Inside Baseball Term: Mai Tai

Noun, Beverage

Pronunciation: mahy tahy

*Tahitian Translation: “Out of this world – the best!”

The Mai Tai’s origins are somewhat debatable depending upon whose side of the rivalry you’re on.

Potentially the drink was started by Don the Beachcomber, who made his way into the world of alcoholic beverages as a bootlegger in the late twenties. Once alcohol was re-legalized, he took his Polynesian experiences back to the states and begun crafting numerous Tahitian-inspired rum drinks including Rum Punch, Navy Grog, and potentially the cherished Mai Tai.

Conversely, Victor Bergeron, also known as Trader Vic, was said to have served the first real Mai Tai at a bar in Oakland in the forties to his two friends visiting from Tahiti. It combined rum, fresh lime, Orange Curacoa, syrup, French Orgeat, and was shaken with ice. As rumor has it, his good friend Carrie Guild exclaimed “Mai Tai – Roa Ae*!” immediately upon tasting the frothy beverage.

Although Don’s version came first and it was his Polynesian, alcoholic genius that inspired Trader Vic’s own endeavors, Don’s drink is said to have tasted different, bitterer. Additionally, the Mai Tai’s fame really took off when Trader Vic made his way to Honolulu. It was only then, in the sixties, that the Mai Tai garnered the world wide fame it has today.

Regardless of who you believe created the drink, its delightfulness is undeniable, especially as the California weather heats up. Come join us at Carbon Beach Club throughout all of May to enjoy our special promotional menu featuring the Mai Tai (as well as the Crab Louie Roll). Or, should you wish to enjoy the sweet beverage from the comfort of your own home, we have 3 versions put together by our very own mixologist, Josh Curtis, listed below for you to enjoy!

Josh Curtis Mai Tai served at Carbon Beach Club in Malibu, California
Josh Curtis Mai Tai served at Carbon Beach Club in Malibu, California

Trader Vic’s Original Mai Tai

1 oz. Wray&Nephew 17 Year Rum

1 oz. Appleton Estate 12 Year Rum

1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

.5 oz. Orgeat Syrup

.5 oz. Orange Curacao

.25 oz. Simple Syrup

Garnish with fresh mint sprig & lime.


Eighties Rendition of the Mai Tai

1 oz. Clear Rum

.5 oz. Amaretto di Saronno

.5 oz. Triple Sec

2 oz. Sour Mix

1 oz. Pineapple

1 oz. Meyer’s Dark Rum Float

Before pouring the drink into a pint, pour grenadine down the inside of the glass.


Mai Tai 101

1 oz. Clear Rum

.25 Almond Extract

1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

.75 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

.75 oz. Simple Syrup

1 oz. Fresh Juiced Pineapple

1 oz. Dark Rum

.25 oz. Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Juice

Shake with ice until fluffy.

Before pouring into a pint, pour pomegranate juice down the inside of the glass to create a contrasted, stormy looking drink. Add the dark rum float and serve with an orange and a maraschino cherry.