Rum • Sour
Mai Tai

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For decades, Vic Bergeron swore up and down that the Mai Tai was invented in 1944 at his Northern California restaurant, Trader Vic’s. And that was that. Unless it wasn’t. You see, there’s also a case to be made that Bergeron’s good friend and business rival Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, better known as Don the Beachcomber, invented it in 1933. Bergeron and Gantt have both long since moved on to the Great Tiki Bar in the Sky, leaving the matter unsettled for all eternity. But we actually find that fitting. The Mai Tai is the granddaddy of Polynesian-style cocktails, and an enduring symbol of the carefree island spirit. And nothing says “relax” like a story you can’t fact-check.

The Essentials

Jamaican Rum
lime juice
The Details


1 oz Jamaican Rum
1 oz Rhum Agricole
.75 oz lime juice
.5 oz Curaçao
.5 oz Orgeat
Crushed Ice


  • Shake all ingredients in a shaker tin.
  • Strain with a Hawthorne strainer into a rocks glass.
  • Garnish with a pressed lime hull (from juicing a lime) and a large bouquet of mint.

Mix it Up

You can play around with different rums from around the world for variations of the Mai Tai. There should always be an interplay between dark rums and the grassy funk of agricole-style rums.

Rum Sweet Intermediate
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