Amazing Cocktails from Smuggler’s Cove

The Dead Reckoning and Rosalita from Smuggler’s Cove really did the trick for us tonight. So flavorful and plenty boozy, both featuring ingredients I don’t have at home.

  • Dead Reckoning: Let this drink guide you to a new destination. Rum, pineapple, fresh lemon, vanilla liqueur, maple, tawny port, Angostura bitters
  • Rosalita: As beautiful as it is delicious, this cocktail contains rum, lime, house-made orgeat, house-made hibiscus liqueur, pear liqueur, seltzer, bitters.

BG Reynolds Mai Tai Mix

I’m a big fan of BG Reynolds products and have used and liked many of the cocktail syrups. So, I thoughts I’d give their Mai Tai Cocktail Mixer a try.

This is a “just add rum” mixer, unlike other Mai Tai mixes that require you bring both rum and lime to the party. The label calls for 3 oz of Mai Tai Mix and 1½ oz of Aged Rum. Ingredients are Water, Sugar, Orange Juice, Lime Juice, Almonds, Almond Extract, and preservatives. The rum used is Denizen Merchant’s Reserve, a good aged rum made for Mai Tais.



The cocktail is light and refreshing, but there’s not a lot of almond to taste and it’s too heavy on the OJ for my preference. Might be a good base for a punchbowl at a party, if you’re willing to add a little extra orgeat and maybe add some smoky Demerara rum to the blend.

Emotional Drake Meme by Chad Austin

This fab new book is from famed bartender Chad Austin. The tone is clearly not for everyone, but if you love great cocktails this is a key resource.

  • Purchase the book
  • Each copy comes signed by the author and includes unique content and a unique recipe

The cocktail is a Mai Tai variant called Emotional Drake Meme. High proof Jamaican rum, Demerara rum, banana liqueur, Orgeat, lime, Ango. Delicious!!

Mai Tai Makes Rum Better

That’s the lesson tonight. I’m sampling rums from the Forbidden Island Kill Devil rum list. I loved Dos Maderas 5+5 but wanted to try it in a Mai Tai. But my cocktail was an extra large version since the lime gave so much juice. So I added a little Martinique Rhum that I didn’t love when served neat, but put together in combination with Dos Maderas it turned into a great Mai Tai.

New B-Rex Glass at Forbidden Island

I made Lemonade out of Lemons, or rather a good Mai Tai out of a “meh” Rum.

I cracked open a rum sample from my Forbidden Island Kill Devil list and tasted it neat as is my usual practice at home. This rum will remain anonymous but suffice to say I can thank of several aged expressions from Puerto Rico that I like drinking, but this rum wasn’t one of them.

So, I switched gears and made a Mai Tai with the rum instead. So much better, and it allowed me to use this FABULOUS new glass from B-Rex that is now available from Forbidden Island. What a great design! And this glass is a little smaller than the Double Old Fashioned / Mai Tai glasses that I have a million of.

Fixed It Mai Tai
1 oz Lime Juice
¼ oz Demerara Syrup
½ oz L’Orgeat almond liqueur 
½ oz Clement Creole Shrubb Orange liqueur 
2 oz Aged Puerto Rican Rum

First Mai Tai of 2021

Yesterday was sort of nice, so time to relax on the lanai with a to-go Mai Tai from The Kon-Tiki in Oakland. A good Mai Tai (I added extra Orgeat and fresh mint) and plenty boozy too.

Even better is this cute plastic stadium cup (Kon-Tiki also sells an orange one). Love the way the blue pops. The merch from Kon-Tki has always been so great. I love the design of their Mai Tai and Zombie glasses.

What’s missing? Well, I’d love to see a Kon-Tiki Swizzle Stick.

Best 9 of 2020

RIP 2020

Here’s my Top 9 from 2020 on Instagram. Thanks for all the likes and comments and shares. Let’s keep the Mai Tai, rum, and tiki bar discussions going in 2021.


1: thanks to Alexis Antonio (@atomictikigal) for letting me use her photo of Maikai Santa Cruz for a Central California Tiki Bar feature on UltimateMaiTai.com. Great composition.

2: An old photo with a timeless message: Fuck Trump

3: Smuggler’s Cove mug and Pampanito cocktail

4: Cocktails and rum at Forbidden Island

5: Mai Tai with Foursquare 2007

6: Trader Vic’s Emeryville

7: New and old Appleton 12 rum

8. Custom Navy Rum blend for Black Tot Day 50th Anniversary

9. Three generations of Appleton 12 rum

363 posts in 2020, with 30.9 thousand likes (85.1 per post)

Join the fun: instagram.com/ultimatemaitai