Tag Archives: 52 Cocktails creations

Indus Colada

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Potato Head Beach Club in Bali make a dreamy, creamy, heavenly cocktail called the Indus Nesos. It’s so good that I can remember the first time I drank it – and that was several years ago. Given that most nights spent in bars end with some kind of memory loss, that’s a hell of a drink.
The 52 Cocktails crew visited the bar recently and foolishly didn’t order one, so this week I thought I’d try making one at home. Then all I’d need is a huge C-shaped structure built out of colourful old window shutters surrounding a vast lawn and swimming pool overlooking the ocean and it would be just like drinking at Potato Head. Easy. Oh, and I’d also need the recipe, and some sunny weather, and a crowd of good-looking people swanning about wouldn’t hurt, either…
Luckily, the menu is on their website and helpfully describes the drink as containing vanilla vodka, vanilla-infused arak (the local rice liquor), apricot brandy, coconut cream and lychee puree, blended and served long. It’s practically a recipe, I thought rather arrogantly as I read it, so, despite not having any arak in the house, it shouldn’t be too hard to re-create. I’ll just double the vanilla vodka content or add some brandy or something. That’ll do.
Well.
What was I saying before about drinking and memory loss? I forget. But I know that a list of ingredients does not a recipe make, and – oh yeah, I remember now – I know that I went out to buy some lychees and forgot to get them, so I had to improvise. Long story short, I used pineapple juice instead of lychee puree and ended up with something that tasted like a cross between an Indus Nesos and a pina colada – not a bad thing at all, though next time I will try making it with the correct ingredients to see if it’s closer to the drink I remember. It’s not very strong but it is a super thick, rich drink – serve it with a spoon so you can scoop the foam up off the top. And if you’re ever in Bali, go to Potato Head and order the real thing so you can compare them!

INDUS COLADA
Serves 4 if you use tumblers, or 2 if you use Collins glasses. I find the coconut cream so rich that I only want a small amount, so I prefer to divide the mix among 4 tumblers.

INGREDIENTS
60ml vanilla vodka (I used Absolut, but if you have a house-infused one, go for it)
45ml apricot brandy (I used a homemade one)
90ml coconut cream
30ml Solerno (a delicious blood orange liqueur; if you can’t get it, use Cointreau)
30ml sugar syrup
5 drops Fee Bros peach bitters
250 ml pineapple juice

GLASS
Tumbler or Collins

METHOD
Chuck everything in a blender with a handful of ice cubes and blend away. Pour into whichever glasses you’re using and sip while pretending you’re somewhere tropical.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
It’s a lot harder than ordering an Indus Nesos at the bar, but at least you don’t have to pay the airfare.

RECIPE BY
This one’s brought to you by the forgetful folk at 52 Cocktails. Who are you again?!

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Summer Dreams

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When it’s a sunny spring day and the scent of ripe strawberries is in the air, you can’t help but think all’s right with the world…and that you really want a drink, because hey, you’re only human.

This is the perfect drink for that kind of day, when the sunset burns shades of orange into the sky and you’re dreaming about that long, hot summer that’s just around the corner. It’s like strawberries and cream in a glass and is a sophisticated way to kick off a garden party.

Serves two.

INGREDIENTS
5-10 ripe strawberries, hulled and halved
5 large mint leaves
2 teaspoons caster sugar
30ml strawberry-vanilla infused vodka*
Moscato

*The 52 Cocktails crew was lucky enough to receive a delicious homemade strawberry-vanilla vodka from a fan, who wouldn’t reveal the recipe but hinted they’d let a lot of cut strawberries, sliced vanilla pods and sugar infuse in some vodka for several months before straining the mix and presenting it to us. It’s fantastic and we reckon you could make it, too. And maybe give us a sample, hint, hint. If you don’t want to make your own infused vodka but you do want to try this recipe, substitute 15ml vanilla vodka and 15ml strawberry vodka and let us know how you go.

