The Mai Tai

The Mai Tai from South Seas Tiki Lounge for Liquid Assets. Brad Nettles/Staff

Mai Tai 

What is it?

The classic Mai Tai, a rum-based cocktail, was birthed in the Tiki bar of Victor Bergeron, better known as Trader Vic. His original restaurant called Traders became known as Trader Vic’s and his Polynesian-inspired fare and fruit juice-based cocktails launched a universe of umbrella-garnished drinks.

What’s the story?

Michael Leslie and his team at The South Seas Tiki Lounge studied this 1944 classic recipe and created a modern spin on its core ingredients. Orgeat, a French syrup of almonds, sugar and floral waters and a staple in this cocktail is made in-house. An emulsion of toasted almonds and coconut water spins the liquid marzipan flavors of orgeat into a new orbit.

Lime bitters replace the fresh lime halves and pineapple rum adds a tropical nuance to South Seas Mai Tai.

Who’s selling it?

The South Seas Tiki Lounge

23 Ann St.


What’s the price?


What’s the flavor?

“Mai tai” is Tahitian for “very good" and South Seas' version upholds the standard.

The house-made orgeat rounds out the flavors of the rums and the lime bitters brace the cocktail without harsh tartness. There is no cloying sweetness in this drink and the orgeat brings a bit of silkiness to the mouth feel.

Trader Vic would approve.

— Deidre Schipani