Bright as a tropical moon, smooth as summer surf, cool and fresh as green limes, the Mai Tai is Hawaii’s favorite drink. One sip and it’s paradise.
Although London Cocktail’s Mai Tai may invoke thoughts of relaxing in a tropical breeze, the mid-1940’s saw the beginning of the tiki bar craze in the US and, with that, the birth of the Mai Tai. But the drink has taken off all over the world, more specifically in London, which is why we felt it was time to create one of our own. To the original rum, triple sec and lime, we decided to add some coconut and pineapple to really give it that island flavour that we so crave here in London.
Now deciding exactly who created the first Mai Tai really depends on whose story you believe, Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron or Donn “Don the Beachcomber” Beach. Both were early owners of tiki bars in California (and later Hawaii) and both claim to having made the first Mai Tai. Trader Vic claims he created it one afternoon in 1944 for some friends who were visiting from Tahiti – one of those friends tasted it and cried out “Maita’i roa ae!” meaning ‘very good!’ or ‘out of this world!’ – and the Mai Tai was born.
Which is right? Which is best? The answer is quite simple, who cares? As long as it tastes amazing and hits the spot, we don’t. That’s why ours is based on the Royal Hawaiian Hotel version created in 1945 based on Vic’s recipe; upgraded to include coconut and pineapple – as well as the rum, orange and lime – which we’ve incorporated into our drinks to create a perfect blend of tropical fruit.