GLASS
Champagne flute

METHOD
Place the strawberries, mint and sugar in the glass part of a Boston shaker, like so:

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Muddle them together, then add the vodka and half-fill the glass with ice. Pop the metal part of the shaker on top, flip the whole thing over and shake like mad. Of course, if you don’t have a Boston shaker you can use a cobbler instead.

Strain through a sieve into a clean glass. If you really, really don’t like having ‘bits’ in your drink, strain it again. Pour the mixture into two Champagne flutes. It will look like this:

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Top with chilled moscato and serve.

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DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
Straining the mixture is the hardest part. And that’s pretty easy!

RECIPE BY
This one’s by 52 Cocktails….with a little help from our friends.

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The Loudner Horth

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What, exactly, is a Loudner Horth? Is it:
(a) an obscure character from Game of Thrones
(b) some kind of tropical disease that causes itching in one’s unmentionable parts, or
(c) the accidental mispronunciation of a dear friend’s middle name and surname at a citizenship ceremony, leading to him being called Loudner Horth for all his days forthwith?
If you guessed (c), you’re right. Go have a drink to celebrate. In fact, why not make yourself a Loudner Horth – as this week’s cocktail is now known – in his honour?

THE STORY BEHIND THE LOUDNER HORTH
Strange as it may sound, 52 Cocktails has an Irish friend who doesn’t like Guinness. When he became an Australian citizen recently we decided to celebrate by creating a drink that looked like Guinness but didn’t taste like it, something that would be a nod to his Irish heritage with an Australian twist. This is because we are stubborn bastards who refuse to take the easy route of just serving Irish whiskey to an Irish dude at a citizenship party and would prefer to experiment for days with stereotypical Irish ingredients such as Baileys, leprechauns, potatoes and Guinness in order to create a new Irish-influenced drink.

The Loudner Horth is the result of all this crazed scientific experimentation (as is a new hole in the ceiling and a visit to the emergency room, but let’s not mention that). It’s a deconstructed Guinness, meaning it’s meant to look like a Guinness without quite tasting like one. It comprises two parts served in two separate glasses: there’s some doctored Guinness in one glass, and some doctored Baileys in another. (Yes, we decided to serve Guinness to someone who hates it, because we are idiots.) Let’s just say that again: no, not the part about being idiots, the part about how the Loudner Horth MUST be served in two separate glasses. This is because, as tempting as it is to shake the whole lot together, trying to combine Baileys and Guinness is like trying to combine a politician and a straight, logical answer during an interview: it just won’t work. Unless you’re Heston Blumenthal and have access to an actual laboratory and a whole bunch of molecular know-how, if you shake it all together, or even attempt to pour the Baileys mixture over the Guinness mixture in a clever layering experiment, you’ll be left with a curdled-looking, almost greasy substance that’s as horrible to drink as it is to look at. Trust us, we’ve tried it – and suffered the consequences. Follow the recipe below and you’ll wind up with a decent drink that’s best combined in your mouth by taking a sip from each glass before swallowing.

THE LOUDNER HORTH
Start this recipe the night before you plan to serve it. Serves 4.

BAILEYS COMPONENT
INGREDIENTS
15ml cardamom vodka (to make this, infuse 3 bruised cardamom pods in a cup of vodka for 3 days, then strain – you’ll have enough to last you for ages!)
15ml Frangelico
60ml Baileys
60ml Kahlua

GLASS
Any small glass will do – try a shot glass or a sherry glass.

METHOD
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and leave to infuse in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to serve, shake the mixture with ice in a cocktail shaker, and strain into four small glasses.

GUINNESS COMPONENT
INGREDIENTS
1 can Guinness, chilled
90ml sugar syrup
6 dashes walnut bitters

GLASS
Tumbler

METHOD
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Leave to infuse overnight in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, shake the mixture with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into 4 tumblers. Happily, instead of looking like the flat black liquid that’s been in your fridge all night, it will now look like a freshly poured Guinness. If it’s too sweet for your liking, top with additional Guinness.

