Don’t Switch the Rum

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?

Chartreuse Swizzle

I’m not normally a big fan of cocktails with pineapple juice but this one is pretty damn good. Tart but still refreshing, and easy to drink.

Chartreuse Swizzle by Marcovaldo Dionysos
1 oz Pineapple juice
¾ oz Lime juice
½ oz Falernum
1½ oz Green Chartreuse

Add all ingredients to a Collins glass and fill with crushed ice. Swizzle the mixture with a barspoon until frost appears on the outside of the glass. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with mint sprig and nutmeg.

I gave this a heavy pour of the John D. Taylor Velvet Falernum but if I was going to make it over I’d either use a full ounce or use a non-alcoholic Falernum syrup.

Chartreuse Swizzle

First time having this cocktail originally created by Marco Dionysos, but if Dr. Funk‘s version is any indication this is a cocktail I need to put into the rotation. Quite refreshing with Green Chartreuse, Falernum, Lime, and Pineapple.

¾ oz Lime Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
½ oz Falernum
1¼ oz Green Chartreuse
Shake with nice or swizzle in a tall glass

I just picked up a bootle of Green Chartreuse. Any cocktail recommendations using it are welcome, please leave a comment.

Choose the Right Ingredients

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Choose the Right Ingredients Two examples from the Ultimate Mai Tai cocktail lab on Friday night. First is a Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail, a Daiquiri variant featuring rum from Barbados along with that rum’s best friend, Falernum. I made this a few months ago with the John D. Taylor Falernum and my fasting note was that it needed to be a little sweeter and a little less on the ginger/spice notes from the Falernum. Which would have meant going from 1/2 oz Falernum to 1/4 oz Falernum and 1/4 oz Simple Syrup. Or I could just use a different, sweeter Falernum. Thanks to fellow Bay Area Tikiphile @laurasmurphy I had a little bit of her delicious homemade Falernum. This is sweeter and doesn’t hit the spice notes quite as hard and boy did it make this cocktail sing. The recipe called for Mount Gay Eclipse but I only have the longer aged Mount Gay XO and it was a really nice cocktail. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail 2 oz Barbados Rum 1 oz Lime Juice .5 oz Cointreau .5 oz Falernum Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Second, I tried the Small Hand Foods' Orgeat again. I had obtained this as a backup Orgeat for a game night we hosted and then didn’t need to use it. So, here it goes again into testing against my standard Fremont Mai Tai recipe. And once again I felt the almond flavor was lost in the cocktail compared to other Orgeats, and it has more of a floral flavor than what I prefer. It also requires constant shaking to keep the contents mixed properly. That’s too much work for me; if I’m going to buy a commercial orgeat it’s because I want things to be simple and easy. #tiki #tikibar #tikidrinks #tikiculture #cocktails #craftcocktails #rum #rhum #maitai #1944maitai #falernum @mountgayrum @cointreau

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