We’ve been serving up plenty of tiki flavored festivities on Tiki Tuesdays this summer. It’s been a blast and I’ve practically worn out my grass skirt. The only thing better than coming to the Shipwreck Lounge to enjoy a Mai Tai would be, as I can see it, making your own. Then every day is Tiki day!
We make everything from scratch here, so I thought I would share with you the recipes for two of the key ingredients (depending on which direction you go in) for a proper Mai Tai (hint: leave the red dye at home): orgeat and falernum (such great words, don’t you think?). Each one is simple and straightforward to make yourself. Just don’t confuse the two! They are quite distinctive and will dramatically alter the flavor of your cocktail.
For falernum, that spunky combination of citrus and spices key to tiki inspired cocktails such as Rum Swizzle and Navy Grog, we turn to Imbibe Magazine for bartender Bob McCoy’s recipe. While it is simple, there are several steps and it was a little too long to include, but you can read the recipe here.
2 cups raw almonds, sliced or chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon orange flower water
1 ounce vodka
1. Toast almonds at 400°F for 4 minutes, shaking after 2 minutes.
2. Cool almonds and then pulverize them with a blender or food processor.
3. In a saucepan, cook the sugar and water on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to boil, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Add pulverized almonds and simmer on low heat, stirring frequently. When mixture is about to boil, remove from heat and cover. Let it sit for a minimum of 3 hours and no more than 12 hours.
5. Strain steeped mixture through three layers of cheesecloth into a bowl, squeezing the cloth as you go.
6. Add orange flower water and vodka, then stir. Funnel into glass jar or bottle.