Mai Tai

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

Invented (arguably) by Trader Vic in his Oakland, CA restaurant in 1944, the Mai Tai gets its name from from a friend of Vic's, who tasted his first ever concoction and remarked that the drink was "mai tai," a Tahitian colloquialism that roughly translates to "awesome." We can't argue there. 

You might hear Mai Tai and think of some drink you had at a Chinese restaurant somewhere that was extremely sweet and bright red, garnished with pineapple and cherries, but in actuality that drink couldn't have been further from the real thing. Sometime in the illustrious 70's the Mai Tai went off the rails in American restaurants, becoming bastardized into some sort of rum punch made with shitty, cheap liquor and finished with whatever sweet juice and grenadine was available. Of course they were popular! Your mom and her friends (and everyone else) loved sweet, fruity drinks of an unnaturally red hue! 

We want to put those days behind us and drink the real thing; which is a refreshing, boozy concoction straight from the beach.

Equipment:

Cocktail shaker
Crushed ice

Ingredients:

2 oz Afrohead XO Aged Dark Rum   (Appleton Estate is traditionally used)
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.75 oz orgeat syrup
.5 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao 
fresh mint
Luxardo Maraschino Cherry

Method:

Fill cocktail shaker and with crushed ice. In shaker combine rum, lime juice, orgeat, and curaçao. Shake vigorously and strain over crushed ice in a tall glass. Garnish with mint and cherry.

Rum Blush

The Caribbean is probably best known for their rums (and beaches, we'll give you that one). Essentially made from sugar, rum has much more to it than people realize. Besides the fact that some rums are distilled from fermented molasses and others from sugarcane juice, there's even more variety when you start talking about the influence of barrel aging, spices and other tweaks to a rum recipe. 

We've recently discovered Afrohead Rum. Imported from Trinidad in the West Indies, Afrohead is a premium aged dark rum that's silky smooth with notes of toasty oak and honey. Lucky for you, they're coming to our 1 year anniversary event in August, so you'll get to taste it for yourself! 

For this cocktail, we kept it simple so you could taste (and appreciate) the flavor of the rum. One thing to note - we're using our favorite grenadine from Eli Mason (made here in Nashville!), but don't expect this to be as delicious if you just grab the bright red stuff off the grocery store shelf. 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
rocks glass

ingredients:

2 oz Afrohead Premium Aged Dark Rum
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.75 oz Eli Mason Classic Grenadine
lemon slice for garnish

method:

Combine the rum, lemon juice and grenadine in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill and strain into a glass with fresh ice. Garnish with lemon slice.