Jonny Cosmopolitan Article – Autumn

Past the peak of the hot holidays and the music festival season, with university back on in the city, and the golden waves of summer lapping away at our heels, the Canberra mood will look back on the sunny season with nostalgia.

The early autumn buzz says something of fruit and honey tones, and for a mellow, sunset drink there can be no comparison to the Mai Tai. A quintessential drink of Tiki culture, this cocktail hails from the American-kitsch of the 1930′s to the 1950′s. Think, Gilligan’s Island, retro revival, faux-Polynesian decor, and some seriously hot flaming torches, and the balmy nights of early autumn will be swept away on this festival of exotic flavours. Strict adherents to the original recipe will favour Trader Vic’s concoction from coastal California. Here we see 17-year-old dark rum on shaved ice balanced against orange Curaçao, rock candy syrup and French Garnier Orgeat syrup, with its almond and floral musk, shaken in vigorous splendour and garnished with lime and mint.

Here at Jonny Cosmopolitan we favour using both a light and dark rum. For a truly festive flavour, try garnishes of pineapple and maraschino cherries, or perhaps a shaving of coconut with a tiny umbrella for fun. Serve her in an old-fashioned or highball glass to appreciate the layers of liquid on ice, and you’re sure to enjoy your evening with the memory of summer in every sip.

Mai Tai serves to celebrate the rich round tones of a good-quality rum, i recommend you invest in a brand you can be assured will treat your palate well. Matusalem Rum was founded in 1872 in Santiago de Cuba, They’ll offer a Platino for a white rum, and the Clasico for a dark rum variety. You’ll be able to source this high-quality spirit from any discerning liquor store. Or, if you’re exploring the Canberra nightlife for a fine example of this quality cocktail, Jonny recommends stopping in at the newly-refurbished Kremlin bar on Northbourne, or Muddle Bar on West Row for some truly tropical friday night drinks.

Have any curious cocktail questions? Send your queries into or post on the Jonny Cosmopolitan Facebook wall  whose drinks expertise will answer it all.

– Danielle Day, writing for Jonny Cosmopolitan