Monday, March 1, 2010

Westside Mai Tais: Tastes Like Marketing

We decided to be spontaneous on Friday and try out an event we read about on some of our favorite sites -- The Modern Mai Tai Experience at The W Hotel in Westwood. The event promised the "World's Best Mai Tai" from Joey Gottesman's (Royal Hawaiian Mixologist) recipe. The venue itself was fine and all the bartenders/servers were friendly enough. But the Mai Tai...most definitely not the world's best. It tasted like watered down pineapple orange juice, with too heavy a pour of something that tasted like bad vodka (Bacardi 151?). We've been to Hawaii quite a few times and tasted quite a few Mai Tais. Where was the Orgeat syrup? Where was the lime juice? This cocktail most definitely lacked in the delicious department.

If you want a great Mai Tai, without the cost of flying to the islands, head over to Tiki Ti's in the Silverlake area. It's a family owned place with amazing tropical cocktail recipes. You can choose from over 75 family recipes listed on their landscape size menu (makes the perfect checklist if you want to conquer them all!). There is a brief description of each drink, but the exact recipes are all secret so you'll never know exactly what's in your cocktail. You just have to learn to trust.

For all of you lucky enough to be flying over to Waikiki sometime soon: stop by the House Without A Key bar at the Halekulani Hotel. THIS is what a Mai Tai should taste like (Caution: these are potent and just a few could lead to hazy dinner memories).

For those of you who can't make it to the Islands anytime soon, here's Bourbon's Mai Tai recipe that he derived from the original Mai Tai recipe as Trader Vic Bergeron made it back in 1944:

1 oz. Light Rum
1 oz. Dark Rum
1/2 oz. Orange Curacao
1/4 oz. Orgeat Syrup
1/4 oz. Simple Syrup
3/4 oz. Lime Juice
Garnish with lime wheel and sprig of fresh mint.

Fun fact: Mai Tai means "Out of this World" in Hawaiian.

Okole Maluna!

-Bourbon and Bleu

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