Weekend Cocktail: Chai-Tai

I love mai-tais, they bring back lots of great memories of fun times in Hawaii. Apparently, most places use a mix to make it these days, but we decided to try our hand at making it from scratch instead. Really there was not much to it at all except we had to buy Orgeat, which is an syrup made from almonds, sugar and rose water. It has an amazing flavor and makes drink in my opinion. (I’m looking forward to trying it as a sweetener in coffee.)
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We added a little extra flavor to our version of the mai-tai by infusing the light rum with chai tea. Every chai seems to have a different balance of flavors, ours was heavy on cinnamon which was a great flavor with the rum and orgeat. I think a chai that was heavy in anise or cardamom would be good too.

Chai-Tai

Skip the tea for a regular mai-tai.

  • bag of chai tea
  • 2 oz white rum
  • 1/2 oz orange Curaçao
  • 1/2 oz orgeat
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz gold rum
  • cocktail shaker
  • ice
  • old-fashioned glass
  • fruit for garnish, a maraschino cherry or orange is traditional, but I had pineapple on hand.

1. Let the tea seep in the white rum for at least three minutes. The longer it seeps the more flavor you’ll get. Squeeze the bag out and discard.

2. Shake the white rum, Curaçao, orgeat and lime juice together with ice.

3. Pour into glass. Top with the gold rum.

4. Garnish with fruit.

Just a note on the rums: Traditionally this is made with three rums, an ounce each of white and gold in the shaken part an and ounce of dark floated on top at the end. We did not have all three, so just adapted with two. I don’t think it had a big effect on the flavor.

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