Rainy days be damned, I want a tropical treat. So crank up the Guantanamera and break out the rum we’re making a Mai Tai.
First, procure a proper tiki mug, the best ones have a story, but if you want to just order one on the internet, I won’t judge. Well, I will, but I’ll be kind and discreet about it. This particular mug came from 4 Kahunas, a wonderful place in Arlington, Texas. I stumbled upon it in the middle of a hot afternoon while trying to find somewhere to get away from the crowd and decompress at a large geocaching event nearby. They had cool air conditioning and phenomenal drinks, so I stayed…awhile. I saw this mug behind the bar on drink 4 or 7, I don’t recall, and asked for something made in it and that I wanted to keep the glass. They accommodated my wishes happily. Consequently, I now own this awesome tiki mug that always reminds me of that oasis far from the madding crowd, great drinks with friends and that one should never shop while drunk or utter the words “costs be damned”. And that is the provenance of my Shrunken Fred tiki mug.
Second step is to prepare said mug with ice. Not just any ice but tiki ready crushed ice, maybe your freezer does this, maybe you have to put cube ice in a bag and pound it with a mallet, maybe you have one of those pebble ice machines, I don’t know your life, but I’ll give you an Uncle Monkey pro-tip. Sonic will sell you a cup their exquisite pebble ice for like 20 cents, that is perfect for this drink. Maybe you get some Tater tots while you are there, who knows. Anyway, fill the mug to the brim with crushed ice and move on to…
Step the third, is to mix the drink, this one is infinitely easier. You are going to want some rum for this, an ounce of dark and an ounce of light, I went with Smith + Cross dark, which I am infatuated with currently, and Havana. Club 3 year for the light, which I love, as a friend. So you have two ounces of rum in your shaker, add 3/4 ounce of lime juice, 1/2 ounce of Cointreau, 1/4 ounce of Demerara syrup and 1/4 ounce of orgeat, three drops of Crude Smoke and Salt Bitters and you are ready for a shake over ice. Shake vigorously and strain into your tiki mug slowly letting it melt the ice as it pours. At this point you may realize you need to double the recipe if you have a particularly large mug from Texas, be responsible or make another, no one is watching. Top with a float of the dark rum and garnish with a lime wheel and some fresh mint. Be sure to slap the mint first to release the aroma and help you work out any frustrations. Insert reusable straw and enjoy responsibly.
Step four, is to take pictures and write about this on the internet cause you if you don’t document it, did it even happen? Another pro-tip, you may want to write before you enjoy the entire drink, or the second one as drinking folk tend to get long-winded. So that is it, rainy day happiness in four easy steps. Stay home, stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.