Regular readers will know we have Mai Tais all the time and love to play with using different rums. Some are better than others, of course, but you rarely get a dud when doing a Mai Tai that’s been formulated to support the rum in the cocktail.
With more complex cocktail recipes you’d think switching out a little bit of rum for another wouldn’t make a difference. Well, for this one I did find that the swap was definitely noticeable and for sure not an improvement.
I didn’t have any limes the other night so I made this cocktail by Laura Miller that uses lemon juice. I’ve made it before and it is a delicious blend of flavors.
Monkey Business by Laura Miller
¾ oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Pearl’s Hideaway Falernum
¼ oz Dry Curacao
1 oz Giffard Banane du Brésil Liqueur
½ oz Hamilton Pot Still Black Rum
1 oz Plantation 5 yr Rum
2 dashes Forbidden Bitters
Ideally, garnish with banana wedge, dehydrated lemon wheel, and plastic monkey.
I subbed the Plantation rum with Real McCoy. I don’t have Forbidden Bitters myself but used 1 dash each of Angostura and Peychaud’s.
Regarding the aforementioned rum swap, when I made a second round I used Doctor Bird Jamaican Rum in place of the Hamilton Pot Still Black from Jamaica. Both rums use Worthy Park distillate and are known to be flavorful and funky. I thought that maybe the higher ABV Doctor Bird would be a possible improvement. It turns out that it really left the entire cocktail a little flat.
I don’t know if this is a credit to the flavorful Hamilton rum or something about Doctor Bird’s Moscatel cask finish, but for sure it was a noticeably poorer experience. Who would have guessed that half ounce would make a difference?