|IBA official cocktail|
|Primary alcohol by volume|
|Served||On the rocks; poured over ice|
|Standard garnish||pineapple spear, mint leaves and lime shell|
|Standard drinkware||Old Fashioned glass|
|Preparation||Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into glass. Garnish and serve with straw.|
|Mai Tai recipe at International Bartenders Association|
Victor J. Bergeron claimed to have invented the Mai Tai in 1944 at his restaurant, Trader Vic's, in Oakland, California. Trader Vic's rival, Don the Beachcomber, claimed to have created it in 1933 at his then-new bar named for himself (later a famous restaurant) in Hollywood. Don the Beachcomber's recipe is more complex than that of Vic's and tastes quite different.
The Trader Vic's story of its invention is that the Trader (Victor J. Bergeron) created it one afternoon for some friends who were visiting from Tahiti. One of those friends, Carrie Guild, tasted it and cried out: "Maita'i roa ae!" (literally "very good!", figuratively "Out of this world! The best!")—hence the name.
Most current recipes for Mai Tais based on Trader Vic's 1944 recipe include rum, lime juice, orgeat syrup, and orange liqueur (typically orange curaçao). Variants may include orange and grapefruit juices, bitters, grenadine, falernum, and so on. Various books from Victor Bergeron described using rum from Jamaica as well as from Martinique, which in modern usage is a Rhum Agricole. As noted in Smuggler's Cove from Martin Cate and Rebecca Cate, the Martinique rums used by Bergeron in the 1950s were most certainly not agricole rums.
|Mai Tai||60 ml Jamaican and Martinique Rums
25 ml Fresh Lime Juice
15 ml Orange Curaçao
15 ml Orgeat
3-4 Crushed Ice Cubes
|Shaken||Rock Glass||Spent lime shell and mint sprig|
|The Wikibook Bartending has a page on the topic of: Mai Tai recipes|
The Mai Tai became such a popular cocktail in the 1950s–60s that many restaurants, particularly tiki-themed restaurants or bars, served them. The Mai Tai was also prominently featured in the Elvis Presley film Blue Hawaii.
Today, the Mai Tai is synonymous with Tiki culture both past and present.
As of 2008, Trader Vic's Restaurant chain began to open small establishments called Mai Tai Bars that primarily serve cocktails and pupus (appetizers).
- Oxford English Dictionary, third edition, s.v. mai tai
- "maitai", Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
- "The Origin of the Mai Tai", , tradervics.com via archive.org
- Coulombe, Charles A. (2005). Rum: The Epic Story of the Drink That Conquered the World. Citadel Press. p. 258.
- "Mai Tai". Bartenders Database. 2009-10-21. Archived from the original on 2010-01-25. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- Cate, Martin (2016). Smuggler's Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press. p. 264. ISBN 978-1-60774-732-1.