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Homemade Trader Vic’s Mai Tai

Homemade Trader Vic's Mai Tai

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of heading down to Trader Vic’s for an Atlanta Dribbble meetup sponsored by our pals at MailChimp.

We enjoyed a world-famous Mai Tai (or three) and thought it would be a good time to share my homemade, Trader Vic’s Mai Tai recipe with you thirsty folks.

Although there is some controversy around the origin of this well-known cocktail, Trader Vic Bergeron is cited as inventing what we now know and love as the Mai Tai. The story goes that on a lazy afternoon in 1944, Vic was at his bar entertaining a few friends from Tahiti. He was whipping up drink after drink and stumbled upon something special. Upon serving the first of many delightful concoctions to his guests, one of them took a taste of the newly created beverage and exclaimed, “Maita’i roa ae!”—meaning “very good” or “out of this world”. At that moment, the Mai Tai was born.

Unfortunately, the original recipe is almost impossible to duplicate. The first few historic libations were created with rare and unique rums. Even if you could find them today, they would cost you a small fortune. Many have tried to find the secret sauce. Google “Mai Tai” and you’ll see that there are endless recipes that don’t even come close to replicating the experience. Until now.

I’ve spent years (and a tons of cash) chasing the flavor and consistency you’ll find in the Trader’s original Mai Tai. Trial and error has led me to a recipe that comes so close, you’ll swear you were bellied up to the the bar at the Atlanta Hilton. Below you’ll find everything you need to make the “as close as you can get to a real Vic Bergeron Mai Tai without breaking the bank”. I hope you this tasty recipe gets you through the long, cold winter months ahead. Mahalo!

Homemade Trader Vic’s Mai Tai

  • 2 oz. Appleton Estate Gold Rum
  • 2 oz. Appleton Estate Dark Rum
  • ½ oz. Meyers’s Dark Rum
  • 1 oz. Curacao
  • ¼ oz. Orgeat
  • ½ oz. Simple syrup (1 part water, 1 part sugar)
  • 1 oz. Lime juice
  • 1 oz. Orange juice

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint, a pineapple slice, and a maraschino cherry (if you like that sort of thing). You can also float some dark rum on top of the cocktail, but we think it’s potent enough without it.

* Remember to multiply all amounts by 4 if you want to make a pitcher.

Written by @mattdowney

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