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K

what are some good or decent options?

edit: i'm curious about what people use in different price options not just the rich people :)

thanks

[ Edited by: kleptic 2007-11-21 22:11 ]

Until I found Appleton Estate 12 I used Myers and it was just ok. But the difference is big. And Saint James Ambré is quite unexpensive. So, for a middle-range Mai Tai, 1 oz Myers and 1 oz Saint James Ambré. But for some more bucks you can get Appleton Estate V/X, and I think those are well spent bucks.

You have a lot of info in that thread:

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=24683&forum=10&hilite=appleton%20mai%20tai


http://bastardosaffrin.blogspot.com

[ Edited by: BastardoSaffrin 2007-11-22 02:25 ]

[ Edited by: BastardoSaffrin 2007-11-22 02:25 ]

I offered this idea before and some people laughed, others tried it, some swear by it......

Step 1 - Grab your two bottles of rum and remove the caps.

Step 2 - Look around and make sure you are alone. If their are people around, make sure they are your friends. Or at least that they know you well enough they wont find this process odd. Odd for you I mean....

Step 3 - Place the necks of the two bottles close together.

Step 4 - Sniff your two bottles together.

When you are done laughing at this suggestion, read on.

Why are you sniffing rum?

Well, if your two rums smell like two rums, you have exactly that.... two rums.

If, however, your two rums together smell yummy (more so than just some rum, you lush), like something a bit more than just two rums, you have a good pair to try in a Mai-Tai.

Specifically to the Mai-tai, do this same bottle-sniff trick and include your bottle of orgeat. If the three together make you wonder if you really can snort alcohol since you already have your nose right there, you have found a winning combination.

Your success will vary accordingly. I only guarantee that you will look foolish sniffing rum bottles.

But! Specifically to your question ('bout dam time! ya long winded freak!....) Rum Pairings.

My completely biased and unabashed opinions for suitable Mai-tai rum pairings are:

Appelton Estate VX and Saint James Ambre
Appelton Dark and Saint James Hors'd Age (sp?) Black Label
Appelton Estate XO and Cruzan Estate Single Barrel
Coruba and Oronoco (comes across as spicy, more research is needed)
Brugal Dark and Cruzan Single Barrel
Ron-Rico and "Old Oak Gold" (this pair was tasty, but a bit weak. A dash of orange bitters helped)

I have many more pairings I have tried, but this list are the only ones I am willing to try again.

Remember, and this is important, this list is from my bar and involves my taste for rum and is what I like. You may not like any of these. But, you have a starting point and I am hoping that you will share what you discover.

And, here is a very long discussion about the Mai-Tai....

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic=20200&forum=10&start=0

The Rum discussion starts on page four or five.

And, last but not least.... Welcome to Tiki Central. Leave your liver by the door, it will only get beat up in here.

Um, last week I was talking with a the London TV's bar manager about this and they use Appleton Estate Extra and Rhum Negrita, a rum that Beachbum Berry classified as "stuff to avoid". Maybe Negrita sounds like exotic in the US, but here in Spain it has always been in the shelf of the scary bars, those where you'd never enter because the only patron is an old guy with a filthy jacket and a dog. And they use it in Trader Vic's, it sounded funny to me.

I tend to use Appleton Estates Extra (12 YO) and Saint James Hors D'Age exclusively for my Mai Tais. I've never substituted any other Martinique rum for the Hors D'Age but I have used Coruba in it's place when I've run out of Hors D'Age. I've never been overly fond of Meyer's dark and just don't usually pick up any Cruzan - don't know why . . . I just don't. I never substitute anything else for the 12 year old Appleton . . . unless it's going to be the 21 year old Appleton - but I haven't yet - maybe on my deathbed!
In the past, I have mixed various combinations of rum . . . but now I'm pretty much settled on the two I first mentioned above.

K

thanks for the help, I'll make a shopping list and start looking for some of these rums.

I'm new to this thread - thanks to all for the various links. Will have to get some St James and try that recipe. However, I've made a terrific tasting concoction using Pyrat XO and Ron Zacara 23. Has anyone else tried some of these "newer" rums?

