The Mai Tai is an often misunderstood mixer. The Polynesian mashup of rum, Curacao liqueur, orgeat, and lime juice has long been associated with parasols and faraway beaches requiring more SPF 45 than any San Franciscan would ever own. The truth, however, is that the Mai Tai originated in a land no more exotic, nor tropical, than Oakland, where in 1944 Victor Bergeron of Trader Vic's
came up with the idea.
So, as a native cocktail of the Bay Area, it's something of a regional imperative to celebrate National Mai Tai Day
with a sense of pride. (It arrives this Sunday, August 30.) Don't be left unprepared. The forecast is calling for a cool 72 degrees, but it's always Mai Tai weather, particularly at these local watering holes whipping up whimsical variations on the East Bay classic.