Credit for creating the mai tai usually goes to Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron, who is said to have concocted it at his first restaurant in Oakland, California, in 1944. Tasting it, a guest supposedly proclaimed it “mai tai roa,” Tahitian for “out of this world, the best.” The name stuck.

Mai Tai Mai Tai
Despite its exotic name—Tahitian for "out of this world"—and flavor, the Mai Tai was invented in California.
Yield: makes 2 Cocktails


  • 2 oz. dark rum
  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. orange curaçao
  • 1 oz. orgeat (almond syrup)
  • 2 dashes grenadine
  • 1 lime, halved and juiced, rinds reserved
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add dark rum, light rum, curaçao, orgeat, grenadine, and lime juice. Shake well, then strain into two ice-filled old-fashioned glasses and garnish each with a reserved lime rind and a sprig of mint.