Learn how to mix “Trader Vic” Bergeron’s “out of this world” signature drink.
Mai Tai is Tahitian for “out of this world”. Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron created his signature drink in Oakland, California in 1944 and is remembered for saying, “Anybody who says I didn’t create the Mai Tai is a dirty rotten stinker!”
That full-on attitude matches the rich citrus, almond and rum “out of this world” flavor of this popular tropical cocktail. And, though the drink is easy to make, it does require some ingredients that might be tough to find, particularly almond (or orgeat) syrup and orange curaçao (orange flavored brandy and cognac). But both are well worth having on hand if you’re a rum drink fan at all.
Here’s a rule of thumb to make two 4-ounce drinks: for every 2 ounces of lime juice, add 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 ounce almond (orgeat) syrup, 1 ounce orange curaçao 2 ounces white or amber rum and 2 ounces dark rum.
Here’s how to make the drink.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
(for two 4-ounce drinks)
2 Ounces Lime Juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 Ounce Almond (Orgeat) Syrup
1 Ounce Orange Curaçao
2 Ounces White or Amber Rum
2 Ounces Dark Rum
2-Piece Drink Shaker (or Measuring Cup)
1. Use a sharp knife to cut 2 limes in half.
2. Squeeze 2 ounces lime juice into the glass piece of a drink shaker (or measuring cup).
3. Add and stir 1/2 teaspoon sugar until the sugar dissolves.
4. Add the following:
1 ounce almond (orgeat) syrup
1 ounce orange curaçao
2 ounces white or amber rum
2 ounces dark rum
5. Fill the metal piece of the drink shaker about half full with ice (or add a good handful of ice to the drink in a measuring cup)
Pour the drink from the glass piece into the metal tumbler and press the top of the glass piece into the top of the metal tumbler with just enough pressure to create a snug seal.
Shake the drink briskly (preferably over the sink, especially if you’re new to this) for about 10 seconds.
After shaking, remove the glass piece as shown. NOTE: If the seal between the glass and metal pieces is very snug, keep a good grip on both pieces and gently tap the top of the metal piece on the edge of a countertop to loosen the seal between the two drink shaker pieces as shown in the lower right picture.
6. Fill each glass about 2/3 full with drink and ice,…
…top each glass with ice…
Images courtesy of the author