This is one of the best dishes we’ve made so far at the farm. What do we mean by “best”? Well, it certainly tastes great (like a Mai Tai) and was fun to make, but it is also “ours”. This one was our inspiration and our recipe. We searched the web for Mai Tai sorbet recipes and other than a passion fruit and pineapple thing that may taste good, but has nothing to do with a real Mai Tai, there are no other recipes. We will “claim” this one
so please excuse us if we crow a little. But if anyone has examples otherwise, that is fine. We are just happy to keep making this.
The inspiration came from a somewhat odd source. A few weeks ago Carolyn made Elegant White Cake with Chocolate Ganache, and it was very, very tasty. One of the key flavors of the cake was a little almond extract that gave the cake a marzipan-ish flavor. We wondered what other dishes might benefit from a touch of almond and we immediately though of the almond and orange flower water flavor of orgeat syrup. If you are unfamiliar with orgeat, it is the key flavoring that makes a Mai Tai a Mai Tai. We also had some Cara Cara oranges we need to use, and suddenly the idea of “Mai Tai Sorbet” came up. Carolyn thought it sounded like a decent idea, so we gave it a try.
The recipe came together quickly. A Mai Tai cocktail combines two aged rums, lime juice, Cointreau (or orange Curaçao), orgeat, simple syrup and is garnished by a lime shell and some mint. Our Mai Tai Sorbet combines lime juice, orange juice, simple syrup, a few drops of almond extract, dashes of aged rum and Cointreau (you could also use rum and/or orange extracts) and some Bittermen’s Tiki Bitters (optional, but very good). We garnish with a sprig of mint and some grated lime zest to mimic the lime shell in the cocktail.
The only trick to this recipe is to taste your sorbet base as you make it. Oranges vary in sweetness and extracts vary in strength. We make a little extra simple syrup to tune our base, and remember that the base will taste sweeter than the final sorbet- frozen foods taste less sweet. So if the base tastes a bit sweeter than you like, it is probably right. We also add the almond extract a few drops at a time and taste. Almond extract is strong stuff, so we used about 8 drops, tasting as we went. Same for the Tiki bitters, we ended up at about 6 drops, but tune to your taste. Continue reading