The Stormy Mai Tai is a superb riff on a traditional Mai Tai, with a surprising main ingredient: bitters.
If you’re one to enjoy traditional drinks, you likely have an appreciation for bitters. Usually added in dashes, bitters deepen the flavor of the cocktails they’re added to, and are the perfect sidekick. It’s rare, but there are some drinks (like the Bitter Bee) that include more than a few dashes of bitters, and when they work, they work. The Stormy Mai Tai includes 1.5 ounces of bitters, and is a revelation.
The origin of this cocktail is a bit mysterious (Angostura USA shared our Bitter Bee article on their Facebook page, then later shared The Stormy Mai Tai from the wonderful Oh Gosh! blog), which makes us believe this is a modern take. But regardless of it’s origins, it’s a surprising drink with wonderfully powerful flavor. We’ve tweaked the recipe with a touch more rum, and the result is delightful. The clove and cinnamon flavors of the bitters definitely take center stage, but the rum and lime juice calm their intensity, giving the subtle aromatics in the Angostura a chance to be experienced; the orgeat and curaçao sweeten the drink, and the end result is a tangy, subtly sweet cocktail that will surprise even the most jaded imbiber.
THE STORMY MAI TAI
1.5 oz Angostura Bitters*
1/2 oz Rum
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/4 oz Orgeat (or Almond) Syrup
3/4 oz Curaçao
1/4 oz float of light rum
- shake ingredients in iced shaker, pour over crushed ice
- garnish with large mint sprig and a straw
*NOTE: Feel free to experiment with other brands of bitters, but Angostura really is the superior choice for this cocktail
**NOTE: And be careful! Angostura isn’t normally consumed in such large amounts, so it’s not usually understood that they are 90 proof…this is a potent drink!