Rum Drinks: The Allure of the Mai Tai

by Pamela

mai tai recipe, trader vic's, rum drinks, tropical drinks

As far as tropical drinks are concerned, the Mai Tai is the clear winner.  Well, if you ask someone to name some tropical drinks, the Mai Tai usually gets mentioned in the top 3 (that’s why I call it the clear winner…it’s not a matter of favorite tropical drink – that’s a matter for another day).

But no tropical drink has been bastardized to the level that the Mai Tai has suffered.   A Mai Tai should not be rendered any garish color of the rainbow except for maybe an orangish color (which, technically is not a color found on a rainbow.)  Yes, I have been served a Mai Tai recipe, or two, that has contained fruit juice.  And yes, I have gleefully consumed said bastardized version (and enjoyed it).  However, I have never consumed a Mai Tai that was some freakishly bright color – those have been sent back.

Trader Vic’s Mai Tai is the iconic Tiki Drink — because it’s the better recipe.

Vic originally created the Mai Tai as a showcase for a 17 year aged rum, with nary a fruit juice in the mix.  “The flavor of this great rum wasn’t meant to be overpowered with heavy additions of fruit juices and flavorings,” mused Vic, however, his stern statement has since evaporated into the ether much like that of the concept of the original martini (that yes, I am guilty of bastardizing here as well).

The “proper” Mai Tai recipe has a deep amber hue, resulting from the rums used to concoct the libation and not from any fruit juices or colored sweeteners.  Trader Vic’s original aged rum is no longer available, but today’s rums make for perfect rum drinks, including the ubiquitous Trader Vic’s Mai Tai.

And now for some other big news…

Many of you know that in my other life, I do SEO consulting.  Well, this year I’ll be speaking at a couple of conferences on the subject and would like to offer one of you a FREE registration for The Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference June 24 – 26 in Boulder, Colorado (worth $250).  For a list of the other speakers you can check out the Fitness Bloggers Conference Speakers.  This should be a great time in Colorado.  There are lots of great speakers and fun activities planned.

Entering to win is really simple.  Leave me a comment as to why you would like to go to the conference.  For extra entries, Like me on Facebook, sign up to the My Man’s Belly Newsletter, and re-tweet this message: I entered for a chance to win a conference pass to the Fitness Blogger’s Conference @MyMansBelly…you can too!

Just come back here and leave a comment for each of these things that you do to enter.  I will choose a winner next Friday.  Friday the 13th is going to be lucky for one of you.

Relationship Advice

This just in…coffee + excercise + sex = death by aneurysm.

The good news about that  means Craig’s, incessant nagging about whether or not I picked up the dry cleaning and my mother nagging me about coming back to Cleveland (and when I do, not staying long enough) shouldn’t cause me to have the aneurysm that I always suspected it would.

No – according to a study posted Thursday, on Stroke, my life is going to cause my brain hemorrhage.

The researchers studied people who suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage as a result of an aneurysm to find out what activities they were doing that may have helped trigger the event.  Here are the activities they found that appear to make the hemorrhage more likely: drinking coffee, drinking soda, blowing your nose, straining on the toilet, being startled, getting angry, having sex and exercising.

So, what’s a person to do, cut out everything that you like and were taught to do your entire life?

No more of my morning routine that starts with the bone chilling reveille call of my alarm clock that gets me up at the ass crack of dawn to chug down a half a pot of black coffee while I race to delete 150 spam e-mails and answer 20 more before the rest of the world wakes up, then racing out the door to get my daily run in only to have Cujo jump out from behind the bushes and scare the bejesus out of me.  No more coming back in the door (all sweaty and with a twisted ankle – thanks Cujo!) to finish up the remaining pot of coffee to help get me through the responses to my earlier e-mails that clearly show that no one actually reads things all the way through…causing me to curse their name and send them another e-mail (which they won’t read).  With the last drips of coffee down my gullet, it’s time to wake the sleeping bear of a hubby to get the juices flowing and help bring me down off of my caffeine buzz.  Then off to the little girls room to blow out remnants of the LA smog I inhaled earlier and to attempt to remove the last vestiges of my tequila saturated insides before hitting the shower and continuing on with my day.

The new morning schedule will go something like this.  Awaken when my body naturally decides it would like to start the day (most likely around noon).  Revitalize and nourish my body with a plate of eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast and a Xanax all to be washed down with some kind of frozen yogurt smoothie (those probiotics are supposed to be good for “regularity” – according to Jamie Lee Curtis anyway).  Then I’ll meander over to the computer and chuckle at the whimsical subject lines in my e-mail as I cheerily read through each and every one of them.  I’ll answer the e-mails that seem to be of interest to me and shelve the rest until I feel that I want to address them.  I’ll take a leisurely walk around the neighborhood,with my dog, so that I can make sure that my legs can still bear the weight of my body further than taking me from bed to kitchen.  I’ll wipe my nose only when it runs and I’ll dutifully wait for those probiotics to kick in and do their work.  Sex will be limited to what I can do myself, because that way I can control the level of excitement and gradually build up to a mild finale.

Clearly, some happy medium will need to be found in my life.  Here’s to finding a happy medium in yours!


Recipe: Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Recipe


  • 1 Ounce Dark Jamaican Rum (15 or 8 year old)
  • 1 Ounce Martinique Rum (St. James)
  • 1/2 Ounce Orange Curaçao
  • 1/4 Ounce Orgeat syrup
  • 1/4 Ounce Rock Candy Syrup (simple syrup)
  • Juice From One Fresh Lime (about 3/4 ounce)


  1. Shake all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass over crushed ice.
  2. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint

Quick notes

To make simple syrup: combine 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator, in a covered container, for 2 weeks.

Preparation time:

Number of servings (yield): 1

Meal type: cocktail

Culinary tradition: USA (General)


Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.


The Minty May 9, 2011 at 10:29 am

Hiya! I just entered (liked you on FB, signed up for your newsletter and tweeted the msg!) the contest.

I wanted to say the mai tai is def a cocktail I love but so many bars make nasty versions. Once I told a bartender he was making bad drinks and he got so mad, he asked if I wanted to get behind the bar and make my own. Then he asked me how to make a mai tai. I told him which he didn’t believe, looked up the recipe and then ended up telling me I was right and gave me a bottle of champagne. Ha.

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks May 7, 2011 at 9:24 am

Pamela – I already follow you on FB.

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks May 7, 2011 at 9:23 am

Can’t wait to see you in June. I need SEO help.

fdnj May 7, 2011 at 1:22 am

Nice topic – respect !

Kim May 6, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Oh, and I’ve liked you on FB. And added your page to my page. 🙂


Kim May 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Yay for conferences! I would LOVE the opportunity to go, because I want to be a better blogger. And I want to be a healthier blogger. And I could use some SEO consulting. 🙂

Have a great time! *Hope* to see you there.


Leave a Comment