Blue Mai Tai for July 4th

There were a couple parties last night that I could have attended but wasn’t feeling great. All the fireworks going off in our neighborhood were disturbing, including some that went off right over our house thanks to neighbors. I really hate the 4th of July.

The Mai Tai was the consolation prize.

Blue Mai Tai
1 oz Lime Juice
½ oz Orgeat (Latitude 29)
¼ oz Simple Syrup
½ oz Giffard Blue Curacao
½ oz Rum Fire Overproof Jamaica Rum
1 oz Leblon Cachaça
Shake with crushed ice and garnish with mint.

Normally I make this with the overproof as the featured spirit, but wanted to see if the more savory Cachaça flavors would come through in this format and they surely did. Still very flavorful and leaning sweet (omit the Simple to reduce sweetness).

Recipe: Fog of Saturn

This is my take on a Fog Cutter, incorporating Passionfruit Syrup and an orange liqueur to replace some of the juice elements. Clearly influenced by another all-time gin classic, the Saturn.

Fog of Saturn
1 oz Lime Juice
⅔ oz Orgeat (Latitude 29)
¼ oz Passionfruit Syrup (Liber)
¼ oz Cointreau
1½ oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
2 dash Orange Bitters
Shake with ice and float 1½ oz Cream Sherry (Harvey’s Bristol Cream)

Some might object to the amount of sherry being used here, but to me I love the combination of the sherry with the tropical elements and the gin.

Chinola Mango Daiquiri

Heard about Chinola‘s new Mango Liqueur on the Make & Drink YouTube channel and I can honestly say this Mango Daiquiri is a delight. Very fruity that leans subtly sweet with just a bit of tart aftertaste from the lime and liqueur. Really nice, and worked equally well with both Havana Club 3 and also Trader Vic’s White Rum.



Chinola Mango Daiquiri
1 oz Chinola Mango Liqueur
1 oz light rum
¾ oz lime Jjuice
½ oz simple syrup
Shake with ice and strain.

You might go a little tad heavy on the simple syrup but overall I was quite impressed.

Bali Hai Sells 3 Millionth Mai Tai (with Recipe)

Congrats to San Diego’s Bali Hai Restaurant, a longtime institution located on scenic Shelter Island. The venue’s infamous Mai Tai is known to be extraordinarily potent, advertised as not being made with any juice. It’s basically rum in a glass with little splashes of traditional Mai Tai ingredients.

The 3 millionth Mai Tai was recently sold at Bali Hai, which has a ticker inside the restaurant showing how many they’ve sold. Quite a milestone for such a noteworthy entrant in the lore of the Mai Tai.

People often ask how this is made, so we present the recipe that tastes like the real thing.

Bali Hai Mai Tai
½ oz Sweet and Sour Mix (or ¼ oz Lemon Juice and ¼ oz Simple Syrup)
¼ oz Orgeat
¼ oz Triple Sec
2½ oz Cruzan Light Rum
2½ oz Coruba Dark Jamaican Rum
Shake with ice

RIP Steven Liles

Today we learned the sad news that legendary San Francisco bartender Steven Liles had passed away. Liles was a fixture at Smuggler’s Cove for more than a decade, recently departing and working elsewhere in the City.

I was always in awe of Liles’ seemingly effortless bartending skills, and he was always had a friendly wink when we’d visit the Cove. He was very accommodating when I last saw him there, where he skillfully blended two rums for an awesome Mai Tai and even better conversation. Sincere condolences to friends and loved ones who knew Steven better than I did. Smuggler’s Cove announced the passing.

As a tribute, I made one of Liles’ recipes, the RongoRongo. Quite tropical and easy to drink.

RongoRongo by Steven Liles
¾ oz Lime Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
¾ oz Cinnamon Syrup
¾ oz Planteray OFTD Rum
1 oz Planteray Siggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum
1 oz Aged Rum (Real McCoy 5)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Flash blend with 1 cup of ice for 5 seconds. Serve in Pilsner glass and garnish with orchid, pineapple leaf, and swizzle stick.

Orgeat Heavy Mai Tai Monday

The Mai Tai was made with Yes Cocktail Co. Orgeat and I ended up using a full ounce just to kill the bottle. I bought this a few months back and found it produced some very good Mai Tais, a little sweeter and less toasted than the more widely available Liber Orgeat and a bit milkier than brands like Latitude 29 Orgeat. This is available at craft liquor stores and is a really good option.

I didn’t use any demerara/rock candy syrup in the Mai Tai seeing how there was already plenty of sugar from the orgeat. When you go heavy on the orgeat it really produces a floral Mai Tai. Rums were Myers’s Dark and a bit of Rhum JM Blanc. Delicious.

The glass is from Trader Vic’s, celebrating the company’s founding back in 1934. We will also be celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Mai Tai this year. Look for a huge promotional push as the official Mai Tai Day in late August approaches with events at the Trader Vic’s locations. Bay Area folks should be prepared for an expanded set of Mai Tai Day festivities at the Vic’s Emeryville location this year. Stay tuned.

Samoan Fog Cutter Modified

I got this Tiki Tolteca mug at the Alameda Point Antiques Fair (thank you @smuggler_steve), so wanted to make a drink in it. I had a great time visiting Tiki Tolteca in New Orleans in 2018, now sadly shuttered.

The drink was a Samoan Fog Cutter, though I misread the ingredients and ended up switching the ratio of Lemon and Orange Juice. I also used a Cara Cara Orange, so this ended up quite a bit sweeter than it would have been otherwise and I think was a more balanced ratio. I also used a lot more Sherry than what the original recipe calls for and to me is better for it.

I thought this tasted great, and I did find that even the small amounts of Brandy and Gin were providing a more complex blend of noticeable flavors than if this just used light rum.

Samoan Fog Cutter Modified
2 oz Cara Cara Orange Juice
1 oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Orgeat (heavy pour)
½ oz Gin (Beefeater)
½ oz Brandy (Korbel)
1½ oz Light Rum (Trader Vic’s)
1 oz Sherry (Harvey’s Bristol Cream)
Shake ingredients with ice, saving the Sherry for a float.