How to Make a Traditionally Tiki Mai Tai

It's one of the most misunderstood drinks out there, but contrary to its Tiki-friendly front, a real mai tai doesn't contain any tropical fruit juices. Find out how to make an authentic version of the cocktail from the Clover Club's Tom Macy

Released on 8/14/2014

Credits

Starring: Tom Macy

Location provided by Dick and Jane

Transcript

00:00
(upbeat music)
00:03
Let's make a Mai Tai,
00:04
one of the most misunderstood cocktails out there.
00:06
You see all kinds of recipes with tropical fruit juice,
00:10
and pineapple, mango, guava.
00:11
There really should be none of that in a Mai Tai.
00:13
There's just four ingredients:
00:14
Jamaican rum, lime juice, orange curaçao, and orgeat.
00:18
We're gonna start with our orgeat, half an ounce.
00:21
And we're gonna build it all in our mixing glass,
00:22
right here.
00:23
Orgeat is a syrup made from almonds,
00:24
and it's the key ingredient in a Mai Tai.
00:27
You see a lot of them that are more for coffee,
00:29
and so they can be thick and marzipan-y,
00:31
it really should just taste like sweet, toasted almonds.
00:34
So look for something like that.
00:36
Now, half an ounce or orange curaçao,
00:38
something high quality, if you can.
00:40
It lasts a long time, and makes a big difference.
00:43
Now some lime juice,
00:44
which, of course we're gonna juice fresh.
00:47
(upbeat music)
00:51
Three-quarters ounce lime juice.
00:56
And finally, we're gonna add our Jamaican-style rum.
00:59
It doesn't have to be from Jamaica,
01:01
cause they make all kinds of rum there.
01:02
It's more that it needs to be an aged rum
01:03
that has some real, robust, earthy flavors,
01:06
which Jamaica's known for.
01:07
That cuts the sweetness of some of the sweeter ingredients,
01:10
and adds some real depth to the cocktail.
01:12
So two ounces Jamaican-style rum.
01:14
And that is it! We are ready to shake.
01:16
(ice clanking on glass)
01:18
Fill your shaker with ice,
01:20
and shake for about ten seconds.
01:22
(shaker banging against glass)
01:24
(ice shaking)
01:25
(hand smack against shaker)
01:26
(glass clinking)
01:27
Alright, we're gonna strain this drink into a rocks glass.
01:30
The smaller ice cubes you have, the better,
01:31
because it really helps chill the drink down.
01:34
But if you don't have crushed ice, that's no big deal.
01:36
Just maybe crack a few cubes on top.
01:41
Now, to garnish this,
01:42
I really think tropical drinks are a blank canvas.
01:46
I'm just gonna do a lime wheel, and this little umbrella.
01:49
You can use a mint sprig, a piece of sugarcane,
01:52
piece of ripe fruit.
01:53
Whatever seems right to you.
01:55
If you like this video,
01:56
and you're looking for more tips
01:57
to step up your bartending game,
01:58
subscribe to the GQ channel.
02:00
We've got lots more where that came from.