Cocktail Recipes

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Traditional Mai Tai

Rum , Classics Tiki / Tropical

In Tahitian, “Mai Tai” means “The best—out of this world,” as exclaimed by the first person to taste Trader Vic’s original version. The iconic tiki drink was created to showcase the flavor of good quality rum, and should never be neon-colored or overly sweet. A proper Mai Tai is a deep amber hue and allows the rum to shine through.

Long Island Iced Tea

Gin Liqueurs Rum Tequila Vodka , Classics

The Long Island Iced Tea is what happens when four different spirits collide to create one powerful drink. With a mysterious origin story, this potent drink will bring on the good times (and hangovers) for years to come.

Mojito

Rum , Classics Tiki / Tropical

What's the perfect way to capture summer all year long? A well-mixed Mojito, of course. A decedent of the Cuban cocktail El Draque, this five ingredient highball is a favorite of many, including Ernest Hemingway.

Plain Killer

Rum , Tiki / Tropical

At James Beard Award winner Tory Miller's pan-Asian restaurant, Sujeo in Madison, Wis., a duo of fresh pineapple and orange juices round out a Tiki-style libation (modeled on the classic Painkiller) built for two thirsty revelers.

Cobra’s Fang

Rum , Classics

Until recently, fassionola syrup, which was used in many old Tiki drinks including the Hurricane, was lost to the past. The Jonathan English Company bottled it in the 1950s, and modern bartenders have either created house-made versions or substituted passion fruit syrup. Recently, Cocktail & Sons’ Max Messier bottled a seasonal version of it with local New Orleans strawberries, as well as pineapples, mango, passion fruit and steeped hibiscus flower syrup. The little-known Cobra’s Fang was created at Don the Beachcomber and also uses falernum, which has seen its own resurgence in recent years.

Maple Smoked Rumhattan

Rum , Modern Classics

This drink from Zak Doy of Toronto’s Rush Lane & Co. enlists the help of a maple plank for smoking the inside of a glass (and reinforces Canadian pride, of course).

Holywater

Cognac Rum , Modern Classics

“The fire caramelizes the sugar, giving the drink depth and added richness,” says Lauren Schell of Seaworthy in New Orleans. “It's a crucial element of balance, in addition to being eye-catching and purposefully interactive.” The Chartreuse-meets-sugar fire inside a hollowed-out lime might be simple to create but is a visual stunner while simultaneously helping to balance out the drink’s citrus notes.

Shoulda Benne Pirate

Rum , Modern Classics

This sweet, locally inspired coffee drink from Harold’s Cabin in Charleston, S.C., adds a crumble of benne seed wafers, a South Carolina low country staple, for a unique, crunchy garnish. If you can’t find benne seed wafers, use thin sesame wafers instead.

Midnight Oil

Rum , Modern Classics

“The Midnight Oil brings to life in cocktail form one of my all-time favorite snack combos: a morning coffee and a slice or two of banana bread,” says bartender Brett Esler of Whisler’s in Austin. “With an aged rum base, a touch of the Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur for a little depth and some vanilla extract to round it out, you have yourself a slightly caffeinated, fall-driven sipper.”

Flying Elvis

Rum , Modern Classics

For football season, we had a bartender from each NFL team's hometown provide the perfect cocktail to represent their team.For the New England Patriots, “this cocktail is a little taste of humble pie, with the strength and resolve of some local navy-strength rum providing structure, a little taste of the unexpected from the Amaro di Angostura and egg white, just like the Pats playbook,” says bartender Vikram Hegde at Cambridge, Mass.’s Little Donkey. “Plus, there’s a little something festive and tropical in the Giffard Banane du Brésil liqueur (you know, because Gisele).”

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