Yesterday I infused 6oz of El Scorpion Mezcal with 1/3 cup whole French Roast coffee beans. After 24 hours, I strained the Mezcal – it was a dark, rich chocolate color. Almost a full ounce of it surrendered itself to the beans. I poured half for today (later on today, rather) and half into my oak barrel. I will report back in several days…
Today I want to discuss recipe substitutions. When I first started this home bar endeavor a few years ago, I felt beholden to using the exact ingredients in a given recipe. Not having the perspective or context to decide for myself what subs would work, etc., I followed w/ blind faith.
Now… bump that! Home bars are mad expensive, yo! I have bills to pay and I do love to eat as well as imbibe (typical, right?! 🙂 Although, I know I spend much more on the latter…)
Now that my tastes have developed and I have a more well-rounded understanding of various flavor profiles (e.g. orange based liqueurs, amer/amari, herbal liqueurs, various types of simple…) I feel confident in making due with the bottles I have on deck, and not using strict recipe interpretation as an excuse to go to Schneider’s on Capitol Hill (again!).
I had to ask myself: Could I make a Mai Tai with the spirits I already have now?
I decided I could.
Also, there are multiple Mai Tai variations. If you’re interested in the history of the drink – this is an interesting read about Don the Beachcomber vs Trader Vic and who actually created the drink first.
On to the drink (and pic)! I made a riff on this recipe that consists of light (which I added to make boozier, hence the light color) and dark rum, fresh lime juice, rock candy simple, orgeat, and orange liqueur …
My Bootleg Mai Tai
What is YOUR favorite Mai Tai recipe? Did you make any substitutions? Let me know 🙂
*Cachaca is essentially Brazilian Rum Agricole, rum distilled from sugar cane juice instead of molasses sugarcane byproduct. It is the main ingredient in the Caipirinha (which I spell wrong e’retime!) cocktail, which also includes fresh lime juice and sugar.
I cracked my first coconut. I didn’t maim myself. More on Tiki later – once I further educate myself. Please check out Intstagram #tikiaf – cuz those guys got it covered. Also check out @homebargirl and @ntitz cuz they know Tiki…
1 1/2oz Fresh Pineapple Juice — 1oz Fresh Coconut water — 3/4oz Homemade Orgeat — 3/4oz Rhum Barbancourt — 3/4oz Appleton Estate Special Rum — 1/2oz Cointreau — 1/2oz Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach — 4 dashes El Guapo Whiskey Barrel Aged Spiced Cocoa Tea Bitters — 1 barspoon Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Syrup — SPR
I don’t travel Internationally nearly as much as I’d like. I tell myself I can’t afford it – but that’s not the truth. The truth is – I am gainfully employed and prioritize my funds according to my values, just as every other gainfully employed person does. I enjoy travel, but it also drains me quite a bit. So much getting there, then getting back. What environment will I come back to? The Spartan life is not for me – I need beauty and whimsy e’reday.
Ultimately – I am in love with creating a dynamic environment within my home. This is my world, and it is ever changing – just as I am. Design, photography, cocktail creation, and experimentation are things I value – and my bank account proves that. Damn, my hobbies are expensive af.
I say all of this because while my travel game needs a lot of work – I can still experience parts unknown through drink. I can connect with people from Scandinavia by drinking something they drink – Aquavit. I can connect with people in Scotland – their land is in the Scotch. I can connect with those in Haiti by drinking the rum they painstakingly produce. Ok, enough of my musings, for now…