Tonight's Cocktail - Mai Tai

Larry Trask / Tuesday, April 30, 2013 @ 8:13 a.m. / Cocktail


"I've worn out several kidneys and several bladders already on bootleg rum, but I seem always ready to risk another."  Poet Hart Crane is perhaps the quintessential literary tragic drinker. Though he achieved critical recognition from the avant-garde, poor reviews of his epic poem and last work, The Bridge, confirmed to him his feelings of failure and he took his own life at sea.

Crane favored rum, having once noted, "rum has a strange power over me, it makes me feel quite innocent -- or rather, guiltless".  In his honor, we feature the Mai Tai tonight during The Cocktail Hour (6pm). Believed to have been invented by Victor Bergeron (Trader Vic) at his bar Hinky Dink's in Oakland, the Mai Tai is a complex drink but a summertime classic.

Mai Tai

1 oz. light rum
1 oz. dark rum
0.5 oz. Grand Marnier
1 oz. lime juice
0.5 oz. orgeat (almond-flavored syrup)
0.5 oz. simple syrup
1 mint sprig
Fresh fruit for garnish (orange slice, pineapple chunk, etc.)
Umbrella (optional but strongly recommended) 

 Pour all ingredients (except mint, fruit and umbrella) into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled double Old-Fashioned glass filled with cracked ice.  Garnish with mint spring, fruit and umbrella.

"I am not ready for repentance;
Nor to match regrets. For the moth
Bends no more than the still
Imploring flame. And tremorous
In the white falling flakes
Kisses are,
The only worth all granting." -- Excerpted from "Legend" published in White Buildings (1926)