When either on vacation or looking to unwind after a grueling 9 to 5, one of the most commonly ordered drinks to help take you away to a tropical place is a Mai Tai. Served in bars and restaurants all over the world, just about every bartender claims to have his or her own secret Mai Tai recipe.
The iconic Tiki drink first sprang on the scene around the 1940’s, and credit can be given to Victor ‘Trader Vic’ Bergeron and Don ‘Don the Beachcomber’ Beach as the founders of the tiki scene with their many Polynesian themed bars in both California and Hawaii. The jury is out on which one of them is the original Mai Tai creator, however, the verdict is in that it is delicious!
Truth be told, I’ve consumed my fair share of Mai Tai’s along the California coast, while living on the island of Oahu and while exploring the islands of Southeast Asia. With a relatively educated palate, I feel safe saying that if you’re looking for the best Mai Tai in the world then you’re going to have to pack your bags and to take a little trip to the Hawaiian islands.
Sitting ocean front, literally steps from the sands of Waikiki Beach, is where you’ll find the peaceful island music and relaxing atmosphere of the Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. There’s not much that compares to sitting ocean front while sipping a Mai Tai and watching the waves roll in and the sun go down. Get ready for a firsthand look at how the Mai Tai pro’s, Kui and Candido, make this handcrafted island favorite.
While you sit and soak in the breathtaking view of Diamond Head at the south end of Waikiki Beach, your Mai Tai caddy is off to the races preparing your glass of paradise. The first step of this unique drink is a generous pour of Baccardi Superior Spiced Rum, Orgeat syrup, and Bols Honey Liquor; forming a solid base to build the rest of this masterpiece.
Next up are the passion fruits. Pouring in a mixture of fresh orange juice, pineapple juice and orange curacao balances out the spiced rum and honey liquor as well as gives the drink its vibrant color.
To make sure the ingredients are fused together perfectly, the drink is given a proper island-hula swirl in a large metal shaker.
Once the drink has been properly mixed and poured back into its glass, the pièce de résistance is added. No Mai Tai would be complete without a heavy float of Whalers dark rum, and the guys at the Royal Hawaiian float it beautifully!
Just before serving, the Mai Tai is meticulously garnished with a savory slice of pineapple and a tiny umbrella. A tropical drink without a tiny umbrella wouldn’t seem right, like spaghetti without meatballs.
Signed, sealed and delivered to you beachfront, your Mai Tai is ready to drink while you bask in the wake of the sparkling Pacific Ocean. This is one Hawaiian experience you’ll certainly never forget…so head on out and get busy Island Style!