Mai Tai

an imag eof the classic mai tai

Mai Tai

Make the storied Mai Tai and tell the tale to those on board!

The Mai Tai started as a rum cocktail so popular it supposedly depleted world rum supplies in the 1940s and ’50s. In 1944, when the cocktail was invented by Victor J. Bergeron — better known as Trader Vic — it wasn’t a sugar bomb.

It was a simple drink created to showcase the pungent flavor of a 17-year-old J. Wray and Nephew Jamaican rum: Bergeron highlighted the golden, medium-bodied rum with just a touch of lime, orgeat, orange curaçao, and simple syrup.

According to legend, after shaking the concoction with ice and presenting the cocktail to some of his visiting Tahitian friends, they ended up liking it so much one of them exclaimed, “Maita’i roa a’e,” which translates to “out of this world! The best!” Bergeron christened his new cocktail “Mai Tai,” as in “the best.”

2 cups white rum
2 cups Triple Sec
2 cups orange juice
1 cups lime juice
¼ cup water
½ cup sugar
4 orange slices, halved

Place first 4 ingredients into an ice-filled shaker.

Add water and sugar to separate plates/shallow bowls. Dip rims of 8 glasses in water, then sugar. Shake ingredients and pour evenly into glasses.

Garnish with half an orange slice.

By Lori Ross, Southern Boating July 2019

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