EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 6, 2013

Be like the King: Enjoy a Mai Tai

The Eagle-Tribune

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In the 1930s, a Polynesian restaurant and bar opened up in California called Trader Vic’s and consequently the Mai Tai was first invented. Zack Wilks takes us back to those early days with his original rendition of the famous Tahitian drink.

Even if you’re not bartending for “The King”— the Mai Tai was a featured drink in Elvis’ movie “Blue Hawaii,” which made it famous — it’s perfect for warm, lazy afternoons and refined enough to impress the most discerning of guests.

This drink features orgeat, a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar and rose or orange flower water. You can buy it or make it yourself.

So when your guests exclaim, “This is amazing!,” make sure to inform them that “of course it is, the word ‘Mai Tai’ is a variation on the Tahitian translation for ‘good.’” Generations of Mai Tai drinkers knew what they were talking about.

Mai Tai


2 ounces of aged rum

1/2 ounce Cointreau

1/2 ounce of fresh squeezed lime

1/2 ounce of orgeat (wilksandwilson.com)


1. Combine the ingredients in an ice filled shaker.

2. Shake and pour over ice.

3. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.


Recipe courtesy of mixologist Zach Wilks, wilksandwilson.com, 2013.