The Mai Tai is a world famous classic. I have already written a few lines about its ups and downs, its diversity and its history in the past, so I do not want to roll up these details again. Today’s modification yet deserves a separate article.
As you can already derive from the name, the Mai Ta-IPA is a special version of the classic which relies on beer in the preparation. On an India Pale Ale to be exact. Even though I needed some time to find my way with the gustatory depths of the very vigorously hopped and – for my personal taste – often too fruity brewing style, meanwhile I do enjoy IPAs and my frequency of ordering them in a pub or somewhere else has highly increased. That the fruity-bitter hop notes, however, would work well in a cocktail, was no surprise to me. Therefore I did not hesitate for long when I came across this very interesting recipe.
It comes from Jacob Grier, the author of the highly recommended cocktail book “Cocktails on Tap” (2015). Grier explains that he has created this recipe together with Ezra Johnson-Greenough at the New Orleans Cocktail Conference in 2012. The recipe is clearly based on the original one by Trader Vic, but, however, offers some interesting modifications. Grier uses equal parts of white and aged rum (in the original version El Dorado Demerara Rum is used, so I did too). Real Orgeat is indispensable for a real Mai Tai (even though I have replaced this ingredient – shame on me – by a hazelnut liqueur in my Galumbi-Mai Tai; this sacrilege hopefully will be sanctified by it’s taste – though you might of course remark that my recipe is no real Mai Tai any longer). Finally the addition of IPA gives the drink a very complex depth and the bitter, fruity tones perfectly suit the overall picture. You must absolutely try this recipe!
Decorated with a small ironic cocktail parasol, this drink is excellent both in summer or winter. Cheers to Jacob Grier and Ezra Johnson-Greenough!
Recipe (in US-typical ounces details):
1 ½ oz IPA
1 oz white rum
1 oz aged rum (El Dorado Demerara Rum)
1 oz lime juice
¾ oz orgeat
½ oz orange curacao
Preparation: Mix all ingredients in your shaker and shake vigorously on ice. Then strain into a chilled glass.
Glass: Tumbler or Collins (I opted for the Perfect D.O.F. Glass from the Spiegelau Perfect Serve Collection by Stephan Hinz)
Garnish: cocktail parasol and cocktail cherries (I use Griottines cherries, in my opinion they are the best.)
Buying sources: El Dorado Rum can be found in specialized liqueur stores. Depending on your place of residence you will also have to visit a specialized trader in order to get your hands on a quality IPA and the almond syrup “orgeat”.