New Year’s Eve Cocktail Party. Today: Tiki Kelly’s mai tai

The Long Beach Post is here to help, and this week we are publishing a series of videos ahead of New Year’s Eve on how to make our favorite drinks.

Today, Post reporter Kelly “Tiki” Puente demonstrates how to make the perfect mai tai.

Here’s her take on the classic tropical drink:

The mai tai is symbolic of a Hawaiian vacation. But you might be surprised to know that it was actually invented right here in California. There’s a little debate over who invented it: Vic Bergeron from Trader Vic’s in Oakland says he created the recipe in the 1930s, while his friend Donn Beach of Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood claims he started it all in the 1940s. Either way, it’s a great cocktail for any time you’re dreaming of a tropical escape.

The classic recipe is less sugary and more limey:

First you take 1 1/2 ounces of white rum, followed by 3/4 ounce of orange curaçao, 3/4 ounce of lime juice (freshly squeezed is a must!), a 1/2 ounce of orgeat and a 1/2 ounce of dark rum floater.

Garnish with a lime wheel and a sprig of mint and serve in a highball glass. Or, if you’re feeling extra festive, serve it in a tiki mug.

I’m a tiki mug collector and have more than 70 to choose from!

New Year’s Eve Cocktail Party. Today: The Publisher’s Delight

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Kelly Puente is an award-winning general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. She has worked as a journalist in Long Beach since 2006, covering everything from education and crime to courts and breaking news. Kelly previously worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Orange County Register before joining the Post in 2018. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].