HOW TO SERVE THE LOUDNER HORTH
Serve each guest one glass of the Guinness component and one glass of the Bailey’s component. Instruct them to sip the Guinness part and hold it in their mouth, then sip the Bailey’s part, let the flavours combine, and then swallow.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
It’s a bit fiddly – a bit fiddle-dee-dee, if you like – and you end up with lots of glasses to wash, but it’s still easy enough to make.

RECIPE BY
This one’s by 52 Cocktails – no one else is stupid enough to claim ownership of it!

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Nectar-ine of the Julep Gods

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There are some things in life that I just can’t explain, such as why my bottle of Crystal Head vodka insists on wearing a pineapple tea cosy as a beanie and why I haven’t, until now, made a mint julep with white nectarine-infused vodka in it. The idea for this concoction came about when, in order to find a really good mint julep recipe, I read loads about juleps, tried a bunch of different ones (it was all in the name of research I swear), and read somewhere that juleps used to be made with cognanc and peach brandy, which is probably why some recipes for modern-day juleps call for peach slices to be muddled along with the mint. Anyway, you’ll hear the outcome of the mint julep research later (hint: the recipe will be in a book, which will be heavily advertised here – after all, what’s a website without nepotism?); for now, you’re probably either wondering why the hell I used white nectarine vodka instead of peach brandy, or you’re wandering off in search of a drink. So I’ll keep it brief: I didn’t have any peach brandy handy. But I did have some white nectarine vodka, which I made last summer. (To make it, slice up some white nectarines, leaving the skin on but removing the stones. Place in a clean jar with a handful of caster sugar, cover the lot with vodka and then store in a dark place for a few months or until you really want to try adding peach brandy to a julep but discover you don’t have any.)
What does adding it to a julep do? It takes the edge off the bourbon, sweetens the drink and lightens it, making it even more perfect for a hot summer day than a regular julep. And it totally counts as a serve of fruit, right?

INGREDIENTS
15ml white nectarine vodka
15ml sugar syrup
60ml bourbon
12-20 mint leaves, plus a sprig or two of mint to garnish
2 drops Fee Bros peach bitters (optional – they add a teeny bit of peach flavour and are a nod to the original recipe)

GLASS
Tumbler or old-fashioned.

METHOD
Place the mint leaves in the glass and pour in the white nectarine vodka and sugar syrup. Stir gently to combine. Add a heap of crushed or cubed ice and stir again. Add the bourbon and peach bitters and stir again. Garnish with the mint sprig(s) and serve.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
If you’ve got the white nectarine vodka handy, this one’s easy. If you don’t, the hardest part will be waiting several months for the fruit to infuse with the vodka, in which case we highly recommend drinking something else instead.

RECIPE BY
This one’s by the clever folk at 52 Cocktails. Enjoy!

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The Bitter Mandarin

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It probably says a lot about me that in the dead of winter I still have a bottle of uni-student-budget-friendly Moscato handy.

Yep, it says that I am prepared for any drink-making eventuality, including the one where I make a really bitter drink by accident and realise it can only be saved by something sweet and fizzy. Never mind that it also says I am so disorganised that I totally forgot to drink all the Moscato in summer (when it would have been added to a shot of peach or apricot nectar in a cheap imitation of a Bellini) because it was buried beneath all the bottles of gin.

Anyway, it proved useful today when I was craving something citrus-y and had a few mandarines and some Cointreau Noir hanging around (as you do).

Side note: just as you say tomato and I say Bloody Mary, some people say mandarines and some people say mandarins. In reference to the fruit, I’ve always said mandarines, while 52 Cocktails’ CTO (Cocktail Tasting Officer) has always said mandarin. To me, a mandarin is a Chinese bureaucrat, or a type of collar on typical Chinese clothing, or a reference to the Mandarin Chinese language, while a mandarine is smallish orange-coloured citrus fruit with a thin, easy-to-peel skin, a refreshing fragrance and segmented, juicy innards. And since I am in charge of this write-up and the CTO isn’t, well, what I say goes. So if I say mandarine I mean the fruit, and if I say mandarin I mean, well, mandarin.

