What do you think of when you think of a Mai Tai? Sandy beaches? Palm trees? You'd probably never think of Oakland, which is where the Mai Tai was born in 1944 at venerable cocktail man Victor Bergeron's original Trader Vic's restaurant. The quintessential tropical drink went on to be a staple in both exotic locales and tiki bars, far from its origins in not-so-exotic Oakland, CA. Bergeron never revealed his exact recipe and there have been many less-than-tasty attempts at the real thing, but that's where Liquor.com has your back. They've snagged the recipe from Smuggler's Cove's owner Martin Cate, and because Smuggler's Cove is the hottest tiki bar in 30 years, we have reason to believe this is the real deal.
Traditional Mai Tai
Contributed by Martin Cate
• .75 oz Fresh lime juice
• .25 oz Rock candy syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water)
• .25 oz Orgeat almond syrup
• .5 oz Orange Curaçao
• 2 oz Premium aged rum (Appleton Estate 12-Year-Old, El Dorado 12- Year-Old)
• Garnish: Lime rind and fresh mint sprig
• Glass: Double old-fashioned
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with crushed ice. Shake vigorously until the shaker is well-chilled and frosty on the outside. Pour the drink (unstrained) into a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with half of a juiced lime and a fresh mint sprig.