Bitter Mai Tai

Jeremy Oertel, Dram | Brooklyn, NY

bitter mai tai cocktail

“Dram is like a fancy, classic cocktail bar on top of a Brooklyn dive bar,” says New York bartender Jeremy Oertel of this neighborhood haunt. While bartending at the Williamsburg outpost, he threw a party with notable tiki bartender Brian Miller. For the occasion, he wanted to replicate a Mai Tai variation he’d come across that used spicy high-proof Angostura in place of rum. Because Angostura is a pricey ingredient to use in liberal quantities, he substituted Campari for the bitter component and Smith & Cross Jamaican rum to provide a note of heavy funk. The Bitter Mai Tai has since become a Dram classic and one of Oertel’s staple recipes.

Ingredients

Serving: 1

  • 1 1/2 ounces Campari
  • 3/4 ounce Jamaican rum (preferably Smith & Cross)
  • 1/2 ounce Curaçao
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce orgeat

Garnish: mint sprig

Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add a small amount of ice and shake.
  3. Strain over crushed ice into a rocks glass.
  4. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig.
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Bitters

(n.) A high-proof alcohol infused with herbs, roots and spices. Invented as a medicinal tonic, they were originally meant to aid digestion and cure a variety of ailments, including colds and coughs. Common ingredients include cloves, dried citrus peel, gentian root, quinine and cardamom... More A-Z →