From a no-nonsense rum producer, the Mezan XO Jamaica blend is a delightful and approachable expression that faithfully reflects the characteristics of the island’s venerable boutique distilleries.
Each release is a blend of casks from various stills in Jamaica, artfully combined for complexity and balance in small batches of 5000 bottles. The blend contains a base of light and medium ester rums that may have originated at the legacy distilleries of Clarendon, Worthy Park, Long Pond and Hampden Estate, further aged together in oak casks to marry the components, without any additives, coloring or chill filtering.
Mezan XO Jamaica Tasting Notes
The pale straw color is your first clue that the rum remains unadulterated. Aromas of funky banana, juicy fruit, and old wood lead to a suggestion of baking spice, earthy musk and burnt sugar. On the palate, green banana and bitter almond precede cigar box over spiced cake before the funky notes of mixed ripe fruit decay in the medium long finish.
Mezan Extra Old Jamaica blended aged rum delivers an affordable and accessible boutique rum experience. Taste it neat to step back in time and experience old Jamaica, or use it in cocktails like the Mai Tai and Jamaican Mule to bring that distinctly pungent and funky cool island vibe to mixed drinks.
If you asked a layman to name a Tiki drink off the top of their head, a large percentage would answer Mai Tai. So, why is it so hard to find a proper one when you’re any where near a beach? Let’s discover the real Mai Tai Tiki Cocktail.
Perhaps you’ve mastered your Martinis and Margaritas. Now it’s time to mix the magical mystique of the Mai Tai Tiki Cocktail. Don’t get me wrong, rum is fun, you’ll like what you like–but if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right–so put down that pre-mix or pineapple juice and prepare to understand the simple balance of rum, lime, almond and orange that makes the Mai Tai a true classic.
Invented by Trader Vic, this classic Mai Tai Tiki Cocktail features an alluring combination of lime juice, almond syrup and orange Curaçao liqueur — fortified with Jamaican rum and French Rhum.
Back in 1944, when Tiki was but ten years young, Trader Vic put this tropical thing together and served it to friends from Tahiti visiting his bar, and so the story goes, they responded, “Mai tai roa ae!” which, allowing for aliteration, is translated as “Out of this world! The best!”
But the real star of the show was the Wray & Nephew 17-year-old Jamaican rum at the heart of it. It was only a couple of years before the entirety of the supply was exhausted with the help of Vic’s thirsty audience. The 15-year-old version replaced it to fill demand, however, was similarly depleted by the 1950s. Vic then went in search of a new substitute and found it in the form of molasses based rhum from Martinique.
If you’re not an expert, the important thing to take away from that is the guy who originally made the Mai Tai Tiki Cocktail also re-made it when the rum ran out. If you know the difference between Agricole and Industriel, this is a breakthrough. Vic found elements of what made the original Jamaican rum so interesting, what he described as “rich pungent flavor,” in the traditional molasses-based or “industrial” french style rhums.
Nothing will ever be 100% authentic again–at least not since the Merchant Hotel in Belfast ran out of the last publicly available bottle of Wray & Nephew 17. It has been popularized to mix Agricole and Jamaican together, what with the Rumdood’s research and all, and I’ve seen at least one Martin Cate suggested recipe for the Mai Tai Tiki Cocktail blending Guyana and Jamaica, but in the end we’re all trying to recapture that rich-dark-and-funky-thing that both of Vic’s choices had going on.
Add your ingredients to a shaker. Fill it with pebble or crushed ice. Shake well for 15-30 seconds. Pour unstrained into a vessel of your choice. Add a slapped mint spring and spent lime for garnish. Optionally: invert lime shell, fill with overproof and set it on fire.