The Tropical Itch is a cocktail that was first poured…
“You can’t see or talk to a menehune until you drink some Menehune Juice. So drink some.” – Trader Vic
The Menehune are a legendary people who are said to live in the forests and hidden valleys of the Hawaiian islands. Lots of things, from landmarks to bottled water, are named after them an this tiki cocktail is just one of them. Menehune Juice is a cocktail of Trader Vic’s creation. It is named after that is very similar to the original Trader Vic’s Mai Tai. The difference between the two drinks is the rum used to make them. The menehune juice uses just “light Puerto Rican Rum” while the mai tai calls for a blend of rums. We like to use a light-bodied rum in the recipe, like Mount Gay The rest of the ingredients in the cocktails are the same: lime juice, simple syrup, orgeat and orange curacao.
This cocktail is refreshing and we’ve increased the syrup a bit from the original recipe to give it an extra touch of sweetness. The cocktail is not too complicated – and that isn’t always a bad thing, because it makes it approachable and easy to customize (adding different rums, more/less sweetener). This recipe is easy to mix up in small batches and the drinks go down very easily, especially during warm weather. In the event that you’re considering adding this classic to a menu, you should know that the name alone is going to attract a lot of interest from customers – but be prepared to explain what a Menehune is (and that you didn’t juice them!) before they take their first sip.
1 oz lime juice
1/2 oz orange curacao
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/4 oz orgeat
2 oz light Puerto Rican rum*
Combine all ingredients in a shaker, add ice and shake vigorously until very well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
*Note: We prefer a rum with a bit more complexity in this cocktail, so we tend to use Scarlet Ibis if we have it.