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I’ve just reviewed the lovely book Field Guide to Bitters and Amari devoted to all those ingredients and liqueurs we love. Love with mystery.

I can tell you when I had my first Mai Tai. And how it I made it. The year was 1967. I was starting graduate school. I had ice, rum, and a paper packet of Mai Tai ingredients. I tore it open, I mixed, I drank, I enjoyed.

I cannot remember the last time I had a Mai Tai. It’s been years. And now we have this newly minted version powered with ingredients far beyond rum. No paper packet with powder here. The power comes from a complex mix of ingredients that intrigue and I hope you. I need to buy some bitters, and I shall. And then, then, I’ll let you know.

Mai Tai Kwon Do

Yield: 1 drink


1 lime half

3 mint sprigs

2 ounces golden rum (Appleton Estate 12-year-old)

¾ ounce orange curacao

1 ounce Orgeat Syrup

4 dashes orange hitters

4 dashes lime hitters

2 dashes chile hitters

¾ ounce dark rum

1 orange wedge, 1 brandied cherry, and 1 pineapple cube on long pick, for garnish


Muddle the lime half and mint sprigs in a shaker. Fill the shaker with the golden rum, curacao, syrup, and bitters. Short-shake with ice. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Stir in the dark rum and garnish with the fruit stick.

Source: Field Guide to Bitters and Amari [Andrews McMeel, 2015]