Ah, the venerable mai tai. This drink has been ripped off and bastardized so many times, it’s rare to experience the drink these days the way Trader Vic founder Victor Bergeron intended. So ditch the grenadine and passion fruit syrup—stick with the original, best recipe. Paul McGee, of Chicago’s Lost Lake tiki bar, shows us how.
Trader Vic’s mai tai, circa 1944
1 oz. Martinique rum
1 oz. Jamaican rum
0.5 oz. curaçao
1 oz. lime juice
0.75 oz. orgeat syrup
Combine ingredients in shaker tin. Add one cup of crushed ice. Buzz in high-speed blender for three seconds. Top with more crushed ice. Garnish with mint bouquet, orange peel rose, and orchid.