On 2007-11-22 10:47, BastardoSaffrin wrote:
Um, last week I was talking with a the London TV's bar manager about this and they use Appleton Estate Extra and Rhum Negrita, a rum that Beachbum Berry classified as "stuff to avoid". Maybe Negrita sounds like exotic in the US, but here in Spain it has always been in the shelf of the scary bars, those where you'd never enter because the only patron is an old guy with a filthy jacket and a dog. And they use it in Trader Vic's, it sounded funny to me.

Trader Vics here have only just started using Appleton rums, Havana Club is still the House pour but Appleton have sneaked in on 17 drinks including the Mai Tai which they are very happy about. Not sure about the Negrita.
Anyway, I think VX can make a very decent mai tai.

.... I never substitute anything else for the 12 year old Appleton . . .

Always. Never. Only. Overly broad and general statements like this are dangerous. Especially in the cocktail world. One should never go at a cocktail with absolutes.

Nor should you just pour willy-nilly whatever you have that is close to the recipe. All rums are not created equal. (the same is true for a lot of vodka and most tequila and I don't just mean the name-brand stuff) The recipe of the drink you are making is there for a reason and one or more people have worked that recipe to some sort of perfection. If the recipe calls for something specific you should try as hard as you can to find and use that something.

Now, having said that... It is perfectly acceptable to use whatever you want in your cocktail. If you can't find or afford a 12 year old rum, by all means use what you have. It is your drink, pour whatever you like.

The point I am going for is people who say they never or they only bother me because what they don't say is how they got to that absolute position. Did you decide that was your favorite and stop because you had found your level of perfection? Did someone who's opinion you value give the knowledge to you and you fear to challenge it because you trust their opinion?

Or, are you like me and you got behind your bar one night and said "This smells good, I wonder would it would taste like in a Mai-Tai (or whatever cocktail you are making)?" Which was followed by either "this sucks" or "well, it could use a bit of..." And after a while I came up with a list of things that pair well together and a list in my head of pairs not to try again.

Now, I know I say all the time you should always or never in regards to cocktails so I am just as guilty. So, in order that we can all cleanse our collective cocktail sins in this regard, you must now violate anything you regard as an absolute in regards to cocktails. If you only use a float of Myers on your Mai-Tai, you must make your next one without it. If you never use anything but a specific rum, your next cocktail has to use a different rum.

It is for the greater good. And who knows, maybe one of us will come up with something exciting....

S

On 2007-11-23 07:29, Chip and Andy wrote:
All rums are not created equal.

Amen, brother.

I am constantly amazed, perhaps too amazed, at how different rums in different cocktails, and even different mixers. My recent foray into the simple Rum & Ginger Ale - 13 different combinations so far - has showed how some rums get lost, some overpower, and a couple merged into a delightfully new concoction. And then changing the ginger ale makes it all happen again, but with different rums in different ways.

Personally, I advocate using the best rum for the cocktail at hand. Finding the best rum for a particular cocktail can be a bitch though.

I have never been in the cocktail business in any professional manner nor do I consider myself an expert on any specific topic thereon and I do not believe I've ever presented myself in that manner. I do not consider myself a member of the "Cocktail World" - I just like to drink cocktails once in a while.
I am sorry if one is bothered by my use of the words 'never' and 'only' in describing how I make my own personal drinks in my own personal bar. When I find something I like I tend to stick with it not feeling the urge or need to experiment and explore other avenues - I'll leave that to the "Experts" and if I am so inclined, I'll try one of their concoctions if it appears to me that I may like it.
The rums that I prefer to use to make my Mai Tais were based on Beachbum Berry's $100.00 Mai Tai - I tried it, I liked it - so that's what I use whenever I want to have a close approximation of Trader Vic's original.
And I do believe I made myself very clear in the posting that was quoted that the rums I mentioned were MY personal choices . . .

coruba rum is good...in fact it's the rum trader vics uses after tthe trader vics rum runs out on a busy night at the bar....

Sorry, I'm not trying call you, or anyone out, Gentle Hangman. My goal is not to single out anyones cocktail sins, professional or amateur status, or anything else in regards to what you use, drink, or how you get there for your cocktails.

