Mai Tai cocktail is associated with Polynesian-style setting, is a Tahitian word that means “good.” Believed to have been invented in 1944 by Victor J. Bergeron at his Oakland restaurant, Trader Vic’s, for some friends who had been visiting from Tahiti. The drink was so delicious that one of them praised it saying, “Maita’i roa ae”—meaning “very good”—which led to the drink being called Mai Tai. Don the Beachcomber, Trader Vic’s rival, too claimed to have invented the drink in 1933 at his newly opened bar named after himself. The drink, however, tasted different than the Mai Tai cocktail made at Trader Vic’s due to Beachcomber’s more complex recipe. There have been several variations over the years on the classic Mai Tai, with each variation being as delicious as the other.
The classic Mai Tai cocktail recipe is simple to make and takes just a few minutes to prepare. To make the cocktail, take a shaker with ice cubes, and add the lime juice, orange curacao, orgeat syrup, and white rum into the shaker. Strain the content into a glass half filled with ice and top it with the dark rum. Add maraschino cherry or mint to garnish the cocktail.