I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but my mind is all sunshine, picnics, and palm trees. Instead though… it’s all heavy coats and negative temps outside. Sigh. Spring (or, let’s be honest, summer) couldn’t come soon enough! In the mean time, I am just going to pretend that is 85 degrees and easy, breezy living with some tiki drinks.
Despite wanting to sip on tropical drinks in the heat of the summer, now is the time because it’s citrus season. The farmers market is practically bursting with fragrant lemons, limes, grapefruits, and blood oranges. Today’s cocktail recipe combines my obsession with blood oranges and my tiki kryptonite, Mai Tais, to make one delicious drink!
These classic sweet-tart sippers are perfect all on their own, but with some adjustments (and blood orange added to the mix), it makes daydreams of far-flung beaches a little more tangible.
Mai Tais are one of the most erroneously made drinks out there. Often times, pineapple juice is added, palatable and balanced dry curaçao is replaced by syrupy triple sec, and the most important component, orgeat, is completely omitted. By the time it’s all said and done, you have an entirely different, overly-sweet drink. And lets not get started on the addition of neon cherries and sour mix (yikes).
Orgeat is an almond and orange flower water-based syrup that is used in classic tiki drinks and essential to the Mai Tai recipe. Almond flavored syrups are not great replacements as you lose the depth of flavor and the added citrus notes from the orange water — plus, they are entirely too sweet. Blood oranges, though not traditional, add a nice pop of color here and support the tart limes.
If you are looking for a well-balanced drink that whisks you away from snowdrifts and puffy coats, this Blood Orange Mai Tai is just the drink for you!
Blood Orange Mai Tai (serves 1)
- 2 oz aged Jamaican dark rum
- 1/4 oz orange curacao
- 1 1/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 3/4 oz fresh blood orange juice
- 1/2 oz orgeat
- blood orange slice, garnish
- mint, garnish
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Double strain into a glass with crushed ice. Garnish with mint and blood orange slice.
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Original recipe, styling, and photography by Craft + Cocktails for Jojotastic.