I only used your statement for the quote line because it was a handy and easy example of a point I wanted to make to myself and anyone else reading and that is cocktails are supposed to be something enjoyed (that is why I pulled your name off the quote line). You should enjoy the making of a cocktail, the drinking of a cocktail, the whole experience of a cocktail... And saying Always or Never in that regards is potentially limiting to that goal. The age-old question is how do you know if you haven't tried?

You have tried. You are still trying. I know I am. Most of us are still trying to find the 'perfect Mai-Tai' or any number of other drinks worthy of enjoyment.

But, the new people joining the conversation are not going to know how any of us that have been around here a while came to our absolute positions and may be afraid to try something new because so many of us are so certain of what we have found to be 'the best way for our tastes.'

For me, it is 'only' Appleton VX and St James Amber for my Mai-Tais. And I say only in this context because that is my preference. I will, however, try just about any other pair of rums to see if it works.

My long-winded point is that we all have our preference for the liquors in our drinks. Most of us try and stick to the original or authentic versions as much as we can (or afford). We shouldn't limit ourselves from other options because it might run contrary to what is authentic or original because it just might be better.

So, like I said... Expand your horizons and try something new and break your own rules in the next cocktail you make. You just might find something exciting to share.

This time I'll quote myself just to prove the point:

In the past, I have mixed various combinations of rum . . . but now I'm pretty much settled on the two I first mentioned above.

I had qualified my preference.

edit: i'm curious about what people use in different price options not just the rich people

I apologize if I happen to fall into the later category.


I bet you feel more like you do now now than you did when you came in.

GH

[ Edited by: GentleHangman 2007-11-23 15:18 ]

It was a holiday weekend, so I splurged & got a bottle of the St James 15 - mixed with Appleton's - and this was a very different taste than I'm used to - smokier & "stronger" tasting - all in all a very delicious cocktail - but I think I may prefer the "sweeter" Pyrat/Ron Zacara combo - Though this is not the final word - I'm definitely up for more "research" on the subject!

I'll have to double back and read this thread later. Been offline for a few days.

I generally use equal parts of Mount Gay Eclipse and Coruba, then float a shot of the best Appleton Estate product my budget can stand, which is usually Extra (12 yr). I change it up every so often, but that's what I use most of the time.

Sometimes I substitute Appleton Estate V/X for the Mount Gay Eclipse, but I prefer to use Mount Gay Extra Old. As for the floater, sometimes Pyrat, El Dorado, and other premium rums are on sale around here. I wait for the sales before getting any of those. So far AE 21 yr has never gone on sale and I'm reluctant to spring for the $160 even though it would be a treat.

S

On 2007-11-27 08:23, The Gnomon wrote:
So far AE 21 yr has never gone on sale and I'm reluctant to spring for the $160 even though it would be a treat.

Appleton Estate 21-year-old for $160?!?!? I think I paid $65 for it...

Wow, I see it for as low as $67 in Arkansas up to $140 in Chicago. Ouch on the high end!

I was lucky enough to pay only $60.50 each for the two bottles of Appleton 21 that I got at a local Crown Liquors - they only had two bottles (sealed in embossed tins) originally priced at $93.95 each. I was able to bargain them down when I offered to buy both bottles - which they'd had hidden in the back room for almost a year! I had only gone in there to pick up the two bottles of Saint James Hors D'Age that they'd 'special-ordered' for me and the store manager brought out the two bottles to show me and ask my opinion - I lied and said that it was only 'pretty good' and wasn't really worth that price suggesting that that may be why it was relegated to the back room but . . . . I offered to take them both off their hands if they'd make the price more 'reasonable'
I know . . . I know . . . I'm a bad man . . . VERY, VERY BAD MAN!
Ask me if I care.

S

I'm always trying different combinations of rums in my Mai Tai's and so far my favourite is English Harbour 5y.o. with Havana Club Anejo Reserva.
I have the Appleton 21y.o. myself and really don't think that much of it.I personally find that the older rum's,smell great but don't taste as good as they smell.

I just wanted to say I just tried a Pusser's and 8 yr Barbancourt Mai Tai and it was yucky. Plus the color put me off. I think you have to have at least one dark rum or it's going to look sickly. I was gonna give it to the dog but Mrs. Pappy won't let me get one so I had to drink it.

On 2007-11-27 11:11, Scottes wrote:

On 2007-11-27 08:23, The Gnomon wrote:
So far AE 21 yr has never gone on sale and I'm reluctant to spring for the $160 even though it would be a treat.

Appleton Estate 21-year-old for $160?!?!? I think I paid $65 for it...

Wow, I see it for as low as $67 in Arkansas up to $140 in Chicago. Ouch on the high end!

Good news and bad news.

The good news is the quotes I got over the phone from two county stores that carried it were from people with thick foreign accents (non-Hispanic, otherwise, I'd've gotten the quotes en castellanito). When I showed up at one of those stores to get something else they had that no one else did, I checked out the AEs, of course. They had been telling me $116 and it always sounded like $160.

The good news is that it's $44 cheaper than I thought. The bad news is that I'm still not springing for it at $116. Last bottle I had was a gift. As you might imagine, I nursed that bottle for a long time. Probably coulda used the inert gas to keep it longer. Toward the end I just used it up fast. Can't remember what I paid before that, but it was a long time ago. I only sort of remember what it tastes like because I use a lot of Extra. Extra costs me $26 on sale. I don't recall the 21 yr being 4 to 5 times better. More like twice as good.

S

On 2007-11-30 06:44, The Gnomon wrote:
...I'm still not springing for it at $116.

I just checked wine-searcher.com for MD, VA, and DC and found 1 place, for $125. That sucks. Remind me never to move down there.

We finally got our hands on some St. James recently so this evening the Mai Tai mix was Appleton V/X and St James Royal Ambre. Nice!

But to add to the debate... I combined Appleton Special Gold and Clement Premiere Canne recently and that resulted in a very crisp and dry Mai Tai. Really enjoyable.

For the moment Im using Appleton V/X with Coruba dark but I would like to compare the St James hors dage with Royal ambre.

OK, my apologies in advance for the tone of this rant...... I am sober tonight and therefore easily set into a snit.

On with the snit/rant/soapbox preaching!

Will someone please share their Mai-Tai recipe that includes the float of rum on top? Share your recipe, and your source please.

Bora Boris posted a cool pix of some Mai-Tai's over here and at least three of them have some sort of dark rum sitting on top of them.

I am dying to know where this comes from and why so many people put a float on their Mai-tais! Why? Why do you do that?

Unless I've grossly misunderstood Victor Bergeron's narrative concerning his creation of the Mai Tai In Oakland Cal. back in 1944 . . . the drink was 'all about' the rum. The other ingredients were carefully selected to compliment the rum, not obscure or overwhelm it. And he makes no mention of 'floating' anything 'cept maybe half a lime shell for color. And . . . he only used ONE rum; the Wray & Nephew 17 year old.
Now, to approximate the original . . . I, as many other's have done turn to Beachbum Berry's $100.00 Mai Tai recipe as the modern Holy Grail of Mai Tai recipes . . . one as close to the original as we're going to get unless Appleton Estates comes up with an equivalent to the 17 year old Wray & Nephew of another era.
So, following BB's recipe I mix my Mai Tais (Using Appleton Estates 12 year old & Saint James Hors D'Age) and it produces a wonderful Mai Tai because within you have the sensual fan-dance of the Curacao, Orgeat, Rock Candy Syrup and Lime enjoying the loving embrace of the two married rums finishing with the delicate applause of the fresh sprig of mint.
Admittedly, I've taken that drink and added the following as a 'floater':

Coruba
More Appleton Estates
More Saint James
El Dorado 12
El Dorado 15

And in each case, at least to me, the 'floater' turned my wonderful Mai Tai Ballet into a Burlesque!

Now . . . maybe this 'floater' thing works with some of the Mai Tai variations offered by well-known venues . . . and maybe they cut back on their main rum ingredients and take the 'floater' into consideration to equal the usual 2 oz. of rum(s) - I don't know. But for my taste . . . with the recipe I use . . . it just throws the whole drink out of wack.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

On 2007-12-07 19:24, rev_thumper wrote:
We finally got our hands on some St. James recently so this evening the Mai Tai mix was Appleton V/X and St James Royal Ambre. Nice!

