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As if it weren't bad enough that it is difficult to find where I live, Trader Vic's Mai Tai Mix now has different ingredients and definitely tastes worse to me. It tastes like I am drinking rum and orange juice. I checked the ingredients, and sure enough concentrated orange juice is listed. Being a typical tiki nerd like everyone else here, I happen to have an old empty bottle on hand and, sure enough, this did not used to be an ingredient. I'm a little disappointed, almost enough to start a letter writing campaign, but I doubt it would have any effect. I should probably just buy the individual ingredients, but I have to go to about three different places scattered all over town. And forget about finding rock candy syrup! (Although I see there is another thread that shows how to make it). I expected more from Trader Vic's. Anyone else think this is lame? Oh, and I apologize if this has already been brought up in another thread. I did a search and didn't see it listed.

Incidentally, I also bought the Navy Grog Mix. I have always preferred this to the Mai Tai Mix anyway and, thankfully, it does not seem to have changed ingredients. So, I got THAT going for me.

[ Edited by: Trader_Rick 2008-02-16 01:00 ]

Anything with Genetically modified ingredients is dodgy in my book, it is also the reason TVs cannot sell their pre mixes in the UK.
Anyway real Mai Tais taste much better, it's worth the trippin' about.

I complained when they changed the Passion Fruit syrup and got my money back.

Bummer. What about all those recipes in the Trader Vic's book (other than the Mai Tai) that require the Mai Tai mix?

Are those drinks going to suffer because the mix is loused?
ADDED COMMENT: Yes, sure looks likes those drinks in the book asking for the mix are pretty much dead at this point.

Free shipping was too good to be true. Knew there had to be a catch. :P

[ Edited by: I dream of tiki 2008-02-16 23:05 ]

S

I'm starting to get the idea that TV's no longer cares about the drinks that people make at home. It's not a bother to me though. I placed one order from TV's many years ago - Mai Tai Mix, Grog, Scorpion, and Rock Candy - and I thought the quality was pretty poor back then. Thanks to that experience I've never considered buying any of their stuff again. And now they've gotten worse. It makes me cringe.

The solution is simple: make your mai tais the old fashioned way. Once you get the recipe down, it's as easy as falling off of a greased log and tastes WAY better than the pre-bottled mix.

D

I gave up on TV's Mai Tai mix a long time ago. It tastes absolutely nothing like the ones they make at their locations, so their was no reason for me to buy it. The stuff they use at their bars and restaurants is packaged in bottles that have the same design as the retail stuff. I think it's called 'Mai Tai Concentrate', but they don't sell it to the public. I could see that they have an issue maybe with keeping the draw for their customers by not selling it retail, but for those of us that don't live anywhere near one of their locations, it would be nice to have the same mix and have the same Mai Tais at home for those, like myself and many others, that rarely get to go to a TV's if at all. Their Passion Fruit, Orgeat, and Rock Candy syrups have mostly worked out pretty well for me when making drinks at home. The Tonga Zombie from Grog Log made with the Passion Fruit syrup is actually very good. I thought I got close to the taste of a TV Mai Tai at home a few weeks ago, and I started a thread about it, but the more I make those Mai Tais that I THOUGHT tasted like the TV location Mai Tais, the more they don't taste like it. It's a Holy Grail type of situation that I'm still on the hunt for.

My advice to you is to just order a bunch of the syrups from TV and mix your own stuff. At the end of the day their retail Mai Tai mix, quite frankly, sucks in a big way.

I tried looking for contact information on their website so I could voice my discontent, but they don't list an email address or phone number. It's probably for the best, though. Everyone's right, I should just be making Mai Tai's from scratch. Besides, writing a letter to Trader Vic's is just a little too nerdy, even for me.

K

Maybe TV should just add some grapefruit concentrate, and a little artificial licorice flavoring, and then just say, "you know, Donn Beach was right after all".

Anybody like to suggest some Mai Tai recipes?

On 2008-02-17 19:18, Hammock Bound wrote:
Anybody like to suggest some Mai Tai recipes?

Hammond, I think you can start with this thread.

I don't bother about TV's Mai Tai mix, it's different than the real thing. If you manage to get a bottle of the stuff they use in the bar, it's OK, but you can get even this from scratch if you get the proper ingredients.

On 2008-02-17 19:18, Hammock Bound wrote:
Anybody like to suggest some Mai Tai recipes?

1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice*
0.5 oz. orgeat
0.25 oz. rock candy syrup
2 oz. Appleton's Estate 12 year old rum
0.5 oz. orange curacao

Mix all ingredients together over ice in cocktail shaker. Shake. Fill double old fashioned glass with crushed ice, and pour. Garnish with mint sprig and swizzle of pineapple wedge and marashino cherry.

You can play arund with the rums you use. The original recipe called for a 17 year-old rum by J. Wray and Nephew. Unfortunately, it's no longer available. People recommend all kinds of combinations. But, for my money, using Appleton's 12 year has worked out the best. In a pinch, you can also sub 2 oz. Myer's or 1 oz. Myer's with 1 oz. Appleton's V/X.

*The official recipe calls for "juice of one fresh lime." Unfortunately, limes vary in size and the amount of juice you can extract. I've found that the recipe works best if you use just over 1 oz. of juice.

[ Edited by: BrickHorn 2008-02-18 07:32 ]

On 2007-08-22 08:33, The Gnomon wrote elsewhere:
While I was in WM the other day, I made note of the ingredients listed on the TV Mai Tai Mix bottle for those Mai Tai connoisseurs who would like to know what goes into "The Trader's original formula."

