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January 14, 2018

Clearly Mai Tai

Wow, it’s already two weeks into 2018 and I haven’t posted on this blog in months! It’s not that I haven’t thought about you. I’ve taken pictures and jotted down ideas, but nothing seems to have actually made it to posting stage.

Let’s not stay mad. It’s a new year and I have an amazing cocktail recipe for you.

It’s amazing not just because it tastes great, but also because of how it looks. Who ever heard of a tiki drink that’s crystal clear? This clarified mai tai tastes just like the old favourite, but is mellower with a creamier mouthfeel, and looks so much classier than its cloudy cousin.

The secret is milk.

Yes, milk...

I added milk to a citrus drink.


When the milk hits that acidic citrus in the cocktail, the milk proteins curdle, forming a network that binds and traps all the things that make citrus juice cloudy like broken cell membranes. It also binds other molecules like tannins (you might recognize this term from wine) that add bitter or astringent flavours, and colour compounds.

This means that after filtering the liquid through this network of milk protein curds, you’re left with a crystal clear liquid with smoother, more rounded flavours.

And the beauty is, the same technique can be applied to pretty much any other citrus cocktail! The procedure is exactly the same. As long as you add 1/4 cup of milk for every cup of cocktail (1:4 ratio), let the mixture rest, and be careful when filtering to not disturb the curds too much, you’re good.

So turn up the heat, pretend it’s not -30C and snowing outside, and drink a (clarified) mai tai!

(Don’t forget the tiny umbrella)

Clearly Mai Tai

5.5 oz lime juice
5.5 oz El Dorado 3 year rum
2.5 oz Koloa dark rum
2 oz Smith and Cross rum
2 oz El Dorado 12 rum
2 oz Cointreau
2 oz Orgeat
2 oz Falernum
6 dashes Angostura bitters
175 mL whole milk

In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, mix all ingredients together.

Pour milk into large bowl. Pour cocktail mix into the milk (not the other way around). You should see the mixture curdling right away. That’s good! Let rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

Filter through a coffee filter into a clean bottle trying not to disturb the curds at the bottom of the filter every time you pour some through – pour slowly! If the mixture is not clear enough for you, you can filter it through the same filter a second time (don’t clean the filter, it’s the curds that help with the clarification!).

Serve chilled, neat or on the rocks!


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