On 2007-12-23 05:35, Little fragrant Tiare wrote:
For the moment Im using Appleton V/X with Coruba dark but I would like to compare the St James hors dage with Royal ambre.

Appleton V/X is okay, but extra is great. Switch to extra as soon as you can grab a bottle of it. It gives a more complex, full-bodied, aromatic maitai.


http://bastardosaffrin.blogspot.com

[ Edited by: BastardoSaffrin 2007-12-27 17:56 ]

Recreating the Mai Tai has always been about getting as close to the W&N 17 year old. Your rum choice needs to be pot-still'y, sweet but quite dry and certainly high proof.

The Silver Seal (28 yr) from Guyana is very similar to the JW&N 17 we have at our bar - I highly recommend you find a bottle, although it's not easy.......

Italian company that won't export:
http://www.pedrelli.com/en/search/dept/rum/q/silver-seal

UK based company that has just received 2 cases (not on the site yet though):
http://www.specialitydrinks.com

The El Dorado Overproof makes an ok Mai Tai too, especially when mixed with some XM10 year old. Nothing is as good as the 17 though - sad but true

On 2007-12-28 05:31, paulipbartender wrote:
Recreating the Mai Tai has always been about getting as close to the W&N 17 year old. Your rum choice needs to be pot-still'y, sweet but quite dry and certainly high proof.

Part of the reason that VJB dropped the W&N 17 was its dwindling availability, the other part of the reason was that the blending was so inconsistent then, a bottle of W&N 17 could not be trusted to possess its original character.

I hear of places that have miraculously acquired a bottle or so of W&N 17 and charge an arm and a leg for a Mai Tai made with it. I'd have to immediately question whether or not that was a bottle of the good blend.

I would suspect that the majority of any remaining bottles of W&N 17 would be of the crappy blend, most of the good blends being used up ages ago. There's always the chance that someone inherited someone's decent wine and spirits collection and has not touched it nor had it appraised. Then you might find a good W&N 17, maybe.

I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of AE Master Blenders' Legacy 18 in hopes that it comes close to what W&N 17 once was. It's still unavailable in the US. Of course, having no good blend W&N 17 (or any blend) to compare it to, I would be looking to see if it has the characteristics that I envision good blend W&N 17 probably had based on descriptions from the past.

Anyone know when it will be released in the US?

I can vouch that Pauls bar is one of the few paces that recieved any of the 17YO that was available, It was only given to a few people in the Uk until the Estate realised what they wer giving away.
6 Bottles in Total
Apparently it was part of some long lost stock found and verified to be 17YO by Joy Spence Appletons Master Blender, and that is from the horses mouth, so to say.
From what i have been told the Legacy is only going to be available in Canada, but an older rum than the 21YO might also be on the Horizon

On 2007-12-28 08:13, cheekytiki wrote:
I can vouch that Pauls bar is one of the few paces that recieved any of the 17YO that was available, It was only given to a few people in the Uk until the Estate realised what they wer giving away.
6 Bottles in Total
Apparently it was part of some long lost stock found and verified to be 17YO by Joy Spence Appletons Master Blender, and that is from the horses mouth, so to say.
From what i have been told the Legacy is only going to be available in Canada, but an older rum than the 21YO might also be on the Horizon

I guess what you say about AE is good news, though I don't want to make excursions to Canada whenever I run out of Legacy. The horizontal older than 21 sounds promising, only Canada, too?

But the really good news is there is a good blend W&N 17, if Joy Spence had anything to do with it. Thanks.

I've tried several different blends of rum for my "everyday" Mai-Tai. The one that I like the best is Pyrat XO and Goslings Black Seal. I used to use Coruba instead of Black Seal, but the BS is significantly better in my opinion.

I personally like having some of the sweetness in the drink coming from the rum itself. While I have the Appleton Extra and the St. James Hors D'age, I don't often make drinks from it, since it is expensive, and I like the other ones very much. Of course it helps that I was able to pick up my Gosling's at $10 a bottle... wish I could find more at that price, as I've gone through a bunch of it.

I also made a large batch of Mai-Tai's for a party using Pyrat XO and Brugal Dark. These came out very well too.

