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03.09.2006

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tiki tiki 
classic umbrella drinks 
by Yee-Fan Sun
|
1 2
For those of us stuck in cold northerly climes, March is a rough time of year. By now, any charm the chilly season ever had has long since faded from memory. Sure, spring might peek in for the occasional tantalizing glimpse of better days to come, but for the most part, winter continues to cling. Me, I'm tired of the sniffly nose and the cold fingers; I'm so bored with my frumpy winter wardrobe I want to scream. These limbs of mine haven't seen the light of day in eons. And so my daydreams are filled with visions of long sandy beaches and balmy breezes, palm trees and briny ocean smells, the feel of the sun on my skin ... and luscious fruity cocktails topped off with a cheery miniature umbrella.

Sadly, as the beach fantasy has no chance of being fulfilled anytime in the near future, I have to settle: time to fix up some frou-frou tropical drinks. With tiki cocktail in hand, the heat cranked up, and my favorite Hawaiian print sundress dredged out from winter storage, I can close my eyes, inhale the good sunshiney scents of pineapple and coconut, and dream myself away to paradise.

mai tai
2 oz. (4 parts) dark rum
oz. (1 part) curacao, triple sec or other orange liqueur
oz. (1 part) amaretto
1 oz. (2 parts) orange juice
oz. (1 part) fresh lime juice
splash of grenadine* (or to taste if you're mixing larger portions; the grenadine adds sweetness and a pretty reddish tint)

*Grenadine is readily available in most supermarkets and liquor stores in the US. But if for some reason you can't get your hands on any -- a problem I've run into here in Edinburgh -- no worries. To make homemade grenadine, bring equal parts pomegranate juice and sugar to a boil. Let cool.

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake until the shaker's too cold to hold. Strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a cocktail umbrella, some skewered fruit, or a combination of both.

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