A Great Mai Tai and Two Terrible Ones

Had dinner and some drinks last night in San Jose before The Surfrajettes show at Dr. Funk in Downtown San Jose. Our last visit gave us hope they’d maybe fixed the quality control issues we’d seen in the visits prior and had confirmed by so many others.

I started out with a Mai Tai, made once again with Appleton 12 and Smith & Cross rums plus Dr. Funk’s house-made orgeat that’s delicious. I saw that the orgeat and demerara syrup were squeezed directly into the shaker but the lime and rum measured with a jigger. And it turned out great, I really loved it.

A buddy showed up and ordered a Mai Tai but the flavors weren’t anywhere the same based on his tasting and mine via a “straw sample” of the cocktail. It tasted flat like maybe they used fewer ingredients or not enough of some.

Then he ordered a second Mai Tai that was even worse and legit terrible. Nothing was measured in a jigger and the shake was half-hearted. A truly awful Mai Tai.

It really bums me out that Dr. Funk cannot figure this out, since the space remains immersive and their excellent rum selection means that I can try some new-to-me rums. I tried the Black Tot Master Blender’s Reserve 2023 and it was absolutely delicious and very similar to the old British Royal Navy rum from the 1950s and 1960s that I’ve been able to try.

If Dr. Funk wants to be considered a craft cocktail bar, they need to measure the ingredients with jiggers.

If they want to be considered a world-class tiki bar the bartenders need to know where the overproof 151 Demerara rum is without having to spend a long time looking for it (no, I’m not kidding).

If Dr. Funk just wants to be a party bar just tell us that so that we can reset our expectations. San Jose doesn’t need another party tiki bar like Tiki Pete. They need a tiki bar where a great Mai Tai is expected – and not the exception.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *