Pinky In, Pinky Out - (Indian) Autumn Edition by Jason Smith
photos by Yea-Ming Chen
Autumn. Anyone want a pumpkin-tini? Good. Normally I’d suggest something that was befitting the season, but unfortunately my dog just died and his favorite drink was the Mai Tai, so I guess that’s where we’re going with this. Now, I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, dogs should like beer! Have you ever seen Strange Brew? Hose-head drank more beer than Bob and Doug combined!!! But no! Our ding-dong of a dog turned his nose up every time I poured one into his bowl. A pooch that doesn’t drink? I was beginning to think that maybe we picked the wrong dog from the pound until I accidentally spilled a Mai Tai on our rug and—I shit you not—Monroe not only pushed me out of the way to lick it up, but was also caught licking at the same spot of carpet for several days thereafter. Sorry for that mental image of carpet burn on the tongue, but seriously, he was licking that spot for days.


Credit for the invention of the Mai Tai is a contentious subject. Was it Trader Vic? Don the Beachcomber? If I plopped a delicious Mai Tai in front of you right now would you give a shit? Well, if you’re one of those ‘50s Tiki throwback types you might, but I personally save my boners for more important things. The one thing I have learned from years of making Mai Tais is that crushed ice is critical. Whatever recipe you settle on, pour it over a glass filled with crushed ice. Don’t use cubes and whatever you do, don’t fucking blend that shit! What’s the difference? A blended Mai Tai is like having sex with your foxy sister.* It might look like sex and even taste like sex, but deep down you know it’s not right. And good god, she’s your fucking sister; have the decency to make your Mai Tai over crushed ice you fucking pig!
Crushed Ice. If you’re like me you’ve got one of these ------------->
which makes PERFECT crushed ice. But if not, don’t sweat it, just throw some ice cubes in a clean dish towel, and beat the shit out of them with a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon and, voila! You’ve got crushed ice! It only seems like a hassle until you’ve done it once and realized the magic.
Okay, so on to the actual drink… Which recipe should we go with? Of the two in contention, I personally prefer Trader Vic’s recipe. It’s not just easier to make, I think it tastes better. That said I don’t even make that one! Too much lime juice (gives people heartburn) and not enough booze! Try this recipe on for size:
2 ounces light Rum (Cruzan is what I go for here, reasonably priced, and much better than Bacardi light)
1 oz Dark Rum (Should you go crazy with something high-end like Gosling’s? Don’t be stupid, it’s a mixed drink -> go for Whaler’s)
½ oz “Curaçao” (read: Triple Sec, Cointreau, Controy, etc.)
½ oz Amaretto (most recipes call for Orgeat syrup here, but really, don’t you want more booze in your booze?)
½ ounce Lime Juice (usually about ½ a regular juicy lime)
Pour over crushed ice and Garnish.
Garnish: I could go on forever about garnish. Is it bullshit? Yes! But not really. If you had no garnish, would the world end? No. If you had garnish would the world be awesome and would everyone get laid? Yes. -> Mint is the universally accepted garnish for the Mai Tai, and nothing beats the olfactory sensation of smelling fresh mint while sucking down a Mai Tai (or a Suffering Bastard for that matter, I feel a summer article coming on…). For those of us who are visually inspired, try adding a slice of pineapple, lemon, lime, orange, and/or a cocktail parasol if you’ve got one handy.
So let’s be clear, you mix this up in a bowl or a pitcher or whatever, then you pour it over CRUSHED ICE; don’t fuck that up. Garnish and you are good to go. If you’re making a Mai Tai with Coconut rum then you are probably a third tier sorority pledge and you should seriously consider the direction your life is taking.
P.S. This one also goes out to Bronzo (R.I.P.) who was also known to like my Mai Tais.
* yes, this counts even if you’re a straight chick, sheesh.
Editor's Note: This time it was totally Jason’s fault that this article was so late….