A whopping 99% of the country’s hazelnuts are produced in Oregon, and you’d better believe the state knows how to use them. The Northwest Mai Tai from Hale Pele in Portland sure knows a thing or two about that. This tiki joint turns up the classic rum Mai Tai by swapping almond orgeat (a sweet cocktail syrup laced with orange flower water) with rich, toasty hazelnut orgeat.
Add all ingredients, plus spent lime shell, and 8 ozs. of crushed ice to a shaker tin.
Shake until the shaker is frosted, pour into a glass.
Top with additional crushed ice to fill the glass. Garnish.
Pulse hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Combine the sugar and water in a pot over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves completely. Boil the syrup for three minutes, then add in the ground hazelnuts. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for another three minutes, then slowly increase the temperature to medium high. Just before it starts to boil, remove it from the heat and cover with a lid.
Allow the covered nut mixture to infuse for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours. Then, strain it through two layers of cheesecloth, discarding the ground hazelnuts for another use. Stir the orange flower water and brandy into the nutty syrup. Use a small funnel to portion the orgeat into bottles or a jar. Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.