So, as I was saying, I had some ingredients on hand and combined them, and the result is the Bitter Mandarin.

Yes, Mandarin. Because this drink is quite bitter, and contains mandarines, and so it seemed logical enough to call it the Bitter Mandarine but more catchy to call it the Bitter Mandarin so people drinking it would think of some cross bureaucrat drinking the concoction after a long day full of red tape and a lack of stationery. Really, a bitter Mandarin would be much like a modern-day office worker but in better clothes. Or it would be like this:

THE BITTER MANDARIN

INGREDIENTS

2 small mandarines

1 sugar cube

2-3 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters (if you are in Australia, they are available here: http://www.onlybitters.com/fee-brothers/)

60ml Cointreau Noir

Moscato, to top up

GLASS

Martini/cocktail glass

METHOD

Feeling bitter? Work pissing you off, bureaucrat? Then chop the mandarines into quarters, chuck em in the glass part of a Boston shaker, add a sugar cube and the bitters and muddle the hell out of them. Add the Cointreau Noir and half-fill with ice. Shake with rage and then double-strain into the glass. (To double strain, fit a hawthorne strainer into the shaker and place a tea strainer over the glass. As you pour through the hawthorne strainer into the tea strainer, you’ll be double-straining. It’s just like when your boss asks you to meet this week’s deadline as well as next week’s, but needs everything done yesterday… a LOT of straining.) Top with Moscato (you might need quite a lot to sweeten it to your liking.)

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

Ah, the stress relief that comes with bashing the sh*t out of a helpless piece of fruit – er, I mean, this one’s easy.

RECIPE BY

This one was invented by 52 Cocktails.

TASTES LIKE

Well, that depends on who you ask. I’d say it tastes bitter (from the mandarine peel, not the bitters themselves), and mandarine-y. A bit like an Asian digestif. The CTO says it’s like a palate-cleansing sorbet and claims, “It’s not bitter at all, but then I’ve been drinking wine all night, so…” We agree that it does not taste like there’s any alcohol involved (which some people might say is the sign of a good cocktail) but suggest you do not serve it to under-18s just in case.

It

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Aussie Aussie Aussie!

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A minty take on a classic lemon, lime and bitters, complete with a Big Pineapple and kitsch koala. Could it get more Aussie than this?

According to the good folks at Angostura, Australia is one of the world’s largest consumers of Angostura Bitters. This is partly because, although Australians have a well-earned reputation as big drinkers, the non-alcoholic lemon, lime & bitters is the go-to drink Down Under for designated drivers or those on a sobriety kick. (It’s possibly also partly because, until recently, you couldn’t easily buy any other types of bitters here). Apparently this refreshing drink is so Australian that if you order it another country, the bartender will just give you a blank look. And so it seemed like the perfect drink to serve at a party held in honour of an American friend who’d just received her Australian citizenship.

There was just one problem: it was non-alcoholic.

And, as a freshly minted Aussie, my friend was not.

And besides, Australian tradition dictates that you MUST drink at a party. Not drinking is unpatriotic – I’m sure that was in her citizenship oath. So I set out to put an alcoholic twist on the classic Aussie non-alcoholic drink – how very Australian.

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Lemon, lime and bitters is a classic Aussie combo. Here’s my take on it – with mint added to the mix, and the glass rimmed in Angostura sugar. 

First and foremost I wanted to play up our nation’s love of lemon, lime and bitters. I also wanted to create something with visual appeal. And so I created Angostura sugar by adding enough Angostura bitters to white sugar so that the sugar turned pink, then used it to rim a glass. Then I added a patriotic “green and gold” theme to the mix, muddling 10 mint leaves and half a lime (for the green component) along with lemon juice (gold) and sugar syrup, chucking in 60ml of white rum and topping the lot with soda.
Oddly enough it was reminiscent of a Moscow Mule, and probably would have been great with ginger beer instead of soda. (If you’ve never had one, a Moscow Mule is really easy to make: pour 45 ml vodka and 15 ml lime juice into a highball glass that’s half-full of ice and top up with ginger beer. It’s the drink credited with making vodka popular in the United States and is possibly called a Moscow Mule because it gives the drinker a bit of a kick. The 52 Cocktails house version uses half as much ginger beer and double the vodka, and is fondly known as a Russian Headfuck.)

