MxMo: Limit One — Mahjongg Cocktail

by Stevi on March 16, 2008

in Gin,Liqueurs,Mixology Monday,Rum

Mixology Monday: Limit One Upon reading the theme for this Mixology Monday, I drew a blank. The only recipe I know well that fit the bill was the Mai Tai, which I really love to make. But it seems like MxMo should be an encouragement to try something new, and I certainly didn’t want to fall into the newbie trap of sticking with the tried and true. Thinking this might be a good time to try a new tiki drink, I searched around a bit, but most that initially appealed required drams and juices I didn’t have close at hand.

Mahjongg Cocktail with ingredients
In the meantime, I’ve continued working through Good Spirits by A. J. Rathbun. On Friday, I stumbled upon the Mahjongg cocktail. At 4 parts gin to 1 part rum and 1 part Cointreau, it seemed a little gin heavy, even to me, so I checked the CocktailDB1, which suggested a milder 3:1:1, which I tried. I left out the optional lemon twist, as well. The resulting drink was nice, but not much more.

Tonight I did some additional searching for drinks that might fit the bill, when I decided to revisit the Mahjongg. I checked a few more sites, all of which seemed to agree with Rathbun’s 4:1:1. Even with the CocktailDB’s recipe, it met the requirement (nothin’ but 80 proof plus spirits, after all!). But if I upped to Rathbun’s recipe, I hit the 3 ounces, to boot. So I mixed the drink up again. This time, I included the lemon twist, as well. I ignored Rathbun’s recommendation to shake instead of stir (he has you shake your martini and manhattan, fer cryin’ out loud!).

Much to my surprise, this was a much more balanced drink. I know the lemon twist added that extra special something, but contrary to my fears, the higher ratio of gin make the drink smoother. Not sure if that’s because of the Aviation in particular, but I’ll definitely look to making the Mahjongg with this recipe in the future. Just not tonight. Already had my limit of one.

Mahjongg Cocktail
2 oz gin (Aviation, 84 proof)
1/2 oz white rum (Appleton White, 80 proof)
1/2 oz Cointreau (Harlequin Orange Liqueur, 80 proof)

Stir in mixing glass with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist

[1] let me take this chance to promote my firefox search plugins: go to to learn more.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

ronebofh March 16, 2008 at 11:34 pm

So what exactly is the problem with shaking?


anavolena March 16, 2008 at 11:44 pm

The general rule is to stir when you have all liquor, and shake when you have juice (or egg whites) to integrate.

I have a strong preference for stirring a Manhattan, and find that shaking adds undesirable aeration. Stirring it leads to a smoother, more velvety cocktail.

But as with all religious wars, the answer is what you prefer. I know people who find shaking emulsifies the vermouth in a martini in a way they really enjoy.

I haven’t really gotten into martinis yet, The Bourbon Manhattan is my current vermouth-based goto drink, and I shudder when I get one that’s been shaken (and don’t start me on forgetting there should be bitters in there, dammit). Although the Martinez may be replacing it in my heart.


ilanarama March 17, 2008 at 8:12 am

Ooh, very cool. I haven’t heard of Harlequin (I doubt it’s available here) – how does it compare to Cointreau?


anavolena March 17, 2008 at 3:25 pm

The Harlequin is quite nice, and is on par with Cointreau, although technically a little closer to Grand Marnier, I think. (I still get confused about how to properly categorize orange brandy-based liqueurs).

They’ve recently started selling it here in the Washington State liquor stores. I picked up a bottle because at $19.25, it’s nearly half the price of Grand Marnier ($39.95) or Cointreau ($35.95). I’ll probably stick with it for the time being, at least until the results of the great orange liqueur comparison come in.


runoknows March 17, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Good to see another LJ-er on here!

I’m going to have to give the Harlequin a chance; Mr. and I did a Cointreau, Grand Marnier, and Creole Shrubb tasting earlier today.


anavolena March 17, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Hopefully you’ll post about the results of your tasting!

Thanks for stopping by. I’ve been wondering if ye old LJ is the right place for the cocktail stuff. At the very least, it lets me get a feel for it and decide if I want to set up Yet Another Blog.


runoknows March 17, 2008 at 8:02 pm

We have the same debate about LJ. I like being here, if only to help other LJ-ers congregate; on the other hand, a full “other” blog would have its own benefits.

I’m just always happy to see more people on LJ, however, talking about cocktails. It’s the critical mass philosophy; the more who do, the more who will, that kind of thing. :-)


anonymous March 19, 2008 at 9:27 am

One thing LiveJournal doesn’t have is an RSS Feed! (Or does it? I don’t know.)
I was adding you to my blogroll at The Pegu Blog, and can’t find a feed. I have a neat little widget that lists the latest ramblings of a sample from my blogroll. Is there a feed option that I’m missing?


anavolena March 19, 2008 at 9:30 am

LJ does, in fact, have rss feeds; I should add a direct link to it.



runoknows March 19, 2008 at 9:35 am
atomic_pencil March 19, 2008 at 10:50 am

Great-looking drink! I’m a gin freak, so this one looks right up my alley.

-Dr. Bamboo (Atomic Pencil on LJ)


anavolena March 19, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Thankee much. I enjoyed your entry for this MxMo (and your blog in general) – I’m only just darning to start playing with recipes, so it’s really helpful to see the processes other folk use to tinker.

Since Runoknows and I already started the topic – is there a specific reason you went with a separate blog for your cocktails and didn’t use LJ?

There’s a more general discussion on my friendslist of whether LJ constitutes a “real” blog provider in the eyes of the wider world.


ilanarama March 20, 2008 at 8:41 am

Woo, looking forward to that. I prefer Grand Marnier to Cointreau neat, but Cointreau is nicer in cocktails because of that slight oily mouthfeel. I have been using Patron’s Citronge which again, much less expensive than the big boys. (Although your prices are another $4 or so higher than they are here!)


atomic_pencil March 20, 2008 at 11:59 am

I think the reason I wanted to use Blogger was that at the time (a little over a year ago), there was something about the way that they allowed you to upload pictures into your posts that I liked better than the way LJ handled it. I also found Blogger’s format a little more appealing than the whole “friends list” system.

Also, Blogger just seemed a tad easier to use for a low-tech guy like me- I liked their user interface and navigation better than LJ.

But honestly, I really have no gripes with either one. I think they’re both pretty easy to use (and free!).


anavolena March 20, 2008 at 12:41 pm

the state liquor board system here sucks. prices are high, and selection is very limited.


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