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So, I've been making my mai-tais using a modified version of Beachbum Berry '100 dollar mai tai' recipe, and it's the closest thing I've had to a true Trader Vic's mai-tai. The one ingredient that really makes it is the St. James Hors d’Age rum, but it's no longer made. I've read in an older post that Rhum J.M is a good substitute, but the type of Rhum J.M wasn't specified (there's quite a few).

Can anyone chime in on this? Also, outside of Rhum JM, does anyone have another good St. James Hors d’Age substitute for this fantastic mai tai recipe? I've stopped making maitais at home a few years ago because I haven't been able to find a decent substitute rum...help me get my Mai Tai fix on! :)

Here's a video I made making the mai-tai about 10 years ago.

https://vimeo.com/2220914

[ Edited by: absolute60 2019-01-01 15:17 ]

H

According to Martin Cate, from his book Smuggler's Cove, these are good substitutes for St. James Martinique rum.

Clement VSOP, 6 year Tres Vieux and 10 year Tres
vieux (Martinique)

Duquesne Eleve Sous Bois (Martinique)

La Favorite Coeur de Ambre and Vieux (Martinique)

Niesson Eleve Sous Bois and Reserve Speciale (Martinique)

Rhum J.M.E.S.B Gold and VSOP (Martinique)

Hilt doing sum research
:)

Couple thoughts:

  • This is a very subjective question, as there are a number of rums you can substitute, but the final outcome (your satisfaction) will depend on your palate.
  • I am also a St. James fan for my Mai Tais, am down to one last bottle of the Hors d'Age, but have noted that they have re-named and re-formulated their line. It may be worth trying some of their current offerings, you may be pleased with the outcome, and if not, then go find one of the suggested substitutions.
  • I did a quick Google search on a sub for this rum, and the recommendations from a number of rum-review web sites are helpful but not necessarily trustworthy, some could be paid placements from vendors. I think Martin Cate's suggestions (mentioned earlier by Hiltiki) are a good starting point, but those rums can be hard to track down. Trying some of the current St. James offerings has the benefit of potentially pleasing your palate and also being easier to find than some of the exotic rum substitutes mentioned elsewhere.
  • Getting really particular about rums in a mai tai is expected for those of us who are better informed than the average visitor to my home. However I have found that subbing other Martinique rums and making mai tais is better than serving no mai tais to my guests. They love 'em regardless because it's such a good drink, so I encourage you to keep sharing the mai tai love even if you don't have the exact rums you prefer.

A good mai tai is worth being passionate over. Good luck in your search and with your tests. And please let us know what you find and if you settle on something.

Awesome, this is a healthy start! Thanks, guys!

J

While not being from Martinique, I'm a colossal fan of the 15 year old Rhum Barbancourt in this application; even the 8 is delicious (that's what BG Reynolds himself is using here https://youtu.be/h-KFwdS21UY) and is also a very reasonably priced bottle. HTH!

I have some of the old Rhum St James Hors D’age left from when I had to order it online several years back to replicate beach Bum Berry hundred dollar mai tai recipe. Although it was good, I concur that the Barbancourt 15 year and Appleton 12 Mix is far superior for the mai tai recipe in my opinion. My wife and I just took a cruise on the oasis of the sea is out of Port Canaveral for her birthday back in September, and one of our stops was in Saint Marteen. I was actually able to get the St. James product again, and it came in a special wood box with a glass slat in the front for displaying purposes. I have yet to open it. It was only 25$.

J

PS For any tikiphiles in the So. FL area, Sunset Corners Wine & Liquor store in Miami has the Barbancourt 15 on sale for $39/750ml. This is a complete steal. I left two on the shelf. Hurry.

On 2019-01-01 16:24, hiltiki wrote:
According to Martin Cate, from his book Smuggler's Cove, these are good substitutes for St. James Martinique rum.

Clement VSOP, 6 year Tres Vieux and 10 year Tres
vieux (Martinique)

Duquesne Eleve Sous Bois (Martinique)

La Favorite Coeur de Ambre and Vieux (Martinique)

Niesson Eleve Sous Bois and Reserve Speciale (Martinique)

Rhum J.M.E.S.B Gold and VSOP (Martinique)

So the Hors De Age is going to be the top shelf St James. This list WILL NOT DO IT JUSTICE. The Rhum JM VSOP will be the closest you will be able to get to the same flavor profile, everything else on this list will be much different.

Barbancourt is decent in a Mai Tai but will also not be the same profile as St James.

Duquesne - Gross, dump it down the drain

Niesson, Clement & La Favorite are all great rhums. I would make Ti Punches all day with these but I would only put an aged Clement into a Mai Tai.

St James is still one of may favorite rums and when it stopped being imported to the US, I went to all the liquor stores and bought them out. I have a dozen bottles in my collection currently, for a little back story. Hope this helps! Cheers!

I make a LOT of Martinique mai tais and love using the Clement Vieux, Cask Edition:

https://caskstore.com/spirits/rum/rhum-agricole/clement-cask-barrel-750-ml

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