The Mai Tai is a popular cocktail invented in 1944.
In 1970, Victor J. Bergeron (aka “Trader Vic”) went on record in writing asserting that he was the inventor of the Mai Tai.
He said that he invented in in 1944 in Oakland, California. He based the cocktail on a 17-year old bottole of J. Wray Nephew golden rum from Kingston, Jamaica. He put some in a shaker, along with shaved ice, fresh lime juice, orange curacao (Holland DeKuyper brand), a dash of heavy sugar syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water), and Orgeat (Garier brand.) After shaking it, he served it in a 15 oz (450 ml) glass with half a lime shell and a sprig of fresh mint for colour.
In 1948, he introduced it to the Trader Vic restaurant in Seattle. In 1953, he introduced it into Hawaii at the Royal Hawaiian, Moana and Surfrider Hotels. In 1954, he introduced it to American President Lines passenger ships.
He modified the recipe as the demand for Mai Tai’s outstripped the availability of the 17 year old, and then the 15 year old, rum.
He later changed the brand of Orange Curacao to Bols.
High demand for Mai Tais at the bars led to the Curacao, Orgeat and Rock Candy Syrup being mixed up in advance together.
Later, Trader Vic’s sold this mix bottled as “Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Mix.”
2 oz golden rum
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
1/4 oz Rock Candy Syrup
1/2 oz Orgeat Syrup
Juice from 1 lime
Shake all with crushed ice; serve with shell of 1/2 lime and a sprig of fresh mint.
“Mai Tai” in Tahitian means “out of this world.”