One of our favorite things to do while in Honolulu is to imbibe in a traditional Mai Tai served at the Mai Tai Bar at The Royal Hawaiian Resort on Waikiki Beach.
During the early 1950’s Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr., founder of a chain of Polynesian-themed restaurants that bore his nickname, Trader Vic, invented the Mai Tai drink. Victor took the Mai Tai to Honolulu while creating drinks for the Matson Line Hotels. As legend has it he introduced ten exotic drinks in the Royal Hawaiian’s bar. The Mai Tai caught on and within 30 days everyone had forgotten the other nine alcoholic concoctions.
Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s Mai Tai Recipe
This is the original Mai Tai recipe that was created and made famous by the iconic Royal Hawaiian Resort in Waikiki, otherwise known as the “Pink Palace of the Pacific”
Combine all of the following ingredients in the order listed in an Old Fashioned style glass over shaved ice. Stir with a swizzle stick. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.
1 oz. light rum
1 oz. dark rum
1/4 oz. Orange Curacao
Dash of orgeat syrup
Dash of rock candy syrup
Juice of one-half lime or lemon (depending on your zing)
“Most places use pineapple juice as their mixture base. We use orange juice. That makes it less sweet and more tangy. Always start with a glass full of ice cubes. Put the light rum on the bottom. Then take everything else and mix it up. Pour that in next. Finish with the dark rum. Use good rums. We use Bacardi light on the bottom and Myers Dark on the top. We always make ours pretty strong. It helps to have a good kick to it.” ~ Cheryl Souza Toyofuku, bartender at the Mai Tai Bar.
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