The Mai Tai at Psycho Suzi's: A rum soaked tiki drink of the week
Kelly Moritz Sit back and let this classic Mai Tai, with nearly 70 years experience, teach you a thing or two about tiki.
Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge
Two short months, maybe three. That's the span of fun in the sun that we get, so the only two words you need to know for the rest of the summer are "Mai Tai," or make it three with a "please." Be sure to be at Psycho Suzi's when you say those magic words, or risk facing a glass full of cheap rum, canned juice, and cloying syrup. Lounging riverside, you could jump straight into the deep end with a One Eyed Willy or Miserable bastard, but for those dipping a toe into tiki, or just looking for a dang good tasting cocktail, make it a Mai Tai.
So, what is a Mai Tai and why should you be drinking one? The answer lies in the quality of the ingredients. For Psycho Suzi's rendition, which hews close to identical to the original recipe attributed to Trader Vic, lots of fresh lime is mixed with amber rum, Curacao (not the bright blue stuff, but something more similar to Cointreau), and a house made orgeat (typically almond syrup with a hint of orange blossom water). A float of dark Jamaican rum and a mint sprig provide the finishing touches. As is their custom, each specialty concoction comes in a tiki mug; the Mai Tai, refined and understated as it is, arrives in an ever so tasteful porcelain pineapple. The cabana-kitsch décor may be but a fabrication of the tropics, but this cocktail, which earns three out of three skulls on the potency scale, is the real deal.