By: Sid Robinson

 

Mai Tai

I’ve come to learn that there is no single recipe for the consummate Tiki drink, the Mai Tai. Even the cocktail’s origins are up for debate. Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron claims to have invented the Mai Tai in Oakland, Calif., while his rival Don the Beachcomber makes the same claim from his famous Hollywood restaurant. Trader Vic has three different Mai Tai recipes. There are countless other versions, and unfortunately many are not representative of what the drink should be. According to Tiki-ologist Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, America’s leading authority on tropical drinks, Mai Tai’s should not be red, blue or any other color except amber.

As a huge fan of the Tiki culture, and in anticipation of my upcoming journey to Hawaii, I present several takes on one of my favorite drinks, the Mai Tai. I have my own recipe, along with another tropical drink that I’m happy to share.

As always, please drink responsibly.

 

Trader Vic’s Classic Mai Tai

Ingredients:

2 ounces aged Jamaican rum

3/4 ounce lime juice

3⁄4 ounce orange Curaçao

1 teaspoon Orgeat syrup

Lime wheel

Directions:

Mix ingredients with ice in a shaker. Shake well and strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with a wheel of lime, a mint sprig and, if possible, a Sonya orchid.

 

Don The Beachcomber Mai Tai

Ingredients:

1 ounce gold rum

1 1/2 ounces Meyers’s Plantation rum

1 ounce grapefruit juice

3/4 ounce lime juice

1/2 ounce Cointreau

1/4 ounce Falernum

6 drops Pernod or Herbsaint

Dash of Angostura bitters

Directions:

Mix ingredients with ice in a shaker. Shake well and strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with 4 mint sprigs


 

Sid’s Mai Tai

Ingredients:

1 ½ ounces gold rum

1 ounce Malibu coconut rum

3/4 ounce Curacao

3 ounces orange juice

1 ounces pineapple juice

¼ ounce Amaretto

¼ lime

Float of Koloa Dark Rum

Float of Diet Coke

Directions:

Muddle lime in a shaker. Add ingredients (except dark rum) and ice in a shaker. Shake well and strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Float Diet Coke to give it a little fizz, followed by a float of dark rum over the top. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.

 

POG Mai Tai

Ingredients:

Orange juice

Passion juice

Guava nectar

2 ounces spiced rum

½ ounce Malibu coconut rum

Float of Koloa Dark Rum

Directions:

Mix equal parts of orange, guava and passion juices in a pitcher to create POG juice (or simply use POG juice if you’re in Hawaii). Mix rums and 3 ounces POG juice with ice in a shaker (proportions may vary). Shake well and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Float dark rum over the top. Garnish with fresh orange slice.

 

Sid Robinson is editor of IEShineOn and authors a blog, “Sips, Suds and Spirits” (www.sipssudsspirits.com) that examines the beverage industry. He is managing partner of the strategic communications and public relations firm Robinson and Associates, LLC. (www.robinsonandassociates.us)