Here's what they say about the Mai Tai mix on their site:

Created half a century ago, but as bracingly contemporary as ever, this is The Trader's original formula - and the most requested tropical drink in the world. We've done our homework to recreate the famous Mai Tai of our restaurants, combining the flavors of oranges and almonds and formulating a mixture that stands up proudly to cubed or crushed ice.

Here's the list of the delectible ingredients from the label on the bottle:

Water, high fructose corn syrup, juice blend (water, citric acid, juice concentrate, malic acid, cellulose gum, vegetable gums, ascorbic acid, natural flavor, sodium benzoate (preservative)), natural and artificial flavor, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative), xantham gum, caramel coloring.

Wow! So that's the original formula. I'm glad they did their homework.

It's pretty evident that corporate TV is now pursuing a strategy of improving the bottom line by cutting costs in everything they do at the expense of quality; quality being what got them to where they are in the first place.

Perhaps, their QA team failed to realize that the only fruit juice in a Mai Tai is lime.

Here's the latest ingredients list:
Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Juice Blend (Water, Citric Acid, Orange Juice Concentrate, Malic Acid, Cellulose Gum, Vegetable Gums, Ascorbic Acid, Natural Flavor, Sodium Benzoate [Preservative]), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate [Preservative], Xanthan Gum, Caramel Coloring.

Here's what was in the mix in 1962:
Reconstituted lemon juice and lime juice, sugar syrup, corn syrup and propylene glycol, essential oils, artificial flavoring, 1/10th of 1% sodium benzoate added as a preservative.

M

Boy, am i sorry that i didn't know about this thread before i recently bought a bottle of this swill. Hey, it was an impulse buy at a liquor store, and it had "Trader Vics" on it! How bad could it be? Hoo boy, well...mix Robitussin with rum, to get an idea. Very disappointed that Trader Vics would let their good name get so tarnished.

On 2019-03-17 11:21, MrFab wrote:
Boy, am i sorry that i didn't know about this thread before i recently bought a bottle of this swill. Hey, it was an impulse buy at a liquor store, and it had "Trader Vics" on it! How bad could it be? Hoo boy, well...mix Robitussin with rum, to get an idea. Very disappointed that Trader Vics would let their good name get so tarnished.

I've felt that same sting before my friend. To the best of my knowledge, the only commercially sold TV-branded products still worth picking up are their mac nut and Kona coffee liqueurs, and their Royal Amber rum. If you find yourself actually in a Trader Vic's location though, see if you can get them to part with some of their in-house use only "concentrates", the navy grog concentrate in particular is supposed to be pretty good.

H
Hamo posted on Mon, Mar 18, 2019 10:12 PM

Years ago, when I first went into a World Market, I was excited to find a bottle of that Mai Tai mix. Then I tried it. What an awful first impression of Vic’s magnum opus. Thankfully, I persevered and found the real recipe.

A few weeks ago I must have been in a fugue while in a local liquor store, because I bought a bottle of Trader Vic’s Spiced Rum. Ugh. But I’d spend my money on the Royal Amber; it’s supposed to make a good Mai Tai. I wonder why it’s not more widely available.

The Royal Amber rum does make a very fine Mai Tai. And if you ever see it on the shelf, you should pick some up. I think one of the reasons it is so hard to find is how poor the rest of the Trader Vic rum line is. The few places I've come across the Silver, Gold, Dark, and Spiced versions of the rum generally don't carry it very long, none of them are remarkable and there are better choices in the same price range.

On 2020-02-21 13:55, Dr. Coruba wrote:
The Royal Amber rum does make a very fine Mai Tai. And if you ever see it on the shelf, you should pick some up. I think one of the reasons it is so hard to find is how poor the rest of the Trader Vic rum line is. The few places I've come across the Silver, Gold, Dark, and Spiced versions of the rum generally don't carry it very long, none of them are remarkable and there are better choices in the same price range.

That Royal Amber definitely makes a good mai tai. One night at Trader Vic's I asked if I could have a taste of the rum by itself - definitely one of those "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" kind of thing. I was not impressed with it as a sipper but I love it in their cocktails.

I have only ever seen it once in the wild. Went back and it was gone, along with all of the other TV rums they had, so my experience is the same as yours. At one point I had a bottle of the authentic mai tai concentrate and really wanted to get some bottles of Royal Amber for the closest-to-Vic's experience at home but at the time it would have required ordering a case from Ace in New York, which I was NOT about to do.

Any Chicago-Land-ers, know where I might pick up some Royal Amber?

[ Edited by: Maui Chimes 2020-02-23 18:46 ]

On 2019-03-18 19:42, PalmtreePat wrote:

On 2019-03-17 11:21, MrFab wrote:
Boy, am i sorry that i didn't know about this thread before i recently bought a bottle of this swill. Hey, it was an impulse buy at a liquor store, and it had "Trader Vics" on it! How bad could it be? Hoo boy, well...mix Robitussin with rum, to get an idea. Very disappointed that Trader Vics would let their good name get so tarnished.

I've felt that same sting before my friend. To the best of my knowledge, the only commercially sold TV-branded products still worth picking up are their mac nut and Kona coffee liqueurs, and their Royal Amber rum. If you find yourself actually in a Trader Vic's location though, see if you can get them to part with some of their in-house use only "concentrates", the navy grog concentrate in particular is supposed to be pretty good.

PalmtreePat,
I agree that the Mac Nut liqueur is pretty tasty. Everytime I pour a small amount for people to taste they like it. I'm not sure how its made, or what's in it....but, it is pretty tasty.

T

The Trader Vic's Mac Nut liqueur is great in eggnog.

This is why I don't like mixes or pre made sauces or spice mixes they change or even stop selling them and then you got to find a different way to make that thing you used to make with them.

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