MxMo LX: The Bitter Mai Tai

Summer is rapidly winding down – I blinked and the days are already getting shorter.  In the Bay Area, its fully into the gloom and chill of Fog-ust.  Meanwhile, back East where I’m vacationing, muggy heat is doing battle with torrential downpours.   In either case, getting away to a tropical island under sunny, blue skies sounds just about right.  Or the liquid equivalent –  a tiki cocktail.

I’ve been wanting for a while to try this contemporary twist on the classic mai tai.   Its intense color just grabs your attention – its such a bright deep…pink.  Thankfully, the “Come to Your Senses!” theme for this month’s Mixology Monday provided the inspiration.  As host David Solmonson at 12 Bottle Bar describes it:

 We all know that cocktails are supposed to taste good, and for this event, we’re going to take that as a given.  What we’re looking for, instead, are drinks that truly excite one or more of the other senses: touch, smell, sight, or even hearing.  Of course, it you want to get scientific about it – and why wouldn’t you – there are even more sensations which can be played with (echolocation, anyone?)

In addition to the intense hue, it has a nice spicy citrus aroma and the large handful of mint garnish is always welcome.  The flavor is definitely different – you can pick up the mai tai, but the bitter Campari is definitely playing equal billing.   It adds a really nice lean complexity to a tropical drink.

Bitter Mai Tai

1 ½ oz. Campari
¾ oz. Jamaican rum (Smith & Cross)
1 oz. lime juice
¾ oz. orgeat
½ oz. curacao

Shake & strain into double Old Fashioned over crushed ice.  Garnish with mint sprig.

Recipe courtesy of Jeremy Ortel, Dram via Imbibe.



5 thoughts on “MxMo LX: The Bitter Mai Tai

  1. Dave, this sounds really delicious. The Campari really has to make it stand apart and pucker things up. Many thanks for participating this month.

  2. […] pink tiki drinks set you aflutter, Dave at The Barman Cometh has just what you’re looking for, The Bitter Mai Tai.  Who says that tropical drinks need to be sweet and funky?  “In addition to the intense […]

  3. kevin says:

    Hi,it’s a damp and not too warm evening in London ,even so as soon as I saw this drink I knew I was going to make one right here,right now.It was even better than I was expecting it to be I did up the rum to an oz. on my second one, but think I preferred the original Just as well because Smith &Cross isn’t easy to find here anyway my new favourite summer drink cheers Kevin

  4. […] pink tiki drinks set you aflutter, Dave at The Barman Cometh has just what you’re looking for, The Bitter Mai Tai. Who says that tropical drinks need to be sweet and funky? “In addition to the intense hue,” […]

  5. […] addition of Campari for one of the rums is not my invention, the Bitter Mai Tai was created by Jeremy Oertel at Dram in Brooklyn, NYC. I only added the chocolate bitters to the […]

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