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The World's Best Mai Tai

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I've always thought Mai Tais were kind of campy, something fun to have with roast pork shoulder and pineapple. Now I know better. Recently my friend Joe Raffa, a Hawaiian native, mixed the world's greatest Mai Tai from his extensive rum collection. He calls it the $100 Mai Tai because it would cost $100 to buy bottles of all the necessary ingredients. But the drink itself costs much less. And with last week's news about the growing GDP, it seemed ok to post. Especially because it's just so good: caramelly yet tart, smooth yet bright, perfectly balanced — and supersmart (case in point: instead of Cointreau, Joe uses Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb, an orange liqueur made from rhum agricole instead of neutral spirits. "It keeps the rum with the rum," Joe says. And in place of ordinary simple syrup, he uses Depaz cane syrup, a Caribbean sweetener gives the Mai Tai a richer maple note.) The best part, Joe is José Andrés' chef de cuisine at Oyamel in DC, and has been dropping hints that his boss should open a Hawaiian restaurant in DC serving roast pork and really good Mai Tais. All I can say is, José, please, listen up. Recipe after the jump.


Best Mai Tai Ever
1 oz Appleton 12-year aged Jamaican rum
1 oz Saint James aged Martinique rhum agricole
1 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb
1/4 oz Depaz cane syrup
1/4 oz orgeat syrup
Mint sprig, for garnish
Fill a shaker and a rocks glass with ice. Add all of the ingredients except the mint to the shaker. Shake well and strain into the rocks glass, garnish with the mint sprig and serve.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

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