A stirred Mai Tai and fresh orchid Lei, both hand crafted by Brenda C Hill on Kauai.
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A stirred Mai Tai and fresh orchid Lei, both hand crafted by Brenda C Hill on Kauai.

Cheers or bottoms up, the traditional English toast, translates into the Okole Maluna in the beautiful islands of Hawaii.

Our lucky IFTWA group meets this week in Honolulu for our annual conference.

 

I am sure we will be enjoying this rum and pineapple libation that I first discovered at my favorite Trader Vic’s
when it was in San Francisco. This is where Victor Bergeron served this drink to friends from Tahiti in 1944.

 

Original Mai Tai with dark rum topper Photo: Brenda C. Hill
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Original Mai Tai with dark rum topper Photo: Brenda C. Hill

In Hawaii, Mai Tai’s became popular in the early 1950’s at the Royal Hawaiian Moana and Surfrider Hotels.,

Mai Tai is Tahitian for “Out of this World – the Best.”

I learned how to make this original recipe at a Mixology Class from James,  who learned it at Dukes and the Honu bars at the two Marriott’s on Kauai.

Hawaiian Mai Tai

Ingredients:

1 oz Light Rum
1 oz Dark Rum
Large splash Orange Curacao
Splash Orgeat Syrup
Splash  (1/4 ounce) sweet and sour mix
2 -3 oz Pineapple Juice ..fresh or Dole’s.

Method:

Stir all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
Pour into a Mai Tai glass or mug.
Top with a splash of dark rum.
Garnish with a fresh chunk of pineapple.

Tips:
If desired, add festive paper unless you are at a beach where it will blow away.

Mixologist James said  “It isn’t a Mai Tai without a pineapple garnish.”

For rum, Dukes uses Bacardi. The Honu bar favors Diamond Head from the West Indies. I use Trader Vic’s.
And Myers’s as the topper.

If you can make or find fresh pineapple juice it is worth the effort.

If you are not traveling it to Hawaii, Bali Hai on Shelter Island, in San Diego, has a very potent Mai Tai that is world famous. Or prepare your own with this original recipe.  Great for parties.

I enjoy this drink with pupus…tasty little bites. Try a grilled pulled pork slider, ahi poke, fresh fish tacos, salty nuts or Maui onion chips. The sweet fruit pairs well with these tangy tastes.  Aloha

 

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Brenda C. Hill


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