Food & Drink

Labor Day Cocktails: SpaMai Tai

It's a Mai Tai. With Spam.

By Sam Eichner ·
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If there's one thing you don't probably need help with, it's taking a break from labor to tuck into some meat and a stiff drink. But here we are, regardless, letting you know about a few great drinks you can make for friends over the three-day weekend while standing within 30 feet of a grill. We wish we knew how to quit you.

This here is a SpaMai Tai, and it comes from the twisted mixological minds over at Chicago’s Duck Inn. Like the portmanteau suggests, it’s a Mai Tai, only the liquor is infused with Spam for added flavor. It’s also served in a Spam container, because how else are your party guests supposed to know what they’re drinking is infused with Spam?

Fair warning: this recipe is not for the faint of cocktailing-heart. But the payoff, which we imagine involves several “oohs,” “ahhs” and “wait, whats,” is immeasurable. 

SpaMai Tai
1.25 oz Spam-infused* Coruba Dark Rum

¾ oz Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum

¾ oz lime juice

1 oz Deluxe Mixed Nut orgeat (The Duck Inn has a secret homemade recipe, but recommends you purchase Small Hand Foods orgeat.)

½ oz pineapple juice

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake and double-strain into thoroughly cleaned out Spam can; garnish with pineapple leaves.

*Spam Fat Wash (yields 24 oz, so, yeahenough for a party)
In order to make this, you’ll require a bottle of the Coruba Dark Rum, one can of Spam, two ounces of lard, a mason jar, a cheesecloth and the sort of zen patience that comes with the knowledge that, soon enough, you're going to be sipping on something delicious. Here are the instructions:

Slice Spam thin and lay the slices onto a small sheet pan. Cover with 5oz of melted lard. Bake at 250 degrees for one hour, or until the Spam is thoroughly browned. Fine strain, and set aside this Spam-infused lard. Once the lard has reached room temperature, but before it has begun to solidify, pour it, along with the dark rum, into a mason jar. Screw the lid on tightly. Periodically shake the jar over the course of the next two hours, then place it in the freezer overnight. The following day, strain the dark or white rum through a cheesecloth into a separate container, in order to catch a bulk of the fat. Discard used fat. Allow liquor to return to room temperature, then strain it through two conical cloth filters stacked on top of one another. Re-bottle and label accordingly.

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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