Julie and I took our sons our for the afternoon at the Presidio in San Francisco. We started with a visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum, which is featuring a wonderful special exhibit on Disney during World War II. Photos aren’t allowed inside but there are some truly fascinating exhibits that chronicle not just the studio’s animation output but also putting some fo the things into cultural and political context. Highly recommended. We also did a quick run through the main museum which we have visited several times before and is always a delight. I am especially fond of the last room chronicling Walt’s media diversification in the 1950s starting with television and then with Disneyland.
Dinner was at Sessions, which we enjoyed earlier in the month during the May 4th special event with Smuggler’s Cove. The food here is gourmet, though pricey. This time we tried the beignets and they are so great. Wait service was disappointingly slow (like it was last time), though.
There are only a few cocktails on the menu. The Rum and Pineapple-based Sarlacc Shrubb was okay, though more tart than I prefer. Much better was the Golden Gate Mile, featuring Bourbon, Grapefruit, Honey, and Ginger. Julie liked the Presidio cocktail with Gin, Lemon, Hibiscus, and Prosecco. If you’re a wine fan, there are dozens of Skywalker Vineyards selections, which seemed popular with the patrons.
We finished the day by visiting the Yoda statue nearby.
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.
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.
Finally getting around to trying this cocktail from the Grog Log and originally from the long, lost Kahiki in Ohio. It’s a slightly exotic Whiskey Sour, so quite pleasant but not very complex or daring.
1 oz Lemon Juice ½ oz Passion Fruit Syrup ¼ oz Grenadine 1½ oz Bourbon (Makers Mark) Flash blend with 8 oz crushed ice
For a while now I’ve been extolling the virtues of Valencia Orange Juice in cocktails. So much sweeter and flavorful than standard bottled orange juice or even fresh squeezed from Navel Oranges. Blood Oranges seem to be in season, so I thought I’d make my favorite OJ-forward cocktail and see how it compares.
Blood Orange Eastern Sour ¾ oz Lemon Juice 2½ oz Blood Orange Juice ¼ oz Orgeat ¼ oz Sugar Syrup 2 oz Bourbon (Wild Turkey 101)
I really liked this version. Obviously the first thing you see is how deep the red color of the Blood Orange juice is. The flavor is a little bit more tangy than the Valencia but still works well with the rest of the ingredients. I might up the Orgeat by another ¼ oz if I make this again. If you can find Blood Oranges, give this a try.
Took another run at the Eastern Sour, a Trader Vic’s original from the 1950s. This is a tweaked version of a Whiskey Sour using Trader Vic’s signature ingredient, Orgeat. The pairing of Orange Juice alongside the Lemon Juice also adds an additional dimension, though due to the volume can be risky depending on what your Orange Juice tastes like.
When I had this last time I didn’t find it sweet enough. But I made a few adjustments. This time, I used fresh Valencia Orange juice, which I find sweeter than typical store-bought OJ. I also upped the Orgeat and used Demerara rather than Simple Syrup.
Eastern Sour (original Trader Vic’s Recipe) ¾ oz Lemon Juice 2½ oz Orange Juice ¼ oz Orgeat ¼ oz Sugar Syrup 2 oz Bourbon Shake with crushed ice and sink spent orange and lemon shells into the drink.
Eastern Sour (modified) ¾ oz Lemon Juice 2½ oz Orange Juice (fresh Valencia Orange) ½ oz Orgeat ¼ oz Demerara Syrup 2 oz Bourbon (Maker’s Mark) Shake with crushed ice and sink spent orange and lemon shells into the drink.