When you need to take a short flight between islands…
A simple daiquiri is a great base for playing with new rums and new sweeteners. It’s such a straightforward drink that a single change can have a big impact and it’s fun (and delicious) to see the difference one substitution makes. You can always use a more complicated cocktail – and by that we mean one with a longer ingredient list – as a stating point for playing with new flavors, too. This cocktail was inspired by the basic ratios that we use in a mai tai, though the results are quite different than the classic mai tai that we all know and love.
The cocktail starts with a molasses- infused simple syrup. Molasses is a little too powerful for this cocktail on its own – not to mention that some brands are too thick to easily blend into a cocktail in a few shakes – so we toned it down by whisking it into a small amount of simple syrup. From there, we added Jamaican rum, spiced rum and coconut rum. While coconut rum often brings to mind an overly sweetened coconut-flavored liqueur, there are a couple of brands out there (Captain Morgan is one) that make a higher proof coconut rum that has a much more natural flavor. That tropical flavor contrasts well with the rich molasses syrup and the funky molasses notes of the Jamaican rum. We further fortified the cocktail with spiced rum (again, using El Dorado, which makes a high proof not-very-sweet spiced rum) and allspice dram, before adding in lime, Grand Marnier and orgeat.
The resulting cocktail has plenty of rum, a hint of tropical fruit, a lot of warm brown sugar and spice, and a splash of citrus. It’s the kind of cocktail you might want to sip on the beach if you’re on a winter getaway, enjoying the sun with a hint of holiday spice. Or if you just feel like playing around with a bunch of different rums and happen to have some molasses in the bar.
Tai One On
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 tsp molasses
1 oz Jamaican rum (Appleton)
1/2 oz spiced rum (El Dorado)
1/2 oz coconut rum (Captain Morgan)
1 oz lime juice
1/4 oz allspice dram
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz orgeat (pref. Giffard)
In a small bowl, whisk together simple syrup and molasses until well-combined.
In a cocktail shaker, combine 1/2 oz of the molasses syrup mixture with all other ingredients. Fill with ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled. Strain into a mai tai glass (tall rocks glass) filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a spent lime wedge and a cherry.