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.

Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned

This cocktail is featured in this wonderful new book The United States of Cocktails. Each state is given a few pages highlighting key bars, traditions, and of course regional cocktail favorites. The material from California and Hawaii passes muster with me, giving me the confidence that the material from other states is authentic and noteworthy.

The Brandy Old Fashioned is the prototype example that author Brian Bartels has used when describing the book on some podcasts. So, I thought I’d give it a try.

Wisconsin’s Brandy Old Fashioned
2 Cocktail Cherries
1 Orange Slice
¼ oz Simple Syrup
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
2 oz Brandy
7up Soda
Muddle the fruit, sugar, and bitters. Then add crushed ice and top with brandy. Then float with 7up. Alternatively, use Sour mix in place of 7up, or use half soda and half 7up.



This was pretty good, but I kept sucking up pieces of cherry. So I decided to make a variant with the same flavors but without pulp/fruit.

Wisconsin’s Brandy Old Fashioned (modified)
1 oz Orange Juice
¼ oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Maraschino Cherry Juice
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
2 oz Brandy
7up Soda
Shake Orange Juice, Bitters, Simple Syrup, and Brandy with crushed ice. Dirty dump into a large glass and top with more crushed ice. Top with 1-2 oz of 7up and then float 1 oz of Maraschino Cherry Juice.

I liked my version better, though neither puts the Brandy as forward as I would like. I didn’t use the regional favorite, Korbel, however.

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

Navy Grog Stress Relief

Looked like I picked the wrong year to quit drinking booze. We are all very upset by the insurrection and attempted coup in WDC today.

This Navy Grog is for Mrs Mai Tai. I made my own too. Too early to drink. Too crazy not to.



I am disgusted by the traitors and deplorables. I urge law enforcement to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law – and also to look at the police that seemed to have a lax approach today. We all know how things would have been different had the skin color of the “protesters” had been different.

Here is the recipe if you want to numb the pain.

Ultimate Mai Tai Navy Grog
¾ oz Lime Juice
¾ oz Grapefruit Juice
1 oz Honey mix
½ oz Pimento Dram (Hamilton)
½ oz Vanilla Syrup (BG Reynolds)
1 ½ oz Ultimate Mai Tai Rum
1 ½ oz Demerara Rum (Lemon Hart)
Shake with crushed ice. After pouring into glass, top with 2 oz of Soda

Citrus Experimentation

A little comparison testing at Ultimate Mai Tai HQ. I compared the following juices: White Grapefruit (bottled), Red Grapefruit (fresh), and Pomello (fresh).

To compare the juices I made three Brown Derby cocktails.

Brown Derby
1 oz Juice
¾ oz Honey Syrup (BG Reynolds)
1½ oz Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
½ oz Makers Mark Bourbon
Shake with ice and then strain

The cocktail is delightful and for us a nice change of pace from the rum drinks that we normally make.


Both Mrs. Mai Tai and I preferred the Brown Derby with the Red Grapefruit, as it seemed brighter and sweeter. Which is odd because tasting the juice just by itself I felt it was more tart than the Pomello. Meanwhile the Brown Derby with Pomello did have a noticeable tartness that was not particularly balanced. The White Grapefruit version was inoffensive but not really as flavorful as with the fresh squeezed juice. The bottled juice for sure doesn’t seem as good as fresh-squeezed.

The Pomello gives less juice than its size might indicate.

Ultimate Egg Nog

I love our local grocery store brand Egg Nog. So thick and creamy and pairs well with most spirts. I saw that Nathan Robinson posted a Nog recipe that featured Jamaican rum and Bourbon so I gave it a try. I liked it but it wasn’t creamy enough for me and I thought it used too much Bourbon, so I flipped up the spirits.

Ultimate Egg Nog
1 egg
¾ oz Heavy Cream
¼ oz Milk
½ oz Demerara Syrup
¼ oz Brandy
½ oz Bourbon (Wild Turkey 101)
1 oz Ultimate Mai Tai Rum Blend
2 dashes Grated Cinnamon
2 dashes Grated Nutmeg
Dry shake all ingredients, then shake with ice. Strain into small glass and top with grated nutmeg

Ultimate Mai Tai Rum Blend is equal parts Appleton 12, Smith & Cross, Plantation Xaymaca, Plantation OFTD. Best single rum option for this recipe: Smith & Cross.

This one was much more to my liking, and Mrs. Mai Tai liked it better too. Give it a try. Thanks Nathan for the inspiration.

Unnamed Holiday Cocktail

Still working out the kinks on this one. I riffed on a recipe shared online but this was missing something. Going to keep trying with unsweetened cranberry juice next.

Holiday Cocktail
2 oz Cranberry cocktail
1 oz Orgeat
½ oz Vanilla Syrup
¼ oz Ginger Syrup
½ oz Pimento Dram
2 oz Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
Spash Soda

Holiday Cocktail