By the glass:
New vibes for those who imbibe
COURTESY DAVID CROXFORD
A Smooth Shredder adds a touch of vanilla to a mai tai flavor base.
A new reference book explores legend and lore of the mai tai
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If you're a purist, a mai tai is rum, orange curacao, orget, simple syrup and lime. If you're an adventurer, though, that's just the start. Today's mai tai uses the rum-plus-fruitiness base as a template and builds from there with fresh fruit, candied fruit, even li hing mui powder and Jell-O.
Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi explores the territory in "The New Wave Mai Tai" (Watermark, $15.95), the latest from the veteran writer (she's also the Star-Bulletin's travel columnist).
More than just recipes, the book covers the history of the mai tai, a primer on rum and "Mai Tai Tales," true stories in which the mai tai plays an important part.
The recipes number more than 50 in a myriad tropical flavors, with names like Mai Tai-Jito, Mango'd Mai Tai Blues and Pakini Mai Tai, which show the lightness of spirit attached to the drink.
A launch party for the book will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 20 at Planet Hollywood Honolulu's newly renovated tiki bar, coupled with a bartender showdown to choose the mai tai of the month. Tickets are $17, which includes two mai tai samples and a pupu buffet; or $29 VIP, which adds a copy of the book.
Call 550-8457 or visit www.honoluluboxoffice.com. Must be 21 or older.
In the meantime, try a new wave mai tai suggestion from the book:
1 ounce light rum (Matusalem Platino preferred)
1 vanilla bean, crushed
1/4 ounce rock candy syrup or simple syrup
1/2 ounce orange curacao
Fresh lime juice
Fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 ounce dark rum (Black Seal preferred)
Pour light rum, vanilla, syrup and curacao in that order, into a Collins glass over ice. Fill almost to the top with equal parts lime and lemon juices. Add dark rum. Don't stir. Garnish with mint sprig.
Nutritional information unavailable.