But this minty, citrusy creation wasn’t what I was after and it certainly wasn’t very Angostura-heavy; it wasn’t a riff on a lemon, lime and bitters at all. So I went back to basics, making a lemon, lime and bitters in an Angostura-sugar-rimmed glass and adding a shot of vodka (because nothing’s more Aussie than trying to get your unsuspecting friends drunk with some alcohol that they can’t even taste).

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Lemon, lime and bitters in an Angostura-sugar-rimmed glass. Simple and refreshing.

Here’s how to make one:

First, run the rim of an old-fashioned glass over some lemon slices, then dip it in  Angostura sugar. Add a couple of big ice cubes, 20ml lime juice, 20ml lemon juice, 20ml sugar syrup, 4 dashes Angostura bitters (or more to taste) and 30-60ml vodka depending on how strong you want your drink. Give it a stir and top with soda. Yum.

It’s refreshing, easy to drink and easy to make; perfect for a hot Australian day.

Except that it was winter.

And so it was time to pull out the big guns – or at least, my Whip It! Cream Whipper.

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Ooh yeah baby. When a problem comes along, you must whip it.

Apparently these things are great for making whipped cream and desserts and mousse and things, but in 52 Cocktails Land it’s used for one thing and one thing only: making foams for cocktails. Yep, it was time to make lemon, lime and bitters foam, the easiest way I could think of to take the drink from summer to winter and from refreshing to elegant while possibly also getting egg whites to drip from my ceiling (as sometimes happens when I squirt the Whip It’s lever thingy too enthusiastically).

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First, I rimmed the glass. I like to place three slices of citrus (in this instance I used lemon) on a flat surface, place the rim of the glass on top and rotate it a few times.

IMG_3671Next, I made the Angostura sugar by adding enough bitters to white sugar to turn the sugar pink. (I initially used sugar cubes doused in bitters and mashed them up with a muddler, then added more white sugar and kept mixing it all up until I had the consistency I wanted: chunky enough to look good, but with enough fine sugar to really stick to the glass and carry the flavour.)
IMG_3672 Then I rotated the glass in the sugar a few times…IMG_3674 Et voila, an Angostura-sugar-rimmed glass.

Next I made the drink.

FOAM

Add one egg white, 15ml lemon juice, 15ml lime juice, 30ml sugar syrup and 4 dashes Angostura bitters to a cream whipper. Give it a shake and chill for an hour or longer (following the manufacturer’s instructions).

COCKTAIL

Add 20ml lemon juice, 20ml lime juice, 30ml sugar syrup, 4-6 dashes Angostura bitters and 50ml vodka to a cocktail shaker that’s half-full of ice. Shake it hard and strain into the glass, then add enough soda to half-fill the glass.

Top with the foam, following the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the cream whipper to dispense foam without getting it all over your kitchen.

IMG_3678Sprinkle with more Angostura sugar and there you have it – a sophisticated, alcoholic take on a classic non-alcoholic Australian drink.

We really DO do things upside-down here!
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Femme Fatale

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If a White Lady (that’s Cointreau, lemon juice and gin) were a person, she’d be a bit like Cinderella; elegant, understated and mysterious, the kind of lady who leaves you wanting more when she disappears at midnight.

If a Femme Fatale (that’s a twist on the White Lady, using Cointreau Noir instead of Cointreau) were a person, she’d be just like a White Lady. Except she’d kill you with her bare, manicured hands before she disappeared at midnight.

FEMME FATALE

INGREDIENTS

30ml gin

15ml Cointreau Noir

15ml lemon juice

GLASS

Cocktail glass, or the most elegant glass you’ve got

METHOD

Add all ingredients to a shaker that’s half-full of ice. Shake hard, then strain into the glass.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

Easy to love, but be warned; it’s a killer in disguise.

RECIPE BY

The Femme Fatale was created by the 52 Cocktails team. It’s based on the version of a White Lady that appears in Margaret Fulton’s Book of Cocktails & Party Drinks (Octopus Books, 1984).

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Mint Condition

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A while ago I accidentally bought a bottle of Tag Honey Ginger vodka. (True story – I went to the bottle shop to buy wine, and left with cider and the aforementioned vodka. Don’t ever send me grocery shopping unless you want a clusterf**k for dinner.)

Recently, 52 Cocktails’ CTO (Cocktail Tasting Officer) accidentally bought a vibrant green bunch of mint.

“It was only a dollar,” he said, “and I thought you could make a cocktail out of it.”

“Yes,” I replied, “but did you buy the ingredients for dinner?”

There was the sound of the front door slamming and tyres spinning as he raced back to the grocery shop.

If you’re sensing a theme here, you’re right: the two accidental purchases went really well together to make a Mint Condition cocktail. And we got take-away for dinner.

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MINT CONDITION

This is a bright green drink that’s reminiscent of Moroccan mint tea, but with honey overtones and a gentle warmth. It tastes so healthy you could almost swear it’s kale juice. And that’s about as close to kale juice as we like to get.

INGREDIENTS

15ml honey syrup

12 big fresh mint leaves

45ml Tag Honey Ginger vodka

GLASS

Cocktail glass

METHOD

First, make the honey syrup. Combine equal parts honey and boiling water in a mug and stir to dissolve the honey. Don’t use a strongly flavoured honey such as leatherwood as the cocktail will taste too strongly of it. Allow the syrup to cool.

Next, put the mint leaves and honey syrup into the glass part of a Boston shaker. Muddle the hell out it. Don’t just lightly bruise the mint; treat it as if it’s in a mortar and pestle and grind it into a rough paste.

Add the vodka and a generous scoop of ice. Shake it up, baby!

Double-strain into the glass and serve.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

If you can remember which ingredients to buy, this cocktail is proof that it IS easy being green.

RECIPE BY 52 COCKTAILS

IMAGE CREDIT

Dinosaur provided by our friends at Make it Wednesday: https://www.facebook.com/MakeitWednesday

(We don’t know how the dinosaur crept into our photo. It was probably also trying to buy something.)

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Thanks for checking out fiftytwococktails.com – Mai Tai offer you a drink?

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In the past few days fiftytwococktails.com and its associated Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/52Cocktails have received a lot of attention from YOU, dear readers. As such, fiftytwococktails.com’s CEO (Cocktail Experimentation Officer) and CTO (Cocktail Tasting Officer) would like to say THANK YOU – your support is what makes creating and drinking cocktails such a worthwhile cause.

Anyway, enough sucking up, it’s time to celebrate with the most celebratory cocktail I can think of – the Mai Tai.

One of the many reasons I like making Mai Tais is because they are so damn cheerful. They look like a sunset in a glass. And they taste like a holiday in the tropics – minus the sunburn, shitty low-grade alcohol and sand in your whatsit. Sure, they take a while to make, because they involve fifty bajillion ingredients, but that just helps build up the anticipation for a memorable drink.  Plus, I can say “Mai Tai offer you a drink?” as I hand them over to unsuspecting visitors, who don’t know whether to clutch their stomachs and groan at the TERRIBLE word play or gratefully accept a cocktail of such beauty and retro cool. Seeing their tiny brains implode as they try to decide the correct course of action just adds to the pleasure of making – and imbibing – this delicious drink.

You can read more about Mai Tais – and many other retro cocktails – here.

MAI TAI

There are loads of Mai Tai recipes out there. This is the first one I tried creating at home and I still think it’s one of the best. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients – all the ingredients are easy to obtain (I’ve seen other recipes requiring chargrilled pineapple juice, among other things that frankly sound like a pain in the arse to procure or create), it’s easy to make and it’s well worth the effort (and by ‘effort’ I mean buying a shiteload of booze).

INGREDIENTS

30ml white rum (I use Havana Club or Bacardi)

30ml dark rum (I use Mount Gay. Come on, who could resist that name?)

15ml Cointreau

15ml Amaretto (I use orgeat instead – it’s an almond syrup that you can buy at specialty shops)

15ml lemon juice

90ml pineapple juice

90ml orange juice

15ml sugar syrup

dash of grenadine

lime slice

mint leaves

GLASS

The recipe suggests a goblet glass, but I prefer a highball or Collins glass.

METHOD

Half-fill the glass with crushed ice (I use ice cubes, either is fine). Add all liquid ingredients. Stir, then garnish with lime slice and some mint leaves.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

Once you’ve got all the ingredients, this is a cinch.

RECIPE BY

This recipe is from Shaken: 250 Very Sexy Cocktails (Murdoch Books, 2004). This is the first cocktail book I ever owned. It was given to me by the CTO (it was more of a subtle hint than a birthday present). It is full of lush photography and easy recipes and is partly to blame for my obsession with cocktails. As such, I highly recommend you buy a copy.

WAIT A MINUTE…

Isn’t this supposed to be a NEW cocktail, since that’s the ENTIRE POINT of this website? Why, yes. Yes, it is. Thank you for noticing. I’ve made loads of Mai Tais following the above recipe. But recently when I was craving one I realised, after an eternity of preparation…well, after juicing the orange and the lemon and lining up all the necessary bottles….that I didn’t have any white rum.

And the local bottle shop was already shut.

IT WAS A CATASTROPHE I TELL YOU. A CATASTROPHE.

Naturally I kept my cool and did not have a screaming fit about this. No sir. That was not me. I was NOT the one lying on the floor kicking my feet and sobbing about the unfair cruelty of this world. Although strangely, while I was definitely not having a ground-level tantrum, I spied an old bottle of Malibu on the bottom shelf of the bar and thought, hang on, that’s basically rum – why not use that instead? And so I did. It added a coconutty vibe that was not out of place with the tropical flavours of the drink. While I was bastardising the drink I went a step further and used orange curacao instead of Cointreau, because it’s cheaper and for ages I’ve been wondering if you can get away with using it in a mixed drink (you can) or if that’s some kind of heresy (it probably is but I haven’t been burned at the stake yet). And, as mentioned above, I use orgeat instead of amaretto as a matter of course – because for the longest time I had orgeat handy but not amaretto, and now I’m so used to the orgeat I’m reluctant to change. And so I think I’ve made some kind of new Mai Tai by accident, or at least it’s a new version of a Mai Tai, and that’s close enough to a new cocktail that I’m happy to share it here.

Mai Tai 4

MAI TAI OFFER YOU A DRINK?

Yep, that’s what I’m calling this baby. Although saying “Might I offer you a Mai Tai Offer You a Drink?” might get confusing…but after the first few cocktails no one will care.

INGREDIENTS

30ml Malibu

30ml dark rum (regular, not the spiced kind)

15ml orange curacao

15ml orgeat

15ml lemon juice

90ml pineapple juice

90ml orange juice

15ml sugar syrup

dash of grenadine

small bunch of mint leaves

GLASS

Highball or Collins glass.

METHOD

Half-fill the glass with ice cubes. Add all liquid ingredients except the grenadine. Stir with a bar spoon, then add a dash of grenadine and stir gently – you will hopefully get a sunset-ish effect. Garnish with mint leaves (as in, pick all the crappy leaves off the bottom of the bunch of mint, then shove the stems into the glass. You want about 5 stems of mint per glass). Add a cocktail umbrella if you’re feeling retro, a lime slice if you’re feeling classy, and a straw if you don’t want a bunch of mint hitting you in the face as you drink.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

Time-consuming but easy – and a good way to use up that Malibu you’ve got leftover from an ’80s party.

RECIPE BY 52 COCKTAILS

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