Original source: Hurricane Hayward

The Black Magic is one of the most famous cocktails to come out of the legendary Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. My wife ordered one our first time there, and its appearance isn’t necessarily the most impressive: it looks a bit like milky iced coffee, though it comes in a fishbowl-sized snifter. I remember the drink being good, but it wasn’t until I tried Hurricane Hayward’s tribute recipe during the pandemic that I fell in love.

Hayward, who lives in Florida, has compiled an invaluable Mai-Kai cocktail guide that is useful for exploring the menu, but its most remarkable treasure is the collection of tribute recipes he has put together: attempts to reverse-engineer what the Mai-Kai delivers out of its mysterious kitchen. I haven’t made all of them, but I’ve made this one countless times, and I have a worry that I’ll confide to you right now: it might be better than the real thing.

I think part of the reason is that fundamental advantage of the home bartender: you can easily use top-shelf spirits. Amazingly, Hurricane Hayward himself rates the drink a mere 3.5 out of 5, a review I find incomprehensible, but who am I to question the taste buds of a man with his accomplishments?

Hurricane Hayward made a virtual guest appearance on a pandemic-era episode of Spike’s Breezeway Cocktail Hour that’s well worth watching.

I’ve split out the ingredients of Mariano’s Mix #7 and Donn’s Spices #2 to make it easier to scale this recipe up.