It's been perverted for years by grenadine syrup, day-glo cherries and the anemic tinned pineapple of all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets, but the mai tai, when it's legit, lives up to its rough translation: "holy fuck that's delicious!" in Tahitian. The best recipe was concocted in the mid-40s by Vic Bergeron at his legendary tiki temple, Trader Vic's, to push a massive shipment of old Jamaica rum he'd snapped up for a pittance. You haven't lived until you've filled your face with a mai tai.
1½ oz Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old (750 ml/$39.95, LCBO 105742)
½ oz orange curaçao like Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao (750 ml/$34.95, LCBO 363911) if you can find it. If not, Cointreau (750 ml/$39.95, LCBO 6502) will do.
½ oz orgeat syrup (available at BYOB, 942 Queen West, 416-858-2932, byobto.com)
½ oz fresh lime juice
Shake ingredients well with ice and strain into a double rocks glass over cracked ice. Float ½ oz overproof rum like Bacardi 151 (750 ml/$44.95, LCBO 125906) - optional but awesome. Garnish with a piece of lime and a big ol' mint sprig.