The Mai Tai is the best known Tiki (Tiki culture is a 20th-century theme used in Polynesian-style restaurants and clubs originally in the United States) cocktail created by Victor Jules Bergeron, better known as “Trader Vic”. He owned one of the first Tiki restaurants in San Francisco. One evening in 1944 Trader Vic was mixing drink for two of his Tahitian friends and after the first sip they exclaimed “Mai Tai – Roa Ae” which in Tahitian stands for “out of this world, the best”. The drink was thereafter named Mai Tai.
The Mai Tai is these days frequently made with the wrong ingredients like pineapple juice and grenadine etc. and there are many interpretations of the true original, both bad and good.
In Koh we are trying as much as possible to make Mai Tai as close to Trader Vic’s original recipe so we use one part Orgeat (almond syrup flavoured with orange water), one part Orange Curacao (for example Grand Marnier is a good choice), two parts fresh lime juice and four parts Gold Rum (here in our bar we use Angostura 5 year old). The drink is shaken with ice and strained into a large old fashioned (whiskey) glass over crushed ice and decorated with a mint sprig and orange zest.
Truly out of this world!