Chris

Alas the Master Blenders Legacy, while a fine rum isn't anything like the JW&N 17 year old. It's a lovely blend though and sits beautifully between the Extra and the 21.....I may have to go get myself some to ease this miserable January......

The 17 year we have was actually bottled in the 40's and lost in JW&N private stores til a few years ago when the 6 were found. The reason they don't make it now is the Appleton production facility has modernised to the extent it can't be reproduced. Wish we'd kept it rather than kept tucking into it.....we've got less than a quarter bottle left of the 2 we were given :(

Best Mai Tai's we'll ever have have been drunk from it - Mai Tai Roa Ae!

On 2008-01-08 08:27, paulipbartender wrote:
Wish we'd kept it rather than kept tucking into it.....we've got less than a quarter bottle left of the 2 we were given :(

Best Mai Tai's we'll ever have have been drunk from it - Mai Tai Roa Ae!

That`s a real precious less than a quarter...

Ahhhh, Little fragrant Tiki Tiare, it's always pleasure to meet you, on whichever forums we find ourselves. Seems we both will go wherever the rum chat goes......

Seems so..make sure you save some of that precious quarter `till I come and visit you..

Give me some warning and I'll get the Mai Tai's shaken and ready :)

DEAL!

Okay, so is the general consensus that a good mai tai should include a blend of two rums, 1 oz. each? I've typically gone with 2 oz. of Appleton's 12 year, and it makes a great mai tai. But I'm up for blending it (or Appleton's V/X, for that matter) with another rum. Any suggestions?

Try St James hors´d age and some high proof dark rum.
I have also heard that the Silver seal is a good choice, never tried it myself yet though, but I will.

[ Edited by: Little fragrant Tiare 2008-01-20 14:20 ]

I make my Mai Tais with several of the variations of pairings mentioned in this thread and each has its merits.

Here's another variation that none of my guests has ever failed to love: try making Mai Tais with one rum, El Dorado 15 -- it always makes me want to lick the glass clean.

Here's another variation that none of my guests has ever failed to love: try making Mai Tais with one rum, El Dorado 15 -- it always makes me want to lick the glass clean.

I just tried that, and it does indeed make an excellent Mai Tai.

Never tried it with that rum..that`s my fav sipping rum..

Okay, I've conducted an informal taste test over the last week or so, testing three different rum combinations in the process:

  1. 1 oz. of Appleton's Extra and 1 oz. St. James Extra Old

  2. 1 oz. Appleton's V/X and 1 oz. St. James Extra Old

  3. 2 oz. Appleton's Extra

So far, #3 is a clear winner.

My #1 is one ounce each Appleton Estates Extra & St James Hors D'Age
My #2 is 2 ounces of El Dorado 15 year old.
My #3 is 2 Ounces of Appleton Estates Extra

For celebration of an ultra "Special Occasion" I make myself a Mai Tai with one ounce each of Appleton Estates 21 year old & St. James Hors D'Age - yes, I still find the St. James necessary to pair with the 21 year old Appleton and for me, the marriage is exquisite.

Similar to GentlemanHangman;

1oz of Appleton Extra or Barbancourt 8 yr old
and
1oz El Dodorado 15 year

I always use the El Dodorado 15 year and switch between the Appleton's or Barbancourt.
I've yet to use the Appleton 21 year!

[ Edited by: Kon-Hemsby 2008-01-27 00:31 ]

On 2008-01-26 07:38, GentleHangman wrote:
My #1 is one ounce each Appleton Estates Extra & St James Hors D'Age
My #2 is 2 ounces of El Dorado 15 year old.
My #3 is 2 Ounces of Appleton Estates Extra

For celebration of an ultra "Special Occasion" I make myself a Mai Tai with one ounce each of Appleton Estates 21 year old & St. James Hors D'Age - yes, I still find the St. James necessary to pair with the 21 year old Appleton and for me, the marriage is exquisite.

I bought some El Dorado 15 year-old once and thought it made a fine mai tai. But I haven't compared it directly with the Appleton Estates Extra.

Unfortunately, I haven't come across a bottle of St. James Hors D'Age. The enormous liquor store I frequent didn't have it in stock last time I checked. The Extra Old apparently is not an adequate substitute.

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