Mai Tai with Eight White Rums for National Mai Tai Day

It is a tradition at Ultimate Mai Tai Headquarters to make a Mai Tai with a ridiculous number of rums to celebrate Mai Tai Day (2020, 2018, 2017 shown below). Oakland declared the city as being the birthplace of the cocktail and designated Mai Tai Day to to be August 30. So this is the day where true believers make a toast to the Mai Tai and to its inventor, Trader Vic Bergeron. Born in 1944, the Mai Tai is 77 years old today.

While the Mai Tai is best enjoyed with a premium aged rum, this year I decided to spotlight some quality “white” rums that despite their color and lack of years in a barrel are quite wonderful in a Mai Tai. These are all lighter rums that go far beyond the cheap and commonly seen unaged white rums. They are all flavorful expressions of our favorite spirit. Some of these are unaged, such as the overproof Jamaican rums, whereas others are aged up to 3 years and present as a light straw color or have their color filtered out. I used ¼ oz each, for a standard 2 oz rum portion.

From Left to Right:
Myers’s Platinum White
Charley’s JB Trelawny Blend
Denizen Aged White Rum
Three Rolls Estate White Rum
Wray & Nephew Overproof
Saint Benevolence Rum Clairin
Probitas
Clement Premiere Canne

And since all the rums are white, why not have a little fun and switch out the Orange Curacao for Blue? Giffard Blue Curacao is a quality liqueur and has a deep blue color. The Orgeat is Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 Formula, from Orgeat Works.

This Mai Tai does not hit you in the face with the rum, and it is smooth and easy to drink. Happy birthday Mai Tai.

Blue Mai Tai

I did a revised version of my Blue Hawai-Tai cocktail for a Mai Tai contest at a party this weekend. I thought I’d emulate the Mai Tai Festival they do every (non-COVID) year in Kona, where the winning Mai Tai never looks like a 1944. Always something new, different, or fancy. So I did a “more of a Mai Tai” version of the Blue Hawai-Tai by adding Lime juice and only using Orgeat as the sweetener. No fancy foam topping, though.

Blue Mai Tai
½ oz Lime Juice
½ oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Latitude 29 Orgeat
½ oz Giffard Blue Curacao
1½ oz Rum Fire Overproof Jamaican Rum
½ oz Probitas light rum
Garnish with Mint

I came in second in the contest. The winning entry was quite delicious in a more traditional format with Denizen Merchant’s Reserve and Plantation Dark. So, I can’t fault the judges at all. It was great. But, I do know a few of the judges really liked this version, so that was pretty satisfying.

Blue Caribbean

Threw some of this and that from what was on-hand at home for this Blue Hawaiian riff with different kinds of rum than the light rum or vodka that is typically used. The Martinique rhum adds an unexpected finish that is delightful.

Blue Caribbean
½ oz Lime Juice
3 oz Pineapple Juice
1½ oz Coconut Creme
½ oz Blue Curacao
1¾ oz Clement Premiere Canne (or other unaged Rhum Agricole or Rum Clairin)
¼ oz Dark Jamaican rum blend (Appleton and Hamilton)

Home Bartender: Blue-Hawai-Tai

The Blue Hawaii and the Mai Tai had a baby, and it’s delicious.

Blue Hawai-Tai by Kevin Crossman
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz White Overproof Jamaican Rum (Rum-Bar Overproof)
½ oz Aged White Rum (Probitas)
½ oz Orgeat (Liquid Alchemist)
½ oz Simple Syrup
½ oz Blue Curacao (Giffard)

Seelbach Cocktail Riff

This recipe calls for Bourbon but I wanted to try to make it as blue as possible so I substituted a clear rum for the bourbon.  It didn’t really turn out too blue, though. At least some other things turned blue this week.

Seelbach Cocktail
1 oz Probitas Rum
½ oz Senior Blue Curacao (sub for Cointreau)
3 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Top with 2 oz Brut Champagne

 

Blue Hawai-Tai Celebration

Nothing complicated, except the video shoot which I may or may not use. Super refreshing cocktail for a super refreshing day.

Blue Hawai-Tai by Kevin Crossman
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz White Overproof Jamaican Rum (Rum-Bar Overproof)
½ oz Aged White Rum (Probitas)
½ oz Orgeat (Liquid Alchemist)
½ oz Simple Syrup
½ oz Blue Curacao (Giffard)

You know why this drink was selected for tonight’s TV viewing.

Blue Curacao: Drillaud vs. Giffard

Blue Curacao Shootout

Back to our regularly scheduled program. I found the Drillaud Orange Curacao to be pretty serviceable and a great option for those looking for a lower-priced liqueur. So, it’s time to give the Drillaud Blue Curacao a spin and compared to my recommended spirit in this category, Giffard Curacao Bleu.

Both spirts are 25% ABV and the color is deep and blue in both. Tasting both neat, it does seem that that the Giffard has a more complex flavor that is a pleasure to flow over the tongue. The Drillaud is thankfully not as sickly sweet as some liqueurs I’ve tasted, and without any unpleasant after-taste. But, it does taste a bit “thin” compared to the Giffard. Nonetheless, this is a good sign for Drillaud.

Next, I tasted both in a Blue Hawai-Tai. As you can see, the colors are similar and both make an excellent version of our Blue Mai Tai with heavy rums. Here too, the Drillaud makes a good cocktail but indeed the Giffard is still better. Just a little bit more satisfying and rounded.

Giffard is the winner on taste alone but what about the price? I see the Giffard for sale at around $28, where the Drillaud is around $13. So, the Drillaud is a pretty good substitute and is just about half the price.

Learn more: Giffard vs. Senior Blue Curacao

Blue Hawai-Tai by Kevin Crossman
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz White Overproof Jamaican Rum
½ oz Aged White Rum
½ oz Orgeat
½ oz Simple Syrup
½ oz Blue Curacao