That's Not A Mai Tai

The Mai Tai (like the Tom Collins) is another of those drinks that everyone knows.  At least, everyone thinks they know...

If you know then keep reading.  If you don't know please follow some or all of these links to get up to speed.  I'll wait here.  You're impatient?  Okay, read this one:

Not so impatient:

There are likely more resources but that ought to cover it.  You read them all right?  If ever you hear me speak of a Mai Tai I mean the Bergeron Mai Tai.

Now that that's out of the way here's where this is all going.  Most encounters with a Mai Tai will be a different drink calling itself a Mai Tai.  This is what the bar down the street from me serves.  It may be a tasty drink (never had it) but I'd be inclined to actually order it if they gave it it's own name.  I don't recall all the ingredients but a Mai Tai it is not.  Just like that bar most cocktail books have recipes that call for grenadine or pineapple juice or other things that don't belong.  The disparity between all the Mai Tai recipes in my library caused quite a bit of confusion for quite some time, especially when one books Mai Tai sounded nearly like another books Zombie.  (If you think I'm going to open that can of worms, I'm not)

So along with my other books i had written off  The Complete Bartender as a source for a Mai Tai.  Then I actually went back to it and looked at the recipe within....

1 oz light rum
0.5 oz orgeat syrup
0.5 oz triple sec
1.5 oz sour mix

1) Fill mixing glass with ice
2) Add light rum, orgeat syrup, triple sec and sour mix
3) Shake
4) Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice
5) Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice

The Complete Bartender, Robyn M Feller

Oh! So close!


So close I can almost taste it.  Almost taste it but it's too sweet.  Really sweet.  Dood, put more rum in this!  Dark rum, man.  (I used Trader Vic's Silver for this drink.  I also used 0.75 oz lime and 0.75 oz simple for my "sour mix").

So why have I posted a bastardized Mai Tai?  Because I want to know the source material.  There are some classic cocktails in the book (and some victims of 1990 also) but the fact that the Aviation contains apricot brandy leads one toward Trader Vic (or Patrick Duffy).  Read this:  then report back.  If the Aviation is might be from Trader Vic why does the Mai Tai recipe contain light rum, and one ounce at that?

Has anyone else encountered this Pseudo Mai Tai?
Any idea where it came from?



Rowen said…
Having spend a lot of time in dives and airport bars lately, I gotta say it dumbfounds me whenever I meet some old hand who seems to understand a classic but my glass arrives with, I dunno, an octopus garnish. “Octopus good! Drink up!”
Well I'm not a classic drinker of Mai Tai although I love it's taste. Most of the one's I've consumed dark rum. I was also dumbfounded when I saw that the one in Trader Vic's is light rum.

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