Dr. Sammy’s Slammin’ South Shore Kauai Tai: Food & Drink Week

Those who know me will attest to my taste for fine single malt and American microbrews. But my little secret is now out. I’m also a rum-whore. Always have been. And I’m a stone cold sucker for a good rum punch, little umbrella and all. Especially in the summer. Or Hawaii.

So with summer nearly upon us, I thought a fitting subject for Food & Drink Week would be my favorite rum punch recipe.

When I was in Kauai a few years ago I fell in love with their take on the classic Mai Tai – they call their top shelf version the Tai Chi. I loved Kauai, and ever since that trip I’ve found that when I think back on it, I always have a Mai Tai in my hand. Often it’s the Tai Chi at Brennecke’s Beach Broiler on Poipu.

I used to be a bartender (I have a PhD in Mixological Studies!) but had forgotten the recipe. So I did some research, some experimenting, plus a wee bit of innovating, and finally arrived at my own bitchin’ Mai Tai recipe. You are encouraged to try it out at your leisure.


  • 1 part gold rum (I’m a fan of Montego Bay)
  • 1 part dark rum (and here you should use the best dark you can lay your hands on – don’t scrimp on this ingredient)
  • 1 part Cointreau (or Grand Marnier; you can also use Triple Sec if you’re on a budget)
  • ½ part Crème de Cassis
  • 2 parts fresh pineapple juice (emphasis on fresh – avoid the processed stuff like Dole at all costs)
  • ½ part lime juice
  • ¼ part almond syrup
  • ¼ part grenadine

Mix everything except Creme de Cassis in a shaker. Then shake (duh). Pour over cracked or shaved ice (ideally the ice is in a glass by this point; if not, clean up mess and start over). Use a bar spoon to float Creme du Cassis over top.

Garnish with slices of orange, pineapple, lime, or whatever other fruits are handy and appropriate. And a paper umbrella. Twisty straws can be fun, but Doc Sammy tends to go strawless. Your call.

Serve. Enjoy.


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