I usually only order a Mai Tai if I am someplace tropical, but I had no idea that the fruity drink I was being served with pineapple juice and grenadine was actually an imposter. The real Mai Tai that was created by Victor Bergeron Jr. of Trader Vic fame in the 1930’s has finally been released.
This seems like the perfect “wow” factor for a summer get together. It will take a little pre-planning since some of the ingredients are a bit out of the ordinary. The secret ingredient is Orgeat which is an almond-sugar syrup made from whole blanched almonds. The nut oil according to Vic gives the syrup a richness that can’t be duplicated with a cheap syrup made with almond flavoring and sugar. The two websites that I found that carry this product are small hand foods and Trader Tiki’s. After you track down this ingredient the rest is pretty straight forward and the drink itself is super easy to combine.
I have ordered my Orgeat and will be taste testing the real Mai Tai before the summer’s end. I do have one question though, if the Mai Tai is from Trader Vic’s than why were the Werewolves of London drinking Pina Colada’s? Oh well, at least their hair was perfect.
The Original Mai Tai Recipe
2 ounces aged rum
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, juiced lime half reserved
½ ounce orange curacao
¼ ounce simple syrup
¼ ounce orgeat
1 cup crushed ice
1 mint sprig for garnish
Combine all ingredients except the mint sprig in a cocktail shaker, shake vigorously, and pour the entire contents into a double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with the juiced lime and a mint sprig.