OK. Here it is folks, the Thai tiki cocktail we’ve all been missing this WHOLE time.
Let me just say that this is one of the best Mai Tai’s that has ever been made this year and I MEAN that from the bottom of my lil freaky tiki lovin’ heart.
This Mai Tai recipe, like many that came before it, is a balance of tropical fruit, warm sweetness, citrus zing, and funky rum. We really wanted to take the Mai Tai we all know and love and use ingredients we found everywhere here in Phuket, Thailand. Being one of the most popular drinks on the island, we wanted to bring in local ingredients to this holiday classic and BLOW PEOPLES MINDS.
For sweetness we first tried a toasted cashew orgeat in place of the typical almond flavored original, as cashews are common here in Thailand, and MAN was it good.
However, we ultimately decided on another common ingredient which is… you guessed it? Palm sugar.
Palm sugar is like nutty cookie dough. Seriously this stuff is soooo good and making a quick rich syrup with it really gave us the depth, nuttiness and roundness we were originally looking for in this recipe.
And the best part is, we didn’t even have to fuss with toasting cashews, soaking them, blending them, squeezing out all the milk… you catch my drift.
In order to make Palm Sugar Syrup all you’ve got to do it heat up 2 parts good sticky palm sugar, and 1 part water until it’s all melted and slightly frothy at the edges. Maybe add a pinch of salt and a shot of rum and its ready to go!
Next up we need to get that tropical paradise vibe in the glass and if you know anything about us, know this: WE LOVE PASSIONFRUIT.
Get some pulp (GOYA brand is our go to) and don’t even bother making a syrup. Let it melt and measure it straight from the bag if you have to. Whatever it takes, this is gonna be worth it.
NOW let’s talk rum. With tiki cocktails we typically like to blend multiple rums in order to get a more complex palate and hit notes all over the scale.
For clean grassy vegetal notes, and that added bonus of using local spirit, we chose Chalong Bay Original made here in Phuket, Thailand. However any silver rum made from pressed sugar cane juice would be perfect for this. Look for french style “Rhum Agricole” or “copper pot still” rum in your local liquor store.
Next up, and this one is kinda important, Jamaican Rum. This Rum will bring the FUNK. We used Appleton Estate for ours and the deep roasty banana and jungle esters really gave this drink it’s wings. Look for something Jamaican and dark at your local liquor dealer, add it to your arsenal, spread your wings and fly.
For garnish we used a hollowed out piece of lemongrass as a straw, #sustainable , and we even torched it once with our bar torch for some added A E S T H E T I C S.
For extra credit and more good good aroma, we crinkled some fragrant kaffir lime leaves and sprinkled JUST A LIL bit of cinnamon for warmth.
The nose is fresh, warm, and fragrant. The palate is rich creamy sweetness from the palm sugar, tropical citrus from the lime and passionfruit, and a deep belly-warming mix of ripe fruit, vegetal crispiness, and mouthwatering woodiness from the two rums.
I hope you make this cocktail and cry. (tears of joy)
Thank us l8r sk8rs!
Very Good Drinks
- 40 ml or 1.25 oz Palm Sugar Syrup
- 30 ml or 1 oz Passionfruit Purée
- 20 ml or a heavy 0.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 30 ml or 1 oz Rhum Agricole (any light, funky rum is fantastic)
- 30 ml or 1 oz Jamaican Rum (we used appleton estate)
1. Shake until chilled and diluted.
2. Dump contents into your favorite cocktail glass. Must be your favorite one. Then top up with fresh ice.
3. Garnish with a lemongrass straw, and freshly crinkled kaffir lime leaves.