In honor of the 75th anniversary, Trader Vic’s will celebrate the creation of the Mai Tai by their founder, Victor “The Trader” Bergeron, with an event fit for tiki royalty. On August 30th, the official National Mai Tai Day, Trader Vic’s and tiki enthusiasts around the world will raise their glasses to celebrate a cocktail and culture that is still thriving today. On Saturday, August 31st, the celebration will continue at Trader Vic’s Emeryville with a full day of music, Mai Tai’s and memories for generations old and new.
While many are familiar with the Mai Tai, a cocktail often associated with white sand beaches and tropical getaways, few know the story of its inception. In 1944, after success with several exotic rum drinks, Trader Vic felt a new drink was needed. He was at the service bar at his Oakland restaurant, took a bottle of 17-year old Jamaican J. Wray Nephew rum, added fresh lime, Orange Curaçao from Holland, a dash of Rock Candy and vigorously shook the mixture by hand. A garnish of fresh mint and lime added the finishing touch.
Trader Vic presented his new creation to friends visiting from Tahiti. After one sip they responded, “Mai Tai-Roa Ae” which variously translates to “Out of this World – The Best” in Tahitian and that sealed the deal. Trader Vic named the drink “Mai Tai” and while there are many variations, the original recipe can still be found at Trader Vic’s locations around the world.
“This is a monumental year for Trader Vic’s,” said Rhett Rosen, CEO Trader Vic’s Worldwide. “The 75th anniversary of the Mai Tai is much more than a cocktail calendar moment, but a time for us to honor the man that created the influential brand that has stood the test of time. The occasion also leads us into Trader Vic’s 85th anniversary that will take place this November. A milestone that is not easily achieved and substantiates the brand’s relevance as much today as when Mr. Bergeron opened the first location in 1934.
In honor of the Mai Tai’s 75th birthday, we will be joining the team at Trader Vic’s Emeryville for a celebratory event at the place where it all began. On Saturday, August 31st from 1-7 PM, guests are invited to attend the anniversary soirée which will feature live music by the Tikiyaki Orchestra and DJ Speakeasy Ray, Mai Tai’s (of course), a selection of favorites from the Trader Vic’s menu, rum tastings, tiki inspired events and more. There will also be a special toast at 3 PM to honor the history and legacy of Trader Vic.
Ticket prices range from $30 for children 12 and under to $75 for adults, which includes unlimited food, rum tasting, 2 cocktails, lei making, photo booths, and live music. For more information and to purchase tickets check our their eventbrite website here.