Is summer here yet? It feels like we have not kicked into high gear in regards to the summertime weather. In an effort mentally take us there a little sooner I would like to pass on my favorite Mai Tai recipe and encourage other to try it out and enjoy the beginnings of the ever-so-pleasant time of year.
When this drink first came into my existence its concoctions were so potent that it brought down divine forces keeping me out of a head on collision. Back in '98 I used to get up around quarter to six in the morning, grab my 9 foot surfboard and strap it to the top of a '78 Grand Marquis paneled station wagon and head over the hill to Santa Cruz with my venerable Uncle Craig and one, Joe Izzo. Joe is a peculiar fellow and this was the beginning of our friendship. I didn't really know what to expect from the guy. It was all summed up in one experience; in the makings of a Mai Tai. We had just peeked over the hill on the 17 heading for a pleasant day of surf. The topic started off with Mint Julips and quickly drifted onto the Mai Tai. That is when I blurted out from the back seat that I had never had a Mai Tai. Joe shoulders and head turned 180 degrees facing me head on and said, "you have never had a Mai Tai? We need to fix that problem."
The next week we booked a reservation at a Thai restaurant close to my apartment. Joe was reviewing restaurants for The Metro Newspaper at the time. A nice friend to have. Joe showed up with a whole box of ingredients and mixed up a batch of heaven for a couple of friends before heading out to Siam Square. I had never tasted, felt & fully enjoyed so much pleasure in a beverage before. I devoted a will to perfect this drink. I think I have you tell me. This is how you make it:
First off, you need to get yourself a 16oz. barrel glass. I recommend going to Hula's in Downtown Santa Cruz and picking up a couple with their logo's on them. They are pretty cool and it is always a good memory buying a tiki glass or mug. Fill it with cubed ice. First put in about 2oz. of Barcadi White Rum.
Then add about an ounce of O.J. and an ounce of pineapple juice.
Then add just a splash of Trader Vic's Mai Tai mix.
Then add in a half of ounce of Grenadine, nice and slow so it goes to the bottom and separates away from the mixed juices.
Then add a nice hefty floater of Myer's Dark rum.
Garnish with a skewer of pineapple with cherry and umbrella of top.
And with a short bendy straw if you got one. They look beautiful with the three separate layers. For the rookies and the non-regulars and recommend a good stir after you are done enjoying the scenery. Personally, I like sipping on the dark rum floating around on top.
Let me know if you have any successes or suggestions when mixing up this drink. Enjoy!