero Anniversario

4 Star

  • Mount Gay Extra Old
  • Real McCoy 12 yr
  • St. Paul Dark Rum
  • El Dorado 15 yr
  • Skipper Rum
  • Appleton Reserve
  • Coruba
  • Plantation Rum Jamaica
  • Smith & Cross
  • Clement Creole Shrubb
  • Kuleana Hui Hui

Should come as no surprise to regular readers that my tastes favor Jamaica/Barbados/Guyana rums.

And now on to the next adventure of spreading the good word of rum.