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Julio Cabrera’s La Trova Mai Tai


For the Banana-Coffee Orgeat

2 cups blanched almonds

1½ cups sugar

½ ripe banana

5 coffee beans

2 ounces banana liqueur

½ teaspoon orange flower water (or substitute orange zest or 3 dashes orange bitters)

For the La Trova Mai Tai

1 ounce light rum

1 ounce dark Jamaican rum (Julio Cabrera uses Appleton Reserve)

½ ounce banana-coffee orgeat

½ ounce orange curaçao

¾ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

Have fun with
 your garnishes: mint, edible flowers, plantain chips, citrus wheels—the possibilities are endless.


  1. Make the orgeat: In a blender, combine almonds, sugar, banana, and coffee beans with 1¼ cups water and blend
for 30 seconds. Transfer liquid to a pot and bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool, then strain through a cheesecloth, discarding solids. Stir in banana liqueur and orange flower water. Store orgeat in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  2. Make the mai tai: In a cocktail tin filled with ice, combine all ingredients and shake. Strain into a 10-ounce glass filled with crushed ice.

From A Cuban Spin on the Classic Mai Tai.