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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.”
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).”