Bitter Mai Tai

Campari, Jamaican rum, Curaçao, Lime juice, Orgeat
Shake and strain into an Old Fashioned glass over crushed ice, garnish with a mint sprig.
Cocktail summary
Created byJeremy Oertel, Brooklyn's Dram, NY
AuthenticityAuthentic recipe
ReferenceWSJ 3/5/11
Posted bynick on 03/05/2011


A party hit! Just the right amount of bitter from the campari. I subbed out the curaçao with grand marnier.

Dan's picture

This is a fabulous cocktail -- a modern Hall of Fame contender. You have to get your head around the Italian amaro + tropical flavors juxtaposition. Once your mind settles down, it's a wonderful combination of flavors. The Smith & Cross is essential to have enough funk (and alcohol heat) to pull it off. It is a touch sweet, but even I (the hater of all overly-sweet drinks) love is as written. You could up the lime a bit, or scale back the Curacao, if desired.

Zachary Pearson's picture

Tried this tonight, and really liked it. I'd agree that it's unbalanced toward the sweet side (Campari + orgeat + curacao is a lot of sweet!) - I think that the next try will be with 1/4 curacao and 1/4 Ango orange to cut the sweetness, which should also enhance the bitter of the Campari somewhat.



mahastew's picture

Agree. It's my wife's absolute fave; I have to make it at least three times a week. Five stars all the way.

Interesting drink! I thought it would be too sweet given the ratio of sweet to sour, but the bitterness balances everything out nicely. Fairly bitter, but also super-smooth. I'm a fan.

From other users

(scant) 1.5 Cynar/1 oz Doorly's 5/.75 Dillon Rhum/.75 Homemade Orgeat/.75 lime/.25 Creole Shrubb. Wow. Almost like tropical punch. Really good. Mint garnish is important. (4 stars)
Very good with Cynar as well. (5 stars)
try 1:1:.75:.75:.25 rum/campari/lime/orgeat/cointreau (4 stars)
Quite bitter, and a bit odd. The combination of the expected sweet / tropical Mai Tai flavors with the bright bitter citrus Campri is somewhat jarring. Still very good. Jeff loved it. (4 stars)
I made this with Cynar instead of Campari. The bitter does a good job of balancing the sweet, with a nice hit of funky rum flavor from the S&C. (4 stars)

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