Wednesday, July 22, 2015


1 oz Aged Caribbean Rum (Plantation 5 Year Barbados)
1 oz Cachaça (Cuca Fresca) (*)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Orgeat
6 drop Absinthe (Herbsaint)
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug or Double Old Fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprigs.
(*) Can substitute another sugar cane eau de vie like Rhum Agricole.

After wrapping up my last bar shift before Tales of the Cocktail, I needed to celebrate with a drink. After flipping through Beachbum Berry's Remixed, I got frustrated and decided to act on a Mai Tai variation idea of mine that called for passion fruit syrup instead of triple sec. Moreover, I wanted to add light touches of absinthe and Angostura Bitters spice to the mix to give the drink further depth. For rums, I split the difference with a dark rich rum and a grassy cachaça. As a name, I decided to keep the lingual roots of the Mai Tai and went with the Tahitian word for "Cheers!/To your health!", Manuia (Mah-nwee-ah).
On the way home, I discovered a new nocturnally flowering plant to aid in my late night garnish experiments. Once in place, it added to the floral notes that supplemented the mint aromas of the Manuia. Lime, passion fruit, and caramel on the sip set the stage for grassy rum, nutty orgeat, passion fruit, and spice on the swallow. Definitely the passion fruit took the drink in a different and more complex direction that triple sec does in the classic by taking over both the sip and swallow; plus, the added spice elements donated a decent amount of complexity here.

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