If you know me, you know if I have a cocktail, it's about having the best one I can because I'm not having many to get inebriated. I am completely fascinated by the history and culture of different liquors and how they are used. Enter the kitschy realm of the Tiki Bar.
The Tiki line of cocktails that you can find in many Asian restaurants has been taken to the next level by many people out there trying to use classic ingredients from the 30's and 40's.
Usually Rum based with a bunch of sugar in them you do not want to imbibe too much for sugar and alcohol are the classic ingredient for a hang over, not good. One great Tiki drink with an Asian food dish is delightful, except tonight.
Tong's Tiki Hut has been around my area for twenty or thirty years. I decided to have dinner there tonight. I ordered a classic Mai Tai. Not being a snob or anything but I know my way around a cocktail or two having made thousands as a bar tender. My drink arrives and I sip to find my Mai Tai was simply rum and pineapple juice. Fail.
Dark rum, light rum, Orange Curacao or Triple Sec and the secrect ingredient...Orgeat syrup which is made with almonds, sugar, rose water and oranges. Granted I have yet to find a bar that has Orgeat in their rail. A fine substitute? Amaretto. It works just fine. PLUS people with nut allergies can have Amaretto.
I push my drink aside and the server asked if I didn't like it. I told her it was just rum and pineapple juice. She replied "right, that not Mai Tai?" No, that's not a Mai Tai. "you want Zombie?"
No, I'll just stick with the hot tea.
The food? More than good...
Mai Tai Fail...
Not traditional but a fine substitute...
In a Boston shaker with ice.
1 oz dark rum
1 oz light rum
1/2 oz Amaretto
1/2 oz triple sec
2oz of OJ and a splash of grenadine.
Shake and pour in a waiting, iced pint glass. Only thing missing would be the trade winds blowing through your hair...