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Tiki Bar Happy Hour: Original Trader Vic’s Mai Tai

19 October 2008 2 Comments

The Mai Tai is the original tiki bar recipe. Its origins were debated even in the heydey of tiki culture, with both Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s claiming to have invented the rum-based concoction. One thing is certain – the Mai Tai is the signature drink of the tiki party.

The Original Trader Vic’s Mai Tai

The true originator of the Mai Tai remains unknown to this day. I’ve read that Trader Vic won a case in court proving him to be the originator of the Mai Tai, but cannot say for sure. However, to many, the Trader Vic Mai Tai remains the popular ‘original’ Mai Tai.

The legend of the Mai Tai is that Victor Burgeron invented the cocktail while hosting a group of friends. The drink was so popular that one of his guests exclaimed, “Maita’i roa!” (meaning ‘out of this world!’), giving the new drink its name.

  • 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.
  • Add a sprig of fresh mint

Serve either combination with an umbrella and/or maraschino cherry. In the interest of balance, I will post the original Don the Beachcomber recipe soon.


  • The Imbiber’s 100 | The Tiki Bar Shop said:

    […] Chateau d’Yquem 16. Budwieser 17. Maraschino Liqueur 18. Mojito 19. Orgeat 20. Grand Marnier 21. Mai Tai (original) 22. Ice Wine (Canadian) 23. Red Bull 24. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice 25. Bubble Tea 26. Tokaj 27. […]

  • Christmas Gift Ideas for the Tiki Freak | The Tiki Bar Shop said:

    […] A tiki mug is a great choice for tiki lovers. You have the opportunity to find them a mug that is truly unique, while at the same time offering a gift that will show that you tolerate an unusual passion. Like many popular collectibles, a tiki mug can serve as a reminder of an individual moment and be enjoyed for years to come – hopefully filled with a mai tai! […]

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