As beverage curator for Proof, the port of call for cocktails at the Hake in La Jolla, Joan Villanueva was inspired by his love for Grand Marnier to take his cocktail craft to sea. With a double-salute to the popular top-shelf orange liqueur and to a modern-day rum distillery operating out of Miramar, Malahat Spirits Co, the Proof’s top barman christened the drink Grand Five Masts.
“Malahat is named after a ship called the Malahat, the fastest rum-running ship that served the San Diego region during Prohibition,” Villanueva says. “The ship was a schooner with five masts, which is why it went so fast. So it made sense to make reference to the ingredients and have the name included in the cocktail.”
In developing the Grand Five Masts, Villanueva voyaged to the land of Tiki.
“The cocktail is a loose play on the Mai Tai, and that was the direction I wanted to go with the cocktail,” Villanueva says. “It’s a more lively and lighter Mai Tai — it doesn’t have orgeat syrup. After a few tries, it worked out. The Mai Tai flavors are there, but the color is lighter, and like the Mai Tai, it’s a good summer-day drink.”
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Villanueva added crosscurrents of spiced rum, fresh lime juice, and the nutty pinch of Frangelico.
“The main ingredient is Grand Marnier, which has a relative amount of sweetness in it,” he says. “So initially you’re going to get a lot of the orange from the Grand Marnier, but it’s followed by the sharper ginger and spiced notes from the rum. The nuttiness of the Frangelico comes at the end with a touch of citrus.”
Proof's Grand Five Masts
- 1 ½ oz. Grand Marnier
- ¾ oz. lime juice
- ¾ oz. Malahat Ginger Rum
- ¾ oz. Malahat Spiced Rum
- ½ oz. Frangelico
Add ingredients to tin shaker with ice, shake, strain into Collins glass with ice, top with soda, and garnish with bouquet of mint leaves.