The Cocktail Diaries: The Mai Tai
Tiki drinks are a way to escape to the tropics without actually buying a plane ticket. I highly recommend getting started with a Mai Tai.
I learned how to spell “liqueur” just for this occasion. Really. This week I also learned how to spell “polyurethane.” But that was not for food. I promise.
I love mixing my own cocktails, and I love even more when I can make them with ingredients I made myself (see also my Lemon Sage Martini). That’s the direction I’m heading in with this stuff – I also think it could be a great food swap item and a fun gift idea! We’re going to no less than four weddings this year, so I need to start coming up with gift ideas now.
Here’s what you need:
1/4 cup fine ground espresso
2 1/4 cup water (divided)
1 cup white sugar
1 vanilla bean (tip: these will be much less expensive at your local homebrew shop)
1 1/2 cups vodka or light rum
Start by cold-brewing the espresso. Place it and 1 1/4 cups of water in a Mason jar or other sealable jar. Shake the jar and then put it in the fridge for about 4 days.
After the coffee has cold-brewed, use a coffee filter to strain it into a quart-sized vessel – again, I prefer glass jars. Set aside.
Make a simple syrup with the sugar and 1 cup of water by heating gently (medium heat should do) and stirring until the sugar dissolves. Allow the syrup to cool.
Add the simple syrup, the vanilla bean and the vodka to the quart jar that contains the cold-brewed coffee. Allow to steep for three days before removing the vanilla bean.
Adapted from Serious Eats.