June 30th is National Mai Tai Day and I can’t think of a better reason for a drink! According to legend, Victor Bergeron, aka “Trader Vic“, tested this drink on two friends from Tahiti in 1944. When they tasted it, one of them said “Mai Tai-Roa Aé”, which means “‘Out of this world, the best!” in Tahitian. Thus the name was born.
Now over the years, there has been some controversy over whether Vic or Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gantt (Don the Beachcomber) was really responsible for creating the first drink called the Mai Tai. I tend to side with Simon Difford’s thoughts in Difford’s Guide: Vic’s is the one that people order today, that’s what counts.
Note: if you are going to Tales of the Cocktail this year (2011), check out Jeff Berry’s Seminar –Who’s Your Daddy? A Mai Tai Paternity Test
Trader Vic’s Mai Tai – Original
- 2 ounces of 17-year old J. Wray & Nephew Rum over shaved ice.
- Add juice from one fresh lime.
- 1/2 ounce Holland DeKuyper Orange Curacao.
- 1/4 ounce Trader Vic’s Rock Candy Syrup.
- 1/2 ounce French Garier Orgeat Syrup
- Shake vigorously with ice.
- Strain into an ice-filled double-old fashioned glass.
- Add a